Desperate westen valley villagers of Chandel district cry of government apathy

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IMPHAL, September 20: People of the western valley of Chandel district, expressing a sense of desperation has drawn the immediate attention of the authorities concerned to intervene on the hardship faced by the people of the area due to lack of basic amenities.

Talking to media persons during a press conducted tour, KL. Kanthu, chairman of western valley area chiefs’ association, informed that the western valley located at the extreme administrative boundary of Chandel district is home to 20 villages of indigenous Anal tribe as the majority and has a population of over 5000 people.

However the valley due to government’s apathy has become one of the most backward areas within the district, he said.

KL. Thurlun village chief of Unopat, said that the Primary Health Sub-Centre maintained under the National Rural Health Mission Chandel block, situated in the village is the nearest treatment facility available to the villages within the western valley however it is run by only one nurse, an ASHA volunteer and a helper.

No repairing has been done to the sub-centre since its inception from the government side, however the villagers are maintaining the sub-centre on their own, he said.

The village chief further asserted that there has been no routine visit by any doctors so far at the sub-centre, as laid down in the provision.

In case of any emergency the villagers have to run to the nearest Primary Health Centre at Sugnu which is about 10 kms far from the village which is quite a painstaking task during the night time due to lack of transportation and the narrow ring road connecting the valley to other parts of the district, said KL. Thurlun.

Other issues concerning the villagers are the primary school and the electricity problem, he said.

Thurlun has urged the authority concern to upgrade the primary school to a high school considering the growing number of population in the surrounding villages. There are no proper furniture both for students and the staff in the schools and moreover the school does not get mid-day meal regularly, he said.

He further informed that there are still some areas in the valley where there is no electricity connection as the extension of electric wire has not been done since power supply reached the valley in 1991.

NL. Bengam, village chief of Tokpaching, another village situated within the valley, said that there once stood a primary school in the village but it has been blown away completely during a storm in 2005. The children have to walk kilometers to get education at the primary school at Unopat. Despite repeatedly approach the authority has remain silent, further maintained Bengam.

The veterinary which was established in 1949 for the entire valley now stood isolated and defunct amongst tall bushes and trees at Tokpaching.

Bengam disclosed that his village is facing hardship of drinking water despite Rs 3 crores sanctioned by the former MP Manicharenamai, for construction of minor water supply system scheme within the valley.

Tokpaching has about 34 household with a population of about 250 people.

Similar tale has been narrated by other villages in the valley.

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