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Ukhrul Villagers Still Living In The ‘Dark Age’

Church bell hanging from an electric pole in. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, May 12: Number of villagers in three remote villages under Phungyar Sub-Division of Ukhrul district, who have died without ever seeing the light of electricity in their life, is growing. This is despite that fact in the Government records, these villages have been listed as electrified villages.

The revelation came to light during an inspection visit conducted by general secretary of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Victor Keishing and his workers at Nongman and adjacent Patbung and Kumram villages, which are located around 20 kms towards south of Phungyar.

Victor and his workers toured these remote villages one after another on Monday last.

Translating complaints lodged by the villagers in Tangkhul dialect to Victor to this reporter, vice chairman (scheduled tribe) of MPCC Ahao Raikhan explained that the villagers approached Department concerned of the Government for providing solar power system. But the request has been turned down on the ground that electrified villages cannot have access to such facilities.

In the absence of power supply despite being recorded as electrified villagers in the Government records, on the one hand, and denial of solar lighting system, on the other, the villagers are in a very awkward situation today wondering whether they would ever see the light of electricity in their houses or be counted among those who have died without ever knowing how electricity lights up a house and dispels darkness at night.

The villagers informed that apart from 3/4 electric poles that were erected; they have never seen cable wires or power transformers in their villages.

As of now, one generator set is being used for lighting the Church and operating its PA system or the villagers contribute money for purchasing solar power system to light up the streets at night.

Interestingly, the two electric poles erected at Nongman were found being used as Church bell poles.

After listening to complaints of the villagers, Vic- tor said recommendation for electrification of the three villages had been made while his father Rishang Keishing was the Chief Minister of Manipur. But after another Government came into power, there has been no change.

Victor assured that he would try his level best in his personal capacity as the general secretary of MPCC and social worker to see that the three villagers are electrified.

Another crippling problem the villagers numbering around 1300 living in the three villages have been facing is the deplorable condition of the lone Inter Village Road where only Jeep or Shaktiman truck could ply to reach Phungyar. In such a condition, most villagers walk down upto Phungyar first for going to other places either for medical treatment or any other purposes.

Before visiting the three villages, Victor and his workers also dropped in at Chungka, a newly established village near Phungyar.

Being a newly established one, the village has been lagging behind in every aspect.

Victor had also visited Khambi, South Tusom, Lousing, Khongjal and other villages one after another on Tuesday.

With exception to Khambi, the location of rest of the villages is very remote from Phungyar but one common trademark that runs through all the same is underdevelopment in every sphere.

Leaders and office bearers of Phungyar Block Congress Committee and Phungyar Youth Congress Committee accompanied Victor throughout his inspection visit. Wherever he visited, Victor and his workers held discussion with the village authorities, volunteers of youth clubs and women societies on development issues of the villages.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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