Towards a Meaningful Changeover

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Leaders of some of the political parties, at the beginning of a new year, have shared their reflection on 2014. It is not surprising that the ruling party paints a rosy picture of the year gone by. Congress leader Gaikhangam claimed that the government saw more achievements than failures in 2014, even calling it a year of success. While the party regaining its lost ground of Hiyanglam Assembly Constituency in the bye-poll held in 2014 is certainly a laudable achievement, one uncomfortable truth that hovers at the background, which the Congress party would love to bury, is the imbroglio within the party that surfaced publicly mid-year. In spite of reaping a thumping majority in the last Assembly election, the party could not rest on its laurel because of ministerial berth demand raised by a section of the MLAs. A major chunk of MSCP MLAs merging into the party had added another dimension to the state of affair. The leadership of the party deserves accolades for its skilful handling of the crisis.

On another note, we beg to differ with the Congress leader`™s opinion that law and order has improved considerably in the state in 2014. The series of bomb blasts that have taken place in high security areas like MG Avenue, Singjamei Chinga Makha, Hatta, Khuyathong to mention a few, and most recently the blast at Uripok are testimony against the statement notwithstanding the decrease in the number of encounter cases between the police and the militant. This trend of decreasing encounters is welcome, but that solely cannot be the benchmark for law and order maintenance when the authorities have failed in thwarting bomb blast occurring right in the heart of the capital where security personnel are deployed round the clock. The alarming rise in gender related crimes in the state as rightly pointed out by the CPI leader Dr M Nara in his interaction with the media is one abhorrent truth that all stake holders have to deal with. In the coming year, it is our earnest wish to see meaningful interventions and initiatives to prevent gender crimes. No stones should be left unturned in mitigating such horrendous crimes.

This is not to dampen the spirit of `Yaipha Paojel`™ that we generally exchange with the arrival of another new year. But, we foresee some of the perennial glitches that we face daily getting worse. For instance the Imphal traffic, or, for that matter, the road congestion in most parts of the state is not getting solved any soon. A cursory glance of road accident deaths that were reported during 2014 will elucidate how precarious the problem of traffic congestion has become. The government has taken up road widening works in different areas. But this will be of little help unless the authorities regulate the exponential growth of vehicles and take exemplary actions against traffic rule violators. At the same time the pollution level is also bound to increase in the coming year. Decades-old heavy vehicles are still seen plying today on the roads emitting carcinogenic fumes in lethal doses. We are neither hopeful of the Pollution Control Board coming out from its hibernation any sooner. Water scarcity is another issue that crops up every year whenever there is scanty rainfall. Sadly this has remained unresolved. The list will get longer if we scratch deeper beneath the innocuous wish of New Year. A meaningful change towards a better future is what we wish for every year, which remains, sadly an allusive wish.

Leader Writer: Senate Kh

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