Karang Locals Threaten To Boycott Poll

IMPHAL, Jan 16: Karang locals staged sit-in-protest today in connection with the demand for road connectivity between Karang islet and the adjacent Thanga.

In case the State Government do not act positively to the demand Karang electorates would boycott the forthcoming general elections, resolved the locals at a public meeting held at the protest site.

Placards and banners alleging indifferent attitude of the Government to plight of the people settled in Karang, which is encircled by the waters of Loktak Lake, decrying absence of development activities, demanding road connectivity and right to education were put up at the protest site.

According to a women activist namely N Sobita Devi people of Karang had been enduring all sorts of inconveniences due to lack of initiative by the Government to provide basic amenities for livelihood.

She expressed strong resentment that owing to location of educational institutions at distant locations, children of Karang normally return home from school after dusk often resulting in retirement to bed without meal due to fatigue.

The Meira Paibi also condemned the Government for continuous failure to provide basic facilities such as construction of a road to link with the nearby Thanga and conceded that left with no other option the locals have decided to boycott the general elections in protest against the Government apathy. Apart from the local residents people of Karang working or staying at Imphal returned home to join the day-long protest demonstration.

It is informed that inspite of slight transformation from the only means of transportation on dug-outs in the past to availability of motor boats about three months back, the people are still not relieved from hardships as floating biomass blown towards the islet had been blocking the route.

With a population of about 4000 and fishing as the main source of sustenance, a Karang resident who moved out from the village faces uncertainty of whether he/she would return on the same day as huge presence floating biomass often blocks their way home.

A villager told some newspersons that on many occasions some Karang locals have to stay overnight in the middle of the Lake as floating biomass brought by swift wind encircles the canoe/motor boat.

Travelling from Karang upto Thanga, which is about a kilometer long, is a risky trip as there is always the danger of canoe capsizing or mechanized boat rendered useless due to the floating biomass.

A defunct Primary Health Centre in Karang is another distressful issue as medical personnel including doctor and nurses are reluctant to report for duty.

The situation gets worrisome in case of emergency medical needs such as delivery, informed some other villagers who added that students are the worst affected as there is no high school level institution in Karang.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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