TODAY -

Proper Study First - Before embarking on a project
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: September 26, 2009 -



After 59 years of merger with India and 36 years' existence as a full-fledged state of the largest democracy in the world, one may still ask, has there ever been a single project successfully completed and commissioned that may be called a real work of development for the state of Manipur?

Questions may still be raised if there is any project that unboubtedly belongs to the state and its people, which has been completed and has been giving benefits to the people, employing hundreds or thousands of people, thus not only enabling the people to avail themselves of opportunities to better the standards of living but also improving the economy of the state.

The answer is NONE.

So far, there is not a single project in Manipur of which fruits people can enjoy, and also which plays a major role in ameliorating the economy of the state. However, there is one project which, instead of doing a lot of good to the state and the people, pumps resources away from the state and is virtually useless to the state, but makes astonishingly huge profits for an outside company.

The Loktak Hydro Power Project itself is that one.

And there are a few more projects of which construction works had started some 20 or 30 years ago, but still completion is nowhere in sight. To name a few, Khuga Dam, Thoubal Dam, Dolaithabi Barrage, etc may be mentioned. There is one project about which we have been hearing quite a lot for the past several years but construction is yet to start.

That is the Loktak Downstream Hydro Power Project.

And there is yet another project which, once constructed, completed and commissioned, like the Loktak Project, might become a perennial source of woes to the people of the state, but the governments of Manipur and Assam, more importantly the Government of India, are bent on taking up despite strong opposition from different sections of the people of the state.

That is the Tipaimukh Multi Purpose Project.

Apart from these projects, local industries and factories which were established with great fan-fare and bright hopes of giving employment to hundreds of local people, of manufacturing our own products, of improving the state economy and so on, have all become defunct and shut down, throwing hundreds of crores of rupees down the drain.

Thus among those industries and factories which have been closed down, Spinning Mill at Loitam Khunou, Khandsari Sugar Factory, Cement Factory at Hundung, etc. may be mentioned.

Then there is the Heavy Fuel Power Project at Leimakhong which was constructed at the cost of crores of rupees and inaugurated by the former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, but now being unable to run the project and produce power, remains useless.

All these, obviously, are fall-outs of lack of vision, know-how and expertise on the part of the policy planners and decision makers of the state. These failed projects indicate the myopic attitude of the state leaders and decision makers in the government.

It shows that the rulers of the respective governments of the state in the past had failed to see far beyond the short-term benefits of their time. On the other hand, the top-level bureaucrat officers under the Government of Manipur also cannot escape the responsibilities for the failed projects of development.

In fact, it is these officers who guide and advise the political leaders of the administration on any development project. Thus we have seen which development works could be completed and which could not be completed in time, and which project could benefit the people and which could not.

Learning from the past, our leaders need to broaden their visions and look farther beyond the present needs –political, personal or short-term benefits, and take decisions accordingly.

Whims and sudden impulse mustn't be allowed to carry away reasons which will bring only negative results.





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