IMPHAL, June 13: The Zeliangrong Union, Imphal zone has appealed the state government and its concerned department to reconsider and revoke its order for the eviction of Naga-River Colony (Kabo-Leikai) and for acquisition of the colony’s land for the purpose of expansion and upgradation of Imphal Hotel into Five-Star Hotel.
A release of the union has stated that the Naga-River colony has been in existinece for more than half a century since 1960, much before the establishment of Imphal Hotel of the Tourism department and the MPSC office in the said area. The uniqueness of this village lies in its harmonious co-existence of different ethnic communities including Meitei, Muslim, Nepali, Naga, Kuki and other tribes, who are mostly poor and landless people coming from different parts of Manipur. This colony is a full fledged village reconisd by the government, consisting of 39 household with 468 inhabitants as of today.
It also stated that it is hard to appreciate the decision of the government to evict such a well established village for expansion of Imphal Hotel. Such eviction will create untold sufferings and problems for so many inhabitiants.
The release further stated that we do not see any urgency for building a Five Star Hotel so hurriedly as there are very few tourists and visitors coming to Manipur due to the Inner Line Permit restriction and fluid Law and order situation, although we do hope for better situation in future in our state.
If the government wants, for certain reasons, to convert the existing Imphal Hotel into a five star hotel, then the existing area of 5.3 acres occupied by the Imphal Hotel of the Toursim department is more than sufficient like “Taj Vivanta” in Guwahati which is adequately and comfortably organised in an area of 4.5 acres. Eviction of the villager and acquisition of its land is not desirable and necessary at all for expansion of the said ill-managed Imphal Hotel, it said.
The government, if they want more land, may annex the adjoining land occupied by its own department of tourism to the north of Imphal Hotel, it added. The government can also get plenty of land along the road side of NH-39 upto Koirengei or beyond, it further opioned.
It may also be suggested that such a Five Star Hotel meant for tourists from outside the state as well as from outside India, should better be located somewhere on the main Highway (tiddim road) touching the Imphal Airport. Such planning will bring some relief to the already congested Imphal city, it added.
It is our considered view that the step of the government to evict a well established village to acquire its land for a hotel is untenable from the view point of human rights, constitutional rights and humanitarian grounds and therefore, the government is urged to reconsidere and revoke its decision to evict the said village in the interest of the affected inhabitants, at least on humanitarian ground, it maintained.