IMPHAL, November 7:The state government deliberately looked the other way while the Indo-Myanmar border fencing progressed in full swing as it had received Rs five crore in the form of compensation, said former Union minister and state unit party president Th Chaoba.
During a press meet held at its office at Nityaipat Chuthek, Chaoba said the state government has been cheating the people since 2007 when the border fencing began with full knowledge of the government. The central government had taken consent about the fencing from the state government and the fencing started with the recommendation from the state government and award of compensation as per the direction of the Supreme Court, said Chaoba.
The border fencing covered approximately 10 Km and a sum of Rs 30.96 crore had been approved out of which 6% of the actual amount or Rs 503.68 lakhs had been compensated under the Compensatory Afforestation Management and Policy Authority (CAMPA) formed by the Supreme Court to compensate the forest land of the Yangoupokpi-Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary.
The state government has received the amount for afforestation activities in 2010, after the Wild Life Board, Manipur gave its approval in 2007. At present, the border fencing has not been finalized due to some controversy over missing pillars but a considerable portion of land belonging to Manipur was lost due to the fencing. At the same time, around three kilometers of fencing have been completed and the Indian government had also erected wooden fencing along the border.
The all political party meeting on the fencing issue was called by the chief minister after civil society organizations launched several agitations. During the meeting the BJP brought up a question directed at the CM asking whether the government has any knowledge about the border fencing and whether the areas covering the wildlife sanctuary was bifurcated without the consent of the state government. The government had responded to the query in the negative and added that proper information can be acquired through RTI process, said the state BJP president.
Chaoba added that the party agreed to be a part of the team visiting Moreh on October 22 2013 led by Dy CM Gaikhangam to have direct knowledge about the border fencing dispute there. Consequently, a drafting sub-committee was constituted headed by Congress MLA RK Anand. The BJP was represented by Prof RK Ranjan. Finally, the committee asked the party to draft the memorandum.
In the meantime, while the drafting was in progress, it obtained information from the Ministry of Home Affairs claiming that the fencing had full consent of the state government. The facts are out in the open so what is the purpose of submitting the memorandum to the Central government when the state government was fully involved in the border fencing activities since 2007, said Chaoba.
The BJP demands a white paper on the fencing approval, and explaination how it was approved by the government and clarifying whether any consent was taken from the people of the state. The BJP Manipur Pradesh feels that the present government, by concealing facts and pretending to care about protecting the boundary has been misleading the general public. We strongly demand complete demolition of the boundary fencing taken up by surrendering large portion of territory of Manipur to Myanmar and also urge both the countries for re-demarcation of the Indo-Myanmar international boundary line, said Chaoba.