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Haopi Range: From A Hotbed Of Militants To A forgotten Place

LAMKA, Jun 22: The journey of Haopi Range in Churachandpur district, from an area virtually under the rule of militants to a liberated zone has been significant but its story of significance ends here for today this area stands as a mute testimony of Government negligence and apathy.

With the place existing only in Government files, it has been left to the lot of the chiefs to keep its only lifeline functional.

Located barely 36 kms from here and adjoining Sajik Tampak on the Myanmar border, the area was a hotbed of militants till the end of the last decade. The scourge of negligence however still lingers despite being liberated from the militants’ control.

“Our main concern is to keep the only road that is connecting us to the outside world motorable. Despite our appeals and petitions, the contractor responsible for doing the necessary has ignored them forcing us to shoulder the task of maintaining it ourselves,’ Ngamjang, chief of New Bijang and Chairman of the eastern Haopi Area Chief Committee told the media today on the sidelines of a social work initiated by the association to keep the road motorable.

Shingling work is visible in a small portion of the road stretch but the chiefs have declared that the portion belongs to another contractor and that the one responsible for their area was adamant. New culverts were visible over a long stretch but in many cases they have already cracked or caved-in and appear to disregard any quality.

Two buses ply along the road according to Pumtulthang, chief of L Alpha village, solely on the request of the area chiefs but negotiating the road following the onset of monsoon is a tough and dangerous task.

“This is the reason why we took up the task of repairing the road by ourselves as we can’t afford to see the entire area being cut-off from the outside world,” he said.

“There are three Government-run schools in the area where there are 28 villages and three PHSC on papers, but there is no structure that would represent them,” added Ngamjang.

“As there are no buildings to attend there was no enrolment of students and the PHSCs are no different,’ he said. And despite the fact that Pillar number 47 and 48 are located within my village we are still denied any fund under the BADP,’ Holpao Mate, Chief of Khaukual village alleged.

The chief also denied to having received any of the PDS items – rice, sugar and kerosene oil for their village and for any villages of the region. He also appeals to all right thinking citizens, the district and block officials, the concern department, CSOs and student organization to bail the region out from the continuous inattention. ‘It appears as if we are not in Manipur. It is hard to even negotiate our road with leg pedal cycles. You all may not be aware of the situation we have been surviving with but from this day on as we plead you through the media, please help us out,’ he said.

An MLA aspirant and the President of UZO GS Haopu attended the social work today and offered the chiefs association a JCB to be utilize at their own whims and Rs. 20,000 towards meeting the expenses on repairing the road.

Meanwhile, the solar light depositor association of Singngat AC said they have adopted two resolutions today in regards to the non-responsive attitude of the incumbent MLA on their grievances. As the MLA, his agents or collectors have failed to refund the amount deposited which ranges from 3500 to 5000 to over 600 people who have deposited the money against the promise of giving them solar lamps, a dateline of June 30, 2011 was fixed for refund with an interest of 5%. If the MLA still fails to heed the dateline, numerous agitation including public rally, sit-in-protest, boycott would be initiated against him and an FIR will be lodged with police said a statement issued by G Thangbiaklian and M John Zou.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express / S Singlianmang Guite)

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