TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Beauty and the Beast
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 31 March, 2006



On paper everything seems to be going fine with the development plans of Imphal. There is the BT flyover. Over and above this the Government is understood to have put into motion the process of working out a long term plan to beautify and develop Imphal under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

Imphal is among 63 designated cities chosen by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for the beautification plan to be taken up by the Union Ministry of Urban Development. Everything sounds fine, but the problem starts when we start looking at the ground reality.

We really do not understand what yardsticks the Government may use to define a beautification plan for the State capital but to any lay man, it would mean a cleaner and more hygienic Imphal.

It would also mean less traffic congestion and less noise pollution. On the other hand, a beautiful place or a city would definitely mean adequate water and power supply.

Imphal does not fulfil any of these criteria we have just spelt out. The market place is nothing but a mess.

Thanks to the cease work strike launched by employees of the Imphal Municipal Council, there is not an inch of space at Thangal bazar, Paona bazar, Khwairamband bazar, Nagamapal and the other vegetable markets, where one can put one's foot down without the apprehension of stepping onto to a gooey and rotting substance.

It is a wonder that so far no contagious disease has spread from the unhygienic and extremely dirty market places of Imphal.

Let's also take a look at the water supply scenario in the capital city. Summer is on its way in and with Monsoon some months away, the ponds and other natural water sources have started drying up.

Already problems of acute lack of drinking water have started to pour in and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

The Public Health Engineering Department is understood to have started the process of starting mobile delivery of drinking water as well as to ration the water supply to the consumers.

We really do not understand what the PHED meant by rationing water supply, for the fact stands that even as the best of times, almost every locality in Imphal receive water supply only twice or thrice in a week and that too for only a few hours.

Does rationing mean that the water supply through the pipelines will be stopped or does it mean that there will be water available through the pipe lines only once a week ? Isn't the practice of supplying water twice or thrice in a week for a few hours rationing ?

The power supply is in no better position. There is load shedding every day and what is most irritating are the unscheduled load sheddings.

In fact situation has to such a pass that the people have been forced to plan their days and itinerary with the load shedding in mind.

The BT flyover is fine and so is the Centrally sponsored scheme to beautify Imphal.

However what must be kept in mind is that beautifying a place or a city is not only about structures and buildings but also about its soul and the soul remains in the civic amenities that are available to the common people.


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