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Jessami Villagers Begin To Taste Fruits Of Development And Progress, Days Of Embarrassment Are History Now!

The 33 KV power sub-station which has come up at Jessami village. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, Jun 15:  After living for years in neglect and deprivation as well as in shame, people in the remote Jessami village of Ukhrul district today say that they can now walk tall with their chins up in front of the people of Nagaland situated just across the border as the Government of Manipur has started taking up some developmental works over the last few years.

Interacting with The Sangai Express, the villagers informed that since India attained independence, no Government had ever paid any attention to the developmental needs of Jessami village.

However, things started looking up after a media team visited the place in 2009 and highlighted the gross negligence of the Government.

Consequently, the Government started construction work the on SDO office, Public Health Centre, Tourist Centre, 33 KV power sub-station and upgraded the existing police station. All these construction works are nearing completion today.

The villagers further informed that under an agreement, Nagaland Government has been supplying electricity to Jessami since 1972.

As they have not received any PDS items provided by the State Government, the villagers have no other option but to go to Phek district of Nagaland covering a distance of around 35 kms on foot every day to fetch rice, kerosene and other essential commodities.

Because of such dependence, people of Nagaland used to look down on the villagers coming from Jessami and sometimes poke fun at them.

However, the shame they have suffered is today becoming a thing of the past.

Still then, there is a lot more that the State Government should do for the development of the remote village, the villagers added.

In response to a question, the villagers recalled that after the plight of  the villagers was highlighted in the media, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh himself had visited the border village two times to take stock of the developmental requirements and issued necessary orders for commencing the construction works to Government officials at once.

In 2010, the Chief Minister also laid the foundation stone of the police station after its upgradation to the level of SDPO.

However, as the construction work on the office building as well as other required infrastructures have not been completed, the police station is yet to be made fully operational inspite of fluid law and order situation in the border area and the earlier 12 police personnel led by an Inspector continue to perform their duties like civilians without any weapons or vehicles, the villagers disclosed.

The villagers have also expressed desire on the part of the State Government to erect fencing along the border taking into consideration of border dispute with Nagaland.

When The Sangai Express visited Jessami on a two day tour from June 11 to 12, it came across that around 90 percent of the construction works on 33 KV power sub-station, PHC, SDO office, police station and tourist home have been completed.

Although the villagers conveyed that a test had been conducted for the operation of the power station on June 4/5, no sign of any electric poles, however, could be seen.

With withdrawal of Nagaland officials and police personnel from the controversial office building of the Forest Beat that the Nagaland Government constructed along with an attached police outpost in Ejikhu locality of Jessami, BSF personnel were found occupying the said office building. The trip to Jessami was organized by Information Centre for Hill Areas of Manipur.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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