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2009

Copyright © 2008, The Arunachal Times Publications Pvt. Ltd., Siang House, Sector - E, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh - 791111,

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Training of RRT on preparedness & response on swine flu ends

ITANAGAR, Sept 6: Three days of rigorous training of State and District Rapid Response Teams (RRT) members culminated today making all the districts capable of managing Influenza A H1N1 infection or any other outbreaks in the districts with 43 trainees attending the training.

The first such training was organized from Aug 18-20 which was attended by 39 participants.

The training kit is designed by World Health Organisation  and supported by Govt. of India.

The whole training was planned into Lessons, Group Work, Case study as well as Field visit to hospital. This training is meant specifically to train the doctors on their PREPAREDNESS and the RESPONSE required of them in any such cases.

The training was organized by Dr.L.Jampa, State Surveillance Officer(IDSP) who is overseeing the management and preparedness for tackling Swine flu cases in the state.

Dr.Pradeep Khos-nobish, CMO Govt. of India attended the 1st training. The trainings were imparted by senior officers of the state, Dr.B.C.Sharma, DDHS(T&R), Pasighat, Dr.Tao Kaki, Senior Medical Specialist, Dr.Basumatri Apum, Senior Microbiologist, Dr.S.Tawsik, Pathologist, Dr.Mika Umpo, Microbiologist and DR.L.Jampa, SSO.

During the training, on updating the status of Swine flu in the state, it was informed by Dr.L.Jampa that the state is in readiness to tackle any cases. Commissioner (Health) has taken four review meetings and attended a meeting at New Delhi on this. Till now, there is no case Swine Flu in Arunachal Pradesh.

A total of 16 samples from the state have been sent for laboratory confirmation of Influenza A H1N1, at RMRC, Dibrugarh, all of which has tested negative.

Meanwhile 1,60,000 tablets of Tamiflu have arrived at Guwahati which will be distributed to the districts shortly. Small quantity of the required logistics is being supplied by Regional Director (Health & FW) Shillong also. The PPE will also be procured by the state.

There is no reason for panic. The only message that should go to the public is that the state is ready for any kind of eventualities. However, to minimize the risk, proper hygiene should be maintained.

 

Pinch’s clarion call to teachers

ITANAGAR, Sept 6: “Our society has traditionally held the teacher in the highest esteem, next only to parents. The teacher indeed is the non-biological father of his student” said MLA Ngurang Pinch, at a function organized at Balijan to observe the Teacher’s Day.

Giving a clarion call to the teachers of the state, Pinch underscored their role in building valuable human resources.

“A fusion of positivity and a pragmatic outlook for the life as such, should be brought about in the young minds and this task can be comprehensively performed by the teachers”, said Pinch and added that he believed, Arunachal Pradesh Teachers “will set an example to their peers elsewhere in the country with their professionalism and dedication”.

Department of Geography Rajiv Gandhi University organized a Teacher’s Day celebration. Prof H N Sharma, Retired Professor of Guwahati University was the special guest.   

 

High powered UGC team to visit NERIST

ITANAGAR, Sept 6: A high-powered team of the University Grants Commission (UGC) headed by Prof JB Prabhakara Rao, Vice Chancellor of Rayalseema University would be visiting NERIST during September 8 and 9 next to review the provisional Deemed University status granted to the institute in 2005.

NERIST director Dr Joram Begi told this daily that  the team comprising Prof T Umamaheswar Rao, VC, Nagarjun University, Prof MK Khetkar, Visweswaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, Prof Subash Kumar Mishra, IIT, Guwahati and representative of AICT and VS Karsija, deputy secretary, UGC would inspect various departments and interact with the faculty members during their two-day visit.

 

Neglect of geological and environmental norms plague 10th plan projects

By Himanshu Upadhyay

Don’t over look Geology, but put environmental clearance on fast track. This apparently contradictory advice seems to be emerging from a recently tabled CAG audit report that examined hydropower projects being built by NHPC and NEEPCO in North East and Eastern regions.

Some fourteen years ago when India’s Supreme Audit Institution trained its scanner on National Hydroelectric Power Corporation [NHPC], it had merely added 865 MW, i.e. merely 11 percent of envisaged capacity addition pegged at 7945 MW by the year 2000. However, when the new millennium started, 25 years into hydropower sector, this public sector giant had executed 9 projects totaling 2975 MW. Yet, tenth plan targeted hydropower generation to be stepped up a great deal and NHPC was asked to contribute 4375 MW, revised later to 3252 MW of which 642 MW were to come from North Eastern and Eastern Region. NEEPCO was asked to add 85 MW during the same period.

While setting a 10th Plan target for total generation capacity addition at 41,110 MW [855 MW higher than 9th plan target], not only did planning commission economists overlooked a crucial fact that during past two five year plans we could only add 53.8% and 47.5% of what we planned, they also seemed to have cast no glance at audit findings on NHPC reported in 1995 which showed in graphic details how the corporation had failed to pay adequate attention to geological risks.

So, the CAG audit report that got tabled recently reveals shortfalls in realizing capacity addition targets as well as in utilization of budgetary allocations. While NHPC utilized Rs 3998 crore against the Plan's revised outlay of Rs 6853 crore and still couldn’t add any capacity, NEEPCO saved its face by adding a meager 25 MW by spending Rs 692 crore against outlay of Rs 2509 crore. The reasons that it cites for these shortfalls range from delays in environment and forest clearances, delays in investment decisions, delays in signing MoUs/ MoAs with state governments, natural calamities, geological surprises, law and order problems [read: fierce resistance and protest from local communities].

Although a close scrutiny of audit findings show that much of these delays in clearances are of promoters’ own making, the blame is most often put on the affected communities and environmental organizations. CAG audit finding stated, “time taken for two stage clearances of the four ongoing projects of NHPC [Lower Subansiri in Assam, Teesta V in Sikkim, Teesta Lower Dam Project III and IV in West Bengal] ranged between 37 months and 63 months. Scrutiny revealed that the delays occurred as NHPC submitted incomplete proposal forms, delay in examination of proposals by clearance authorities, raising of multiple set of queries in phases by different project clearance authorities and Management’s delay in submission of compliance report to MoEF for final forest clearance”. Similarly on eight projects of NEPCO it said, “time taken for two stage clearance of the two ongoing projects ranged from 46 to 68 months”. On Tuirial, CAG audit noted, “the delay was mainly due to delay in receipt of 2nd Stage forest Clearance from MoEF”.

Talking about geological surprises, CAG stated that since NHPC had executed 11 hydroelectric projects in Himalayan region facing frequent geological adversities, it should have maintained a database compiling experiences gathered in course of execution of projects. However, there was no such database and audit scrutiny revealed that NHPC continued to overlook geological concerns with criminal impunity. CAG stated, “It was observed that actual expenditure [Rs 38.48 crore] on Survey & Investigation fell short of approved cost [Rs 62.56 crore]. In case of lot-3 and lot-4 in Teesta-V more than 90 per cent of time extension (495 days and 1029 days respectively) was due to geological surprises. The magnitude of geological delays was due to either deficiency in S&I at Detailed Project Report [DPR] stage or relaxation of condition stipulated in the DPR during execution. In case of Lot 4 work, in terms of the DPR, the HRT was anticipated to have a length of 35 per cent poor to very poor rock. Actually more than 90 per cent of the length had poor to very poor rock indicating inadequate S&I.”

In the case of Subansiri Lower audit finding documented how NHPC failed to pay heed to instructions by geology experts.  Subansiri Lower faced landslide at Surge Shaft in August 2005 due to non-implementation of recommendations conveyed in April 2005 by geologist. The Management stated that the contractor did not attend to the recommendations of the geologist despite communication from time to time. For this breach of instructions, NHPC did not impose any penalty; rather it paid an amount of Rs.1.99 crore towards claims of the contractor for idling of resources due to landslides and short settlement of claim by insurance company. Subsequently, there were further landslides at the powerhouse of the project in January 2008. This was attributable to non-implementation of support measures suggested in January 2007 by Design Division, non-availability of data on rock movements due to lack of proper calibration of the installed instruments and non-installation of survey targets and slope movement monitoring instruments.

One also wonders shouldn’t this audit finding remind CAG auditors of an earlier audit report on Manipur which looked at Loktak Hydroelectric project where in it was stated, “Geological investigations of the tunnel area were conducted by the Geological Survey of India in 1957-’60 and again in 1966-’67. During these investigations, six holes were drilled near the inlet portal of the tunnel and surge shaft site near the outlet end of the tunnel leaving the rest of the alignment unexplored. Nevertheless, the geological reports stated that rock conditions for tunneling were not likely to be ideal and that, in fact, these would be quite poor both at the inlet and outlet ends. It was specifically stated that tunneling will be hazardous involving heavy overbreaks in weak zones. It was also suggested that a few more holes should be drilled in this area before tunneling was undertaken, which, however, was not done. No more holes were drilled and the holes already drilled were also not pressure tested.  In a note (prepared by the GSI) appended to the addition special conditions of the contract with ‘P’, it was stated, the construction of the project was taken up in 1970 without any further investigations.”

Similar was the case with NEEPCO. Detailed investigations before starting boring work of HRT were not carried out in Kameng HEP. Consequently, geological surprises like shear zone, thrust zone, entrapped water, gas and loose muck in the area of HRT were encountered during construction which resulted in deviation in quantities and increase in the value of works executed from Rs.31 lakh to Rs.1.28 crore. On the basis of inadequate geological data, the penstock5 was envisaged to be fully underground with inclined shaft at two stages. Construction of Adit-VI, taken up in January 2005, was frequently hindered by a series of heavy and continuous rock fall, chimney formation and heavy ingress of water at different points. On the basis of further geological study and also considering the inability of the contractor to excavate shafts and tunnels successfully, it was decided in May 2005 to convert the underground penstock to surface penstock leading to escalation in costs.

Further audit scrutiny on environmental management revealed that Catchment Area Treatment (CAT) Plan essential to check upstream soil erosion, forest degradation and to meet the basic needs of the people was not implemented (June 2008) in TLDP-III due to dispute with State Government over fund requirement. Work on Catchment Area Treatment (1,663 hectare) in Subansiri Lower Project scheduled to be completed in three years from July, 2003 had not been taken up by the State Forest Department in spite of the issue being brought to the notice of MoEF. In Teesta-V, site for muck disposal as stated in the contract agreement could not be fully acquired by the Management. The quantity of disposable muck was also not assessed realistically. This led to unauthorised dumping of muck on the left bank of river at dam site and encroachment on river-bed for which forest department demanded (November 2002) Rs.15 crore as compensation for environmental loss. It was also observed in TLDP-IV that scattered dumping beyond designated areas caused riverbed pollution.

The audit scrutiny revealed that NHPC and NEEPCO cut corners during Survey and Investigation stage, overlook geological risks, don’t take up Catchment Area Treatment with rigour, and don’t pay Net Present Value on forestland diverted on time. So, violations galore and yet the prescription is expedite, fast track the clearances!

The said audit report clearly points out at how two public sector giants have failed to even properly assess geological risks and environmental impacts of hydropower projects. One can very well imagine that performance of relatively new private sector developer can only be worse. Its high time that rather than putting hydropower development on fast track and going for an MoU spree North Eastern states take a realistic look at what plagues the ongoing projects and start undoing some harm already inflicted on ecosystem by those.

Also CAG needs to realize that its role is not simply limited to auditing whether the expenditure was as per financial norms. It also has a constitutional duty to check whether the environmental governance norms have been upheld. While some other audit reports by CAG appears to have integrated ecological concerns well [e.g. a performance audit report on environment management by Mumbai Port Trust, a performance audit of implementation of Forest Conservation Act in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka etc], some others such as its performance audit on Gerusoppa dam in Karnataka, and a recently leaked audit report on Commonwealth Games also show that CAG hasn’t sufficiently ecologised itself as yet. Will an environmentalist on Audit Advisory Board take note of this?

(Author has been writing on public finance, accountability and audit issues. He has tracked several CAG audit reports on development projects and has passionately argued that CAG needs to integrate ecological concerns).

He works with Environics Trust, New Delhi and can be contacted on himanshugreen@gmail.com

 

AEKCCSWA conference held

ITANAGAR, Sep 06: All East Kameng Capital Complex Students Welfare Association (AEKCCSWA) organized its fresher meet cum XI general conference at Naharlagun on September 05. Manju Sanghi and Yashang Para have been adjudged as Mr and Miss fresher 2009

Meanwhile, Wamo Dawe and Demo Chari have been selected as president and general secretary of the association.

 

Lower Subansiri, Kurung Kumey win

NAHARLAGUN, Sep 6: Lower Subansiri and Kurung Kumey won their league level matches played against Capital Complex and Lohit respectively at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here today.

Kurung Kumey beat Lohit in penalty shot out by a margin of 5-4 goals after the match was tied 1-1 in regulated time.

Earlier, Lower Subansiri defeated Capital Complex 4-2. T Gumte, Koj Chotu, Mihin Pullo and  Tai Tarak were the scorer for Lower Subansiri while Tame Tagun and Tayin Abo scored a goal apiece for Capital Complex, according to organizing committee release.

 

 

 

 

PPA names J T Takam & Bote Yuto for polls

ITANAGAR: Jotam Toko Takam, a former minister who joined the People’s Party of Arunachal would stand as its official candidate from Yachuli Assembly Constituency.

On the other hand Bote Yuto, an advocate would try his luck from Menchuka-Monigaon constituency. The state is going to the polls on Oct 13 to elect sixty members to constitute the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

 

City police arrest two

ITANAGAR: Itanagar Police has arrested Jamru Tallang, 20, s/o late Jamru Taniya of Horung village near Chambang under Sangram police station, and Dake Tai, 22, s/o Dake Kame, of Namte village under Sangram PS on Saturday evening in connection with Itanagar PS case No 146/09 u/s 302/32 IPC involving the attack of one Koj Gambo, who had succumbed to the attack injuries.

Gambo, 25, of Dutta village, Ziro, was returning with a friend on a bike from Naharlagun on the evening of August 20 last when they were attacked.

IO SI Tumki Loya solved the case.

 

Awareness camp

ITANAGAR: National Youth Project, Aruncahal Pradesh is organising Eco water literacy campaign in all the 16 districts of the state. The programme is being sponsored by Rastriya Vigyan Evam Prodyogiki Sansar Parishad, Department of Science and technology, government of India on behalf of State Council for Science and Technology.

 

BJP appointments

ITANAGAR: Sotai Kri, veteran BJP leader would function as Elections-in-charge of the Bharatiya Janata Party, for Anjaw, Changlang, Dibang Valley, Lohit, Lower Dibang Valley and Tirap.

Meanwhile Songthing has been appointed as President of Tirap District BJP Unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Readers’ Forum)

 

 

 

 

Visit ICTC to know more about AIDS

Madam,

Everybody may or may not be aware of the dreaded disease HIV/AIDS. But it is very easy to know the correct and proper information on AIDS/AIDS by visiting the nearest Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (ICTC) in your location.

ICTC was first established in 2002 in our state, the number of ICTC have been increased during 2004 and 2006 and established at every district hospital and community health centre level to provide service facility at the door step of the people. The counsellor at each ICTC highlights the treatment procedures to the needy people.

Being a part of the fighting the dreaded disease, I appeal each and every one to visit the ICTC  for better information on the same and  get their blood sample tested for HIV/AIDS free of cost. If the client is found to be positive then there is a team of doctors headed by the senior medicine specialist, who is also in-charge of Antiretroviral treatment Centre at General Hospital, Naharlagun to manage the Opportunistic Infections (OIs) of the patients. You may be aware of the present HIV/AIDS scenario of our state that the figure of the HIV/AIDS infected people touches 145.

Remember, knowledge about the HIV/AIDS is the only biggest weapon to fight against and stop spreading of the dreaded disease in future as HIV/AIDS is not curable but preventable.  One may also dial toll free number 1097 to know about the dreaded disease.

Yours,

Ani Taloh

Counsellor, ICTC

Ruksin CHC, East Siang

 

 

 

 

Vote for healthy democracy

Madam,

Arunachal Pradesh is one of the developing states in India, the need of the hour is to develop proper infrastructure in the sectors like road communication, health care, education, tourism and mineral development and best use of available resources to enhance the revenue earning. The water is one of the main resources and many MoU/MoA are being signed to convert this water resource into hydro power.  Arunachal is also dubbed as power house of India. But many aspirations are yet to be fulfilled by the people’s representatives.

The most important thing  that we have  failed to keep in mind is the  the slogan of Mahatma Gandhi – “Live and let live” which turns today into “live and let die”, as a result  the  society divided into two classes -- rich and poor  which is very unfortunate in the largest democracy of the world.

The people having the wealth are mostly involved in politics and becoming crore pati. On the other hand, people are expecting more cash or kinds during the election, may it be Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha or Panchayati Raj Election and the candidates are also compelled to fulfill the aspirations of the people to win the election. Therefore, it is not wrong on the part of the elected representatives to engage themselves in reimbursement of their expended cash or kind during election. But the ultimate sufferers are the people not the representatives.

Therefore, I request the voters to select and choose the best leaders who can bring all round development and not to accept money.

I also request the elected representatives to stop day dreaming of becoming crore pati after election, avoid false promises and luring voters with money power.

Yours,

Nabam Tagam,

Tago Pai Camdir, Naharlagun

 

 

 

 

 

Time to raise matters of public importance

Madam,

This has reference to recent trends among the people of the  state and so more particularly a section of media advisors/authors who owe allegiances to certain political institutions that the pages/columns of the readers forum in the dailies of the state are hijacked by such writers who like to eulogize/reap honours to their ‘masters’ in such columns and also sometimes such pages are covered with matters containing allegations/counter allegations to a sections of Govt officials, as such, the very purposes of having such columns in papers are being shown to be defeated through such actions, which could have been a platform to the general public to raise their common grievances, matters of public importance’s etc.

As a regular reader of your paper, it pains me to see that actions such are gaining momentum and therefore such practices should be discouraged by the media. The pages should contain such matters of general importances and not to eulogize a few political masters in lieu of something … and as such the same needs to be stopped.

Yours,

Dani Belo,

Naharlagun

September - 07

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