Shoddy work by public engineers infuriates villagers in Ukhrul

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Imphal, Feb 1(NNN): A blatant apathy and laxity on the part of the public engineers to oversee the execution of the construction of water reservoir in Thungcheng village in Chandel district of Manipur has caused much anguish and rage to the villagers, who have now threatened to block the main water resource if the structures are not reconstructed as per required technical provision.
In a memorandum submitted to the minister of Public Health Education (PHED), government of Manipur, Thungcheng Youth Club has demanded for the immediate transfer of the present Executive Engineer and the present Assistant Engineer, Nilamani Singh, on charges of “malpractice and negligence”.
Thungcheng village is due to host 5th Biennial Fellowship of the Annal community from February 3-7, in which more than twenty thousand headcount is expected to participate. Water which is highly essential is expected to fall short during the meet, given the manner in which the only water reservoir in the village—completed sometimes back—has begun to show sign of cracking following negligence of the concerned authority during the construction. This has again raised panic of possible epidemic, the memo said.
The newly constructed reservoir of water supply scheme under NLCPR executed by PHED which the minister himself inaugurated recently has collapsed for the second time.
The reservoir construction was supervised merely by the master roll employee of the village rather than any engineer. Neither metal nor lintel was used in the construction of the reservoir and no quality mason proportionate to the size of the project was engaged, it said.
The memorandum went on to highlight that the intake dam constructed at the upper course of the mainstream is so shallowly laid that water escapes beneath the dam instead of percolating through it. As such, water drains through the pipes in monsoon but dries up when the water volume slightly recedes.
Insincerity of the work agency and the responsible engineers has failed to achieve the cherished dream of overcoming water problem in the village and has undermined the hardships being faced by the villagers in general and the womenfolk in particular, it said.
Requesting the minister to take necessary action to expedite practical development of the scheme without tempering, the Youth Club said that “public schemes are being robbed by not maintaining quality works.”
Therefore, the villagers of Thungcheng, who own the main water resource for the project, shall be compelled to block the water flow if the structures are not reconstructed as per technical provision, and if the present executive engineer and the present AE, Nilamani Singh, are not transferred immediately against their malpractice and negligence, the memorandum jointly signed by Thungcheng Youth Club president BD Thumsing and its general secretary WS Daniel said.

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