We know, announcement of drought requires the sanction of the Centre and it is the Centre which holds the purse strings for drought related funds. And the visit of an expert team from the Union Agriculture ministry is required. We need no education from the Chief Minister in this regard. We also know that a government works differently. There are certain procedures which one cannot do away with. What we are worried with is the indifferent attitude of the policy makers of the state. Many a time, the council of ministers forgets that they are policy makers and that execution of works related to the policies framed is the primary responsibility of the officials. Sadly in Manipur, the ministers dabble both with policy making and the part of execution. Their encroachment on execution is one of the most problematic areas in the administration of the state. Having said this, we would like to come back to the question of drought situation in the state again. The Chief Minister seems to be confused. Either he has not been properly briefed or he has other interests in mind. Officials of the Agriculture department have time and again said that if rainfall does not reach the benchmark of 75 percent, the process for announcement of drought could begin. Yet, the Chief Minister had set the benchmark at 50 percent, in a recent function held in his homeground at the Congress Bhavan. Yes, there could be reasons for his confusion. The basis for announcing drought in 2009 was 43 percent rainfall in the state, which is below 50 percent. Either he is confused or he chose to be confused. Why we are drawing such a conclusion? Things are not right at the Agriculture department. The Agriculture Minister and the Director are not on talking terms. It began with the young Minister openly criticizing the Agriculture Director. The officials of the Directorate followed suit with a contradictory statement in the local press. After that, the feud began. Like in the case of the drought like situation, the young agriculture minister had announced before the media that the state is prepared for any drought situation in the state on July 1. The very next day, the Director of Agriculture virtually contradicted his Minister by ruling out drought. He had also said that if the rainfall situation does not improve by mid-July a drought like situation could develop. In mid-July, the Minister and the Director were going in different directions inspecting agricultural fields. And this is a time when the fields are starved of rainfall or water. Paying no mind to the distress of the farmers, the Minister is busy quarrelling with the Director. Many in Imphal would think that since it is raining in Imphal, the fields would also be getting adequate. It is quite the opposite. Even though the heavy downpour is causing flash floods in Imphal, he paddy fields in the state still could not get enough water for cultivation. The rainfall at the catchment areas is still negligible and as a result the water level of major rivers of the state remains low. While the recorded rainfall in Raj Bhavan and Lamphelpat was 47 mm and 49.30 mm respectively, it is very low in the catchment areas of the Imphal river. The Rainfall Reading Gauge installed at Kangpokpi, Saikul and Litan still remains very low. The IFCD officials are constantly measuring the water level of Imphal River at Minuthong, Lilong River at Lilong, Thoubal River at Thoubal and Nambul River at Hump Bridge. The water level of Nambul River was recorded at 781.625 mm while water level of Iril River was recorded at 780.575 mm on 11 am and later increased to 780.675 mm on Saturday. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi smiled from cheek to cheek at the Imphal downpour while the paddy fields are crying for water. He had said, the government is closely monitoring the drought like situation. But the evidence of monitoring or for that matter coordination and sharing of information among the line departments is simply not there. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi simply does not care.
Photography Credit and Copyright: Rashingam Ngoruh Siroi hills/ Shirui hills ranges in the Ukhrul District of Manipur, India, at an elevation of 1730m–2590m above sea level. Picture speaks itself the beauty of the Siroy Hill
Kankhui Cave – Sculpted by Nature – Ukhrul Manipur Photography Copyright: Rashingam Ngoruh Khangkhui Cave is a remarkable natural lime- stone cave located at Ukhrul, Manipur, India. The big hall in the cave is the darbar hall of the Devil … Continue reading
Unique Manipur Yaoshang Sports – Bor Keina Competition – 2013 Photography and Credit: Loyangamba Khundongbam All types of sports are held during Yaoshang Sports meet at Manipur or different parts of the world for women, men and children namely Chaphu … Continue reading
View of Manipur Valley during evening time Photography Credit and Copyright: Moirangthem Ranjit This is the valley where we live. Surrounded on all sides by mountains and hills, once upon a time, this valley was submerged underwater. All waters were … Continue reading
Manipuri Meitei Association Bangalore – Yaoshang Sports Meet – 2013 – Bangalore The Annual Yaoshang Sports Meet, 2013 at Bangalore organized by Manipuri Meitei Association Bangalore was held on Sunday, 24 March at Country Club Lakeside, Attibele Hobli. 350 plus … Continue reading