April 14

16 injured in Arunachal as massive earthquake hit Northeast, Myanmar
ITANAGAR, Apr 13: Sixteen people are reported injured in Arunachal after a massive earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale struck Myanmar, with major tremors in Eastern India and China.
All the cases of injury, mostly because of panic run, are reported from the state capital. Altogether, three injured were taken to Tomo Riba state hospital, seven to RKM Hospital, two in Heema hospital and four in Niba clinic, according to an official source. One injured have been brought from Kimin who is currently admitted in the state hospital.
Most of the injured were later discharged after first aid.
In Lower Subansiri, boundary wall of Power department is reported to be damaged. However there are no immediate details. Reports are yet to be received from Kra-Daadi, Kurung Kumey and Dibang Valley, according to govt sources.
The Chief Minister visited the injured in Tomo Riba State Hospital this evening.
Capital DC Sandeep Kumar Singh said that the administration is in touch with National Disaster Response Force. The administration has also constituted teams led by EACs to monitor the situation.
The DC who visited vulnerable areas in Itanagar said that so far there no reports of damages to buildings but a clearer picture will emerge in the morning.
The tremors were so massive that people ran out of their homes and vehicular movement stopped in a busy road outside the office of this daily.
The Chief Minister's office said that it is closely monitoring the situation. At the time of going to the press, the Department of Disaster Management were getting reports from all districts. No loss of life and no major damages to property have been reported till now.
The chief minister along with the disaster management officials and personnel are closely monitoring the situation and the National Disaster Response Force has been alerted, added the report.
The chief minister is also in touch with the ministry of home affairs.
Meanwhile, Operations Head at the National Centre for Seismology JL Gautam said that "the epicenter was in Myanmar, some 100 km off the India-Myanmar border.  Since the quake occurred at a depth of 134 km, the impact could be felt at a large distance".   

Small time contractors suffers as state reels under financial crisis
Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Apr 13: It’s festive time but small time contractors of state along with section of government employees are facing harrowing time due to non-payment of bills and salaries. Even though state government claims to be in sound financial condition but fact of the matter is that they have failed to pay salaries and bills.
After Commissioner Finance wrote a letter to Assistant General Manager (AGM), State Bank of India, Itanagar to clear only salary bills and that no government cheque should be entertained by bank, the situation has turned grim. The worst affected are petty and small time contractors. “Influential contractors which include supporters of ministers, MLAs and their family members have already withdrawn money. In the last week of March, crores of money has been withdrawn leading to overdraft situation. After emptying the state exchequer, government has put a ban on government transaction at SBI,” shared a contractor.
Further he added, “We took money from private lender at high interest rate and made the investment. Now for no fault of ours, we are being punished. Chief Minister Kalikho Pul came to power with promise of better financial management. But situation is still the same and poor continue to suffer.”
Sections of government employees including the teachers working under SSA are also yet to receive their salaries. The delay in payment of salaries has made life miserable for the government employees. What is more worrying is that apart from issuing press release claiming that financial position is sound, the state government has not given any concrete assurance to aggrieved contractors about lifting of ban on government transaction.
Meanwhile, the All Arunachal Contractor’s welfare Association (AACWA) has expressed surprise over complete silence of Governor JP Rajkhowa regarding non-clearance of bills to the genuine contractors. ACCAWA has been pressing for withdrawal of govt order banning acceptance of government cheque in the State Bank of India due to overdraft situation. Usually very active, Governor JP Rajkhowa has been maintaining stoic silence over this issue.
“Genuine contractors are not getting payments from bank even after receiving cheques from government department against their bills. Many bills are pending in various treasury offices. Earlier, our Governor was very active passing instruction to state govt. for regular fund flow and regular payments to genuine contractors.  Civil society expects governor of Arunachal Pradesh to guide the state to the right track. He should ask state government to look after public interest,” AACWA stated in a release.  Association also called upon Governor to immediately intervene and ensure lifting of notification issued by the Commissioner, Finance.

Org alleges police brutality, police denies
ITANAGAR, Apr 13:   In a Anti Corruption and Crime Control Committee.Org of Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday alleged that one Tana Tado and Tana Rasso were mercilessly beaten by Nirjuli Police led by SI P Nobin Jomoh without any valid reason and commission of crime. The organisation went on to claim based on statement made by victims, they were mercilessly beaten by police team inside the jail on April 9th 2016 when police was called to intervene after a scuffle broke out over land dispute. It also claimed that SI Jomoh had physically harmed the victim after dragging them to lock up without any FIR.  Alleging police brutality, the organisation has demanded for immediate termination of SI Jomoh from the Police Department.
Meanwhile, when contacted SI P Nobin Jomoh refuted the allegation terming it baseless with no iota of truth. SI Jomoh added a non NFR case had been registered with case no.  08/16(P-I) U/S 151/107/  CrPC with Nirjuli Police Station on  April 9  after an FIR was filed by one Tana Parbati W/O Tana Niya alleging that a group led by Tana Tado and Tana Rassa were damaging her piggery at Nrijuli Village. He further clarified that police team had to intervene at the spot when Tana Tado and Tana Rasso were physically charging the lady with local Dao.
“We didn’t beat them mercilessly rather we used minimum force to control scuffle at the spot” clarified SI Jomoh.  He added that group was fighting amongst themselves when the police team arrived and a lady was being beaten up by said accused.  “In front of us, lady was brutally beaten. Should we silently watch the violence unfolding or take on law defaulters” Jomoh questioned.
In case summary, the Nirjuli Police claimed two local daos were seized during the incident and the arrest was made to prevent them from resorting to further violence. It further added that all accused were medically examined in Tomo Riba State Hospital Naharlagun wherein medical officer concluded that accused are fit to be kept in custody.

Let safety and convenience be priority: Isha
PASIGHAT, Apr 13: “The safety and convenience of the passenger should be the priority of all transporters”, said Isha Khosla, DC, East Siang. She was addressing the public and private transporters and counter owners in the DC’s conference hall on Wednesday.
The DC discouraged plying of the vehicle to and fro on the same day to Itanagar or any other destination. In a rush to meet the schedule, drivers over speed putting the life of the passengers at risk. In fact many wingers have met with accidents in Assam recently, she informed.
She also appealed them to reschedule their timing so that passengers to places like Yingkiong are not left stranded after reaching their stations.
The DC also urged all to maintain an equal and common rate in hire charges. Exorbitant rates not only cause inconvenience but also discourage hiring of local vehicles and hampers business. She said that new rates will be fixed within a couple of months with consultation with the transporters, till then she appealed them to maintain the rates fixed earlier.   
She also assured to take up the problems associated with her Assam counterpart so that the transporters can carry out their businesses smoothly.
President (AAPPTF) East Siang, Tabiram Moyong, President, Maxicab Union, Tanadong Taggu and other members also spoke on the occasion. They assured to extend their co-operation to the administration.
After the discussion, it was resolved that  making second trip by same vehicle on same day in between Pasighat to Itanagar will be stopped, lighting system and yellow hood will be introduced in phase manner for auto rickshaws. Timing of Sumo to Yinkgkiong will remain same till the Trans-Highway works are going on. DIPRO

Sangken, Longte, Gumkum Gumpa greetings
ITANAGAR, Apr 13: Governor of Arunachal Pradesh JP Rajkhowa has conveyed his warm greetings to the people of the state on the auspicious occasions of Sangken and Gumkum Gumpa. He expressed hope that the sacred traditions and the festivity associated with these festivals will herald a happy and prosperous year ahead. In his festival message, he wished that this festival of the Khampti and Singpho brethrens will bind one and all in fraternal love, goodwill and affection.
The Governor also conveyed his greetings on the joyous occasion of Gumkum Gumpa and Longte festival which is on Apr 15. Stating that Arunachal Pradesh is a mosaic made up of several tribes, he hoped that the festivals promote healthy environment for peaceful co-existence amongst various tribes of the state for progress and prosperity.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister, Kalikho Pul also wished people of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam on the auspicious occasion of Rongali Bihu. In his message, Pul said that the festival of Rongali Bihu or the Bohag Bihu is an ideal time to leave the past behind and start afresh with new mindset.
He further expressed hope that this year’s Rongali Bihu celebrations would further strengthen the age-old relationships of love, harmony and cooperation that exist among the people of Assam and Arunachal. Pul also extended warm greetings of Sangken and Baisakhi to the people of the state. (PRO to Governor, CM)

Door to door garbage collection by May 1
ITANAGAR, Apr 13: The UD & Housing Department has directed all the divisions to collect garbage from door to door from May 1. The decision was taken in a review meeting conducted on Wednesday at UD Conference Hall under the chairmanship of Commissioner Belatee Pertin.
It was decided that labourers (safai karmacharies) will be given health hazard incentives.
It was also decided to complete all schemes/projects on time with regular monitoring done in field level. All the divisions were also directed to submit monthly progress and quarterly reports regularly to update their activities. All the DUDAs were also directed to conduct Audit Report through empanelled Chartered Accountants.
Commissioner (UD) Pertin called on all the Divisional Officers to work hard and dedicatedly as the urban towns of the State requires basic amenities.
Earlier, Chief Engineer-cum-Director (UD&H) highlighted the aims of the review meeting.
Deputy Directors of all UD Divisions attended the meeting.

Cleanliness drive in Pasighat
PASIGHAT, Apr 13: Taking forward Swachh Bharat Mission as a source reduction of Dengue, Pasighat Municipal Council (PMC) carried out a massive cleanliness drive in the township on Monday. Initiated by the PMC Municipal Executive Officer Rahul Singh, all the colonies and roadside dustbins were thoroughly cleaned by the sanitary staffs of PMC. The whole exercise was supervised by Singh to ensure reduction of sources of vector breeding sites.
Singh exhorted all the citizens to keep their surrounding neat and clean. He informed that mosquito breeds in water tanks, utensils and also in the rainwater trapped in rooftops, tyres etc largely within house premises. He asked citizens to use Municipal dustbins.
Earlier in the morning, Singh held a coordination meeting in his office chamber with the DMO and medical officer to have first hand information on source reduction and preventive measures of Dengue being taken up by the health department.
DMO Dr. M Perme and Microbiologist Dr. B Apum presented the detailed report of last year. The duo opined that upcoming days are unpredictable but the health department is gearing up to tackle any odd situation. After threadbare discussion, Singh advised the health officials to destroy all breeding grounds with a suitable long-term plan on source reduction and assured to extend fullest cooperation from PMC. He also advised them to constitute teams comprising medical officers, councilors and health workers to conduct house-to-house survey spreading awareness. (DIPRO)

Gram Uday se Bharat Uday to be launched
PASIGHAT, Apr 13: East Siang district administration is all set to launch ‘Gram Uday se Bharat Uday’ on April 14 at Panchayat level, spreading the message of harmony, welfare programmes and planning and powers given to panchayats etc. to let the people know about the initiatives of the Centre.
The eleven-day celebration would culminate in the special gram sabha meetings on April 24, which would be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video conferencing.
Giving orientation to the officers and PRI leaders in this regard in a review meeting held in Siang Hall on Wednesday, East Siang Deputy Commissioner Isha Khosla said that Gram Uday se Bharat Uday would formally start on the occasion of 125th birth anniversary of Dr. BR Ambedkar.
As per the initiative of the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj (GoI), the campaign is being implemented to promote social harmony, strengthening Panchayat Raj System and also to increase people’s participation in development schemes for villages, farmers’ welfare and Gram Panchayats. Special attention would be paid to beneficiary-oriented schemes, agriculture action plan, education, health and hygiene, women empowerment etc. including local requirements under the campaign, added the DC.
ZPC Kaling Dai, PRI leaders, ADCs of Mebo and Ruksin, general administration officers and Head of Offices attended the review meeting. DIPRO

Keep hospital premises clean Councillor
ITANAGAR, Apr 13: IMC Councillor of Ward No 5, Taba Yall Nabam has appealed all to keep the surroundings of RK Mission Hospital, Itanagar clean. The Councillor also installed a sign board in front of the hospital gate on Wednesday and appealed to the people not to litter the area.
Stating that it is the only hospital where people of the state and neighbouring Demaji, Lakhimpur and Gophour of Assam avail treatment at a nominal cost, the Councillor appealed to all to cooperate with the IMC in keeping the hospital premises clean.

RGU conducts talk on prospects of social work education
ITANAGAR, Apr 13:  The Department of Social Work, Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) organized a talk on prospects of social work education in Arunachal Pradesh by Visva Bharati University, West Bengal, Head, Department of Social Work, Prof. P K Ghosh at RGU Doimukh on Wednesday.   
While addressing the students, Prof. Ghosh discussed in detail about the prospects and challenges of Social Work Education in North East region particularly in Arunachal Pradesh. He spoke at length on his experiences of village reconstruction and professionalizing social work in India. In the context of village reconstruction and social entrepreneurship he emphasized on theory driven practice and thereby building a sustainable development initiative on the patterns of his initiatives of ‘Amar Kutir’ in West Bengal. He further expressed hope that the newly established Department of Social Work of RGU will closely work with government institutions, NGOs and local communities to build a progressive and self sustaining society in Arunachal Pradesh.

Bihu in the Neighbourhood
[ S Sumnyan ]
“You can change friends but not neighbours." – Former Prime Minister Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee once said referring to India's difficult neighbour Pakistan. For decades, people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have been living as good neighbours; and shall continue to do so. In fact, they are inseparable. Geographically speaking, Assam depicts the body and the soul; whereas Arunachal Pradesh truly signifies the life and expression. And whereas the mighty rivers flowing over the endless fertile plains of Assam originate in Arunachal Pradesh, the roots of all livelihoods revolve around the fertile plains of Assam. People of Assam contributed immensely in the growth of Arunachal Pradesh since the time immemorial and most significantly from the days of NEFA. Traditionally, the simple living people of Arunachal Pradesh had to fall back on people of Assam for everything including ration commodity, construction materials, basic health services and most importantly basic elementary education. The people of Arunachal Pradesh can never forget and ignore the initial contribution of Assam and its people. Sadly however, the fact of such a sweet relationship and mutual admiration appeared to have diminished among the populace who were born after 1970. They wouldn’t know how important had been the people of Assam in inspiring the primitive looking tribes of Arunachal Pradesh towards their journey to elementary education and road to modernity. Majority of school teachers in Arunachal Pradesh in early Seventies were Assamese then. I remember many Assamese teachers who taught in my village school in Tirap district. The world over famed Assamese culture and Bihu songs had a tremendous impact on the students and villagers alike. As class one student (Assamese medium) in village school, we used to sing an Assamese line (song) in full throttle composed by an Assamese teacher. It goes like this- ‘Ohhhh Khonsa nagar puhoror electri, puhoror electri, puhoror Khonsa nagar puhoror, eeeee!’ Lighting up government quarters and neighbourhood of the town with electricity was unthinkable in those days. Electricity supplied from a diesel generator displayed one of magical and spectacle sights to the beholders. Local villagers and students could be seen curiously waiting on chosen hillocks to have initial glimpses of glowing electric bulbs in the faraway town from a distance. Khonsa town per say, was a small hamlet in late Sixties. In the name of development, a middle school, a hospital, a post office and an administrative office existed then. A dusty road built on self help basis by the villagers connected the town to the nearest town in Assam at Naharkatia. A few Willy’s jeeps belonging to the administration used to ply on the dusty roads that attracted the curious eyes of the villagers. The first ever vehicle that came from Assam was a red colour tractor with a rumbling trailer. In the midst of huge dusts generated on the kachcha (earthen) road, the event attracted amusingly terrified onlookers. In absence of modern gadgets like mobile phones and other electronic communications as in the present era, postal service used to be the most sought after for communication through letters. The inference of joy, serenity and affectionate contentment derived through such letters may not be relevant in the present era of fast-foods and instant text-messages. Modernity and economic liberalization was yet to show its face in truest sense then. The life in the North-Eastern corners of the country (India) was in the process of awakening from a deep slumber. The fact that the first generation children of tribal society of the region had only began to go to school in early Seventies speaks volumes about the education scenario in that part of the world. The ambience was truly covered with endless greenery with genuine virginity and purity all around. Modern day’s crimes, selfishness, immoral tussle; stressful and demanding life was yet to knock the veins of society in the tribal region. In that scenario, there was nothing much to cite in the name of today’s modern development. But there was peace and tranquillity in abundance. It is so very difficult to imagine such a period had ever existed unlike modern days, infested with innumerable negativities. Late Dr Bhupen Hazarika, a multifaceted genius, continues to be a big hit in the lips and minds of Arunachalees. His songs and movies have been inspiring everyone including remote villagers of Arunachal Pradesh. The iconic figure shall continue to inspire one and all in times to come. For Arunachalees, Assam’s rich culture and “Bihu Geet” are synonymous with Dr Bhupen Hazarika. His legacy stands out prominently in the crowd of North-Eastern India and humanity at large. ‘Bihu’ by its very nomenclature, symbolizes joy and happiness. The very rhythm of ‘Bihu’ excites even the baby in the mother’s womb to tap his/her tender feet on song in tune with the beats of drums. In short, ‘Bihu’ can be described with following lines: ‘Bihu’ is God-sent rhythm of life Rhythm of Nature’s music and dance Rhythm of joy at its ecstasy Cry of endless joy at its peak Sound of enchanting hearts at its best Hug of lovers (warmth) at its zenith; And in all of that, bliss meets the sky. ‘Bihu’ is Godly rhythm of life In tune with beats of Mother Nature That which excites life on Seventh Heaven, In the neighbourhood filled with seamless melody; And in all of that, each soul and heart reverberates for more. Come Bihu, all hearts on song Come Bihu, all souls on spurt Come Bihu, all on merry making in witness of Mother Nature Come Bihu, I bet, you’ll be tempted to be a part of it; And in all of that, love and joy fills the air amidst mountains and rivers. Who doesn’t want a better life? Who doesn’t want development? Who doesn’t dream? “Expansion is life; contraction is death” Said patriot monk Swamy Vivekananda. However, peace, tranquility and smart social order are immensely important to expedite development of the region. Dreams need to be translated in to reality for benefits of society at large. While Bihu is being celebrated in every nook and corner, introspection of our past should lead towards innovation in our thinking process for better life of our peoples. Sincere efforts must be in place to catch up with peoples of advance states. Why would the slogan- “Roti(food), Kapdra(cloth) and Makan(house) for all” elude us by confining it in the termite-bitten pages of bureaucratic files? While we needed food for all; we had the chance to raise three annual crops in the fertile land of Brahmaputra basin (Assam) and foothills of Arunachal. For all kinds of fruits and Himalayan medicines, virgin hills of Arunachal had the potential. While we needed power for industries; we had the chance to tap huge hydro power potential of Arunachal Pradesh. But Alas! Even after 65 years of independence huge populous remain under BPL. Though we had the answers; we regrettably had missed the bus. We had abundant natural minerals but failed to exploit it. In spite of traditionally rich culture surrounded by heavenly beauty of nature, the region failed to attract global tourism. In a sense we had it all but failed to reap the fruits. Nevertheless, better late than never; let our sincere introspection spurts renewed energy among the masses for ourselves and posterity. In relevance, let me sign off by citing a Hindi Doha of Sant Kabir with English explanations- “Kasturi Kundal Base Mrug Dhoondhe Ban Maahi Jyo Ghat Ghat Ram Hai Duniya Dekhe Nahi” (A deer has the fragrance in itself and runs throughout the forest for finding it. Similarly, Ram is everywhere but the world does not see). (The contributor of article is also the author of English novel- ‘Love in Silence’ and can be reached at [email protected])

Ziro tourist assaulters nabbed  
ZIRO, Apr 13: All the seven perpetrators of Pechi Putu incident of April 10 night, where three tourists were assaulted have been nabbed by the Lower Subansiri Police.
The alleged accused are Dusu Taling, Nending Rajen, Hage Pada, Gyati Kani, Gyati Padi, Kuru Obing and Michi Takung. Two motor cycles with registration numbers AR 06 7238, AR 06 8923 and a Scooty AR 06 7045 used during the incident were also seized by the police. DIPRO

Fine imposed
ITANAGAR, Apr 13:  The Arunachal Pradesh State Information Commission has imposed penalty of Rs. 25,000 under section of 20(1) RTI Act 2005 on PIO-cum-Deputy Director of School Education, Koloriang for defying the order of the Commission in connection with the appeal case no. APIC-177/2015.
The information was sought by Biki Magmi. The Commission has directed the PIO-cum-Deputy Director of School Education, Koloriang to deposit the amount in favour of AG Itanagar through treasury Challan.

East Siang set to link Aadhaar to Ration Cards
PASIGHAT, Apr 13: East Siang district is set to delete bogus ration cards by linking it to Aadhaar cards with the deadline of April 20.
East Siang Deputy Commissioner Isha Khosla informed this in a meeting with the ADCs, officers of General Administration and Food and Civil Supply officials at Siang Hall on Tuesday.   
The Food and Civil Supply Department is working out ways and means to complete the task before the deadline. The district has so far registered Aadhaar coverage of 70.77 percent (Antodoya Anna Yojana) and 74. 06 percent (Priority Household).   
DC Khosla stated that the DF&CS office is getting ready to increase the Aadhaar percentage and follow it up with ration card linkage and urged the APL/General Category Households to surrender their existing Ration Cards to the DF&CSO immediately to weed out bogus beneficiaries. DIPRO

Committee calls for road maintenance
ZIRO, Apr 13: Stating that bad road condition is resulting in accidents and becoming dangerous every passing day, the Kamporijo Circle Trans-Arunachal Highway Local Committee has requested the Lower Subansiri DC to maintain the road from Ziro to Bopi.
The committee said that the road stretch is in a dilapidated condition past many months while existing culverts have been damaged due to landslides during rains. It called for immediate attention and maintenance from the authority so that there are no road accidents.   

Ambedkar Jayanti
ITANAGAR, Apr 13:  Governor of Arunachal Pradesh JP Rajkhowa has greeted the people on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti. Paying rich tributes to the architect of India Constitution Bharat Ratna Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar on his 125th birth anniversary on Apr 14, the Governor said that Dr. Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb, was an eminent jurist, economist, politician and social reformer, who chaired the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly and was also the first Minister for Law and Justice of India.  As the Chairman of drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution, he was the key architect of the founding principles of Independent India.
The Governor recalled the sheer determination showed by Dr. Ambedkar as a social reformer and called upon the people of the state to uphold the values and spirit of the Indian Constitution for development, progress and prosperity of the society, state and nation. (PRO to Governor)

Hundreds attend FLC camp
ITANAGAR, Apr 13:  Over a 100 members of various Self Help Groups, Farmers’ Club and general public attended a two day-long financial literacy counselling camp (FLCC) jointly organized by the Apex Bank and     North East Multipurpose development Society (NEMDS), Naharlagun at Tawang and Jang.
During the NABARD sponsored camp which concluded on Tuesday, Apex Bank Branch Managers of Tawang and Jang along with NEMDS president Tapi Taku explained to the participants about the various benefits of GoI sponsored schemes like PMJDY, PMSBY, PMJJBY, APY, KCC SHG loan, government subsidy  schemes  and  encouraged all to avail them.





Gear up for monsoon fury

Even before monsoon sets in, few days of heavy rainfall have caused massive destruction across the state. In capital complex landslides have caused to the national highway. The roads have started to wear out in multiple stretches. Going by the present trend, it looks like capital road will not survive the onslaught of monsoon. Also recent rain has wreaked havoc in districts like Namsai, Changlang, Anjaw and Dibang Valley.

Heavy downpour has inundated low lying areas including number of agricultural fields in Namsai and Changlang district. All the major rivers are on spate. Though no loss of lives has been reported but damage has been done to government as well as private properties.  Multiple road blockades have been reported from Anjaw and Dibang Valley. Just few days of rain has caused so much devastation. Worrying the lengthy monsoon which usually hits Arunachal from May to till atleast August month is yet to arrive. Imagine what kind of destruction it might cause. One wonders whether state government is ready to face monsoon fury. All the administrative officers should find out vulnerable points in their respective areas. This will help them to be ready to tackle any situation. State government should provide contingency fund to the deputy commissioners and additional deputy commissioners to tackle monsoon related incident. On their part people of Arunachal should also maintain strict vigilance.








Readers’ Forum




Kudos to district administration for eviction drive

Dear Editor,

I on behalf of the Aalo Town Land Donors would like to express our heartfelt gratitude towards the Deputy Commissioner, West Siang District and his team for executing the long felt and much awaited implausible task of eviction drive within the Aalo Township. They truly deserve a round of appreciation; they should be rewarded for their administrative ability, powerful force of conviction with tremendous courage while undertaking eviction drive. I would really like to appreciate the effort put forth by District Administration, who found  time and made a stand to look out for most unabated chronic disease of Aalo which was the biggest stumbling block for beautification and development of the headquarter. At the same time, I feel that the people of Aalo would be more obliged and grateful to the District Administration if in the course of time they stand firm and not succumb to the very monster of nepotism and political pressure. And instead of rational approach, District Administration must not become the very tool of manipulation during the selection of the offender in the pursuit of the drive. The land measuring beyond the allotted area should be confiscated and repossessed for future public utility, and to mitigate the town congestion. Hopefully, Impartiality and zero tolerance will be maintained in dealing to all illegitimate land encroachers and its encroachments; even all the sector roads which have taken the toll of the road stretch must not be spared.

During 1952 to 1956, our forefathers of Panya, Pakam, Rigo, Bogdo  and Dego villages donated the entire Aalo town land for the establishment of district headquarter without receiving any favour in return from government except a certificate of acknowledgement by K.L. Mehta, the then Adviser to the Governor of Assam. But now, it is very regrettable to see the prevailing mismanagement of government land in our Aalo.

Erstwhile, some locations were named as; P.I.Colony-Lite, Sipu Colony-Relen, Donyi-Polo Dere to DC & SP Office area-Deyi, Aalo Landing Ground and Army Supply area-Bazu, General Hospital area- Riggo, Bahadur Hill area-(a)Lutak (b)Nyaben (c)Dego (d)Hob-Ittum (e)Masii (f)Lire

We have seen and apprised numerous Deputy Commissioners concerning the woes of the encroachments in the past but they never paid attention to our plight, instead kept on approving and allotting tacitly, undermining the sentiments of the land donors. Their dereliction and lackadaisical attitude towards the menace led to persistent cropping up of unauthorized structures. Apparently, the situation has reached the miserable point where there is no scope of hailing of fresh air, proper drainage system, proper sector road connectivity, piece of land for playgrounds, recreational parks etc. After encroaching upon government land, the demolitions and exploitation of government quarters are also going on at rampant pace and even public roads are not spared. In one or other pretext, public road have been diverted and is occupied by the nosy private individuals without reasonable ground. Most scandalously, Administration does not shy away in preparation of map. Inclination to backroom fixes has been rendered for so long, thereby grossly compromising the interest of general public.

We assure to extend our helping hands to administration for such initiative of eviction, whenever and wherever needed. We still don’t want any compensation for our land unlike dam & highway affected people,but we wish, it to be used for the developmental purpose for which it was gifted.


Remi Lollen

ASM, Bogdo-Panya

31st Aalo East




Kerala temple fire and the lessons we learn

Dear Editor,

The firework tragedy at the 500 - year - old Devi temple at Puttingal in the Kollam District of Kerala seems to be a wakeup call from the almighty for the humanity. The heartbreaking disaster left more than hundred dead and a large chunk severely wounded. Who should be held responsible for the catastrophe which was actually forewarned by many past incidents and even banned by the District Administration? It seems the impending elections in Kerala must have made the temple administration bold enough to violate the ban.  Firework tragedies are not new to Kerala. Way back in April 12, 1929; the same Puttingal Devi Temple had experienced its first fire tragedy, in fact the first in Kerala, by killing four people and leaving many injured. The biggest death toll in the past had been in the firework tragedy happened in the famous Sabarimala Temple in January14, 1952 and the mishap led to the death of about seventy innocent people.  A series of fire tragedies can be listed here to show how evident is the laxity of people with regard to their learning from the past experiences. Not only temples but Churches and Mosques in Kerala also organize firework displays on important occasions.

As part of their annual festivals, hundreds of temples in Kerala organize such events. I remember pretty well, as a child, the day of fireworks used to attract thousands of people to my village. People used to wait for a year for the event to happen and there used to be grand celebrations in various ways. As a child, never did I presume the danger behind it, the climatic pollution it causes and the unpredictable chances of devastation. What attracted the most was the colorful illumination in the air and the ear breaking sound. In the name of religion and faith we discover new ways of celebrating festivals every year. People become hysterical if questions are raised against such practices.

The crux of the matter is everybody; including the government authority, often gives no attention to the safety norms that are to be followed while organizing such firework displays. Rules are framed to be followed but nobody bothers to follow them. According to the safety norms set by the State Government, the safety of the celebrations is the responsibility of the organizers. If the gathering in the festivities is expected to exceed 15000 then the organizers must obtain permission from the local bodies. If the gathering is expected to exceed 25000 then they must obtain permission from the Circle Officer and if it exceeds 50000 then the permission must be obtained from the District Administration. The organizers must submit an Event Proposal Form to the authority, a committee should be formed to organize the event and a Festival Controller should be appointed. The organizers must have a Crisis Management Plan to meet any untoward incident and produce a list of articles to be used in the fireworks. The time of display with a detailed description of the firework storage place and a cite map should also be submitted to the authority. There should be separate parking spaces for ambulances and fire engines. The government authority must open a Police Control room and CCTVs must be installed in strategic locations. In case of the event being a large one, an Executive Magistrate should be appointed as Incident Commander.  

Despite a ban by the District Administration on the firework display, the temple authority went ahead violating all the norms and ignored the ban and conducted the event inviting a deadly disaster. The lives of people are more important than the events. The Malayalees across the state are now waiting for the world famous colorful Thrissur Pooram, a religious event conducted by two temple managements in the Thrissur District of Kerala. The event attracts lakhs of people from the state and even from abroad wherein the annual firework display will be the main event. Let us wait and watch what we learn from Puttingal.



VKV Sher


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