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RTI Fails To Elicit Any Response On IT Road, Money Withdrawn, No Work Done

IT Road, Kangpokpi, Manipur. Image Credit: The Sangai Express.

IMPHAL, Jan 9: Whereas the amount sanctioned for development of IT Road from Kangpokpi to Chalwa has been withdrawn without executing any work, there has been no reply from the authority concerned even as an appeal has been submitted under Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking explanation for the fraudulent withdrawal of fund.

Speaking to media persons today, Zeliangrong Students’ Union spokesperson L Stephen Makuimai said that such irresponsibility on the part of the authority is an insult to the Zeliangrong community.

L Stephen said that requisite fund for development of the 51 Kms long Kangpokpi to Chalwa road was sanctioned in 2006-07 and 2007-08 from SPA.

Though the sanctioned amount has been withdrawn, no development/repairing work has been initiated till date.

Informing that Zeliangrong community representatives were given assurance by PWD authority for development of IT road, L Stephen decried that with the PWD’s assurance coming to naught, all the people’s expectations have been belied.

The people are all the more enraged as they have learnt that the sanctioned amount has been withdrawn without executing any work.

Subsequently, an appeal was filed under RTI Act on September 22 last year seeking explanation for non-execution of the road development as well as the fraudulent withdrawal of the sanctioned amount. But no response has been forthcoming till date.

The appeal was filed by L Stephen Makuimai who is also convener of the Liangmai People’s Movement for Human Rights.

Earlier, some jungle cutting work was initiated alongside the road under PMGSY but the same work has been suspended not long after it was started in 2007.

No Government official has ever visited the work site even as the road is lying in pathetic condition. One excavator (JCB) machine is also lying idle for the last many months deep inside the hills.

Road cutting work was initiated between Yangkholen and Bendarmai before it was abruptly suspended.

On the other hand, one contractor named K Ashuli has been smoothly executing a road development work for a length of 10 Kms under PMGSY at another place of Senapati district.

However, another contractor named Iboyaima to which the development work of Kangpkopi to Chalwa section of IT road was allotted under PMGSY suspended the road development work following a dispute with local villagers.

The villagers have appealed to the contractor to resume the suspended work after sorting out all differences together amicably. But there has been no response prompting the villagers to file an appeal under RTI Act.

As there has been no response to the appeal, the people have lost their hope of travelling on a good road.

In addition to the absence of good road, the Zeliangrong people settled along the road have been enduring the plight of absence of adequate water    supply projects.

Out of 48 Zeliangrong villages located along the road, only 10 villages have the privilege of using potable water.

For construction of a water reservoir at Manglang Akutpa village, a sum of Rs 22 lakhs was sanctioned in 2007. But the water reservoir has been abandoned incomplete.

Fervent appeals of the villagers to complete the water reservoir accompanied by an offer that they would volunteer as laborers have also fallen into deaf ears.

Earlier there was a Primary Health Centre with a compounder and a nurse but they are no longer present. Now the PHC has been occupied by 10 Dogra Regiment.

Not only these, inner wall of Manglang Akutpa Junior High School has collapsed completely.

The school has around 170 students and six teachers.

The Senapati ZEO has literally abandoned Kanam UJB School, located about 25 Kms away from Senapati headquarters. The school building is also not worth its name.

Even as the local villagers have approached Tadubi A/C MLA K Raina repeatedly to look into the condition of the school, nothing has been done till date.

Further, a sum of Rs 5 lakhs was sanctioned to the officials of Kangpokpi Forest Office for plantation of saplings under Forest Management Scheme. Though the sanctioned amount has disappeared, not a single sapling was planted.

ZSU spokesperson L Stephen Makuimai further stated that felling trees, burning wood for charcoal and all jungle cutting works would be prohibited in Zeliangrong areas from the current year.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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