January  04



Food crisis in EK, union seeks intervention

ITANAGAR, Jan 3: All East Kameng Students Union (AEKSU) today sought Food Cooperation of India’s intervention to assuage the food crisis in the district.

It said that essential items under public distribution system are unavailable in the district fair price shops since last three months. The Union said that flow of essential items to the district have been disrupted after a case was filed against FCI authority by contractor M/s B.B Enterprise. It also condemned the FCI authority’s press statement in which it had claimed that foods grains are available in the state.


4 AR apprehend ULFA cadre

ITANAGAR, Jan 3: In a major breakthrough achieved against ULFA anti- talk group in Tinsukia district, 4 Assam Rifles operating under the aegis of 25 Sector Assam Rifles apprehended one Hemakant Changmai @ Jatin Khanikar, a hardcore ULFA cadre on December 31.

Based on information received from a reliable source about presence of an armed ULFA cadre in Tipong Collery area of Margherita sub Division, joint team of 4 Assam Rifles and Assam Police led by Maj Tarun Sawhney and Shiladitya Chetia, SDPO Margherita launched cordon and search operation in suspected area on the night of December 30. During house to house search, the ULFA cadre tried to escape by breaching cordon and was physically apprehended by Maj Tarun Sawhney.

An AK-81 Rifle, 162 rounds of ammunition, two live grenades and Rs. 43750 cash were seized from the ULFA cadre.

The search party exhibited remarkable constraint by not opening fire on the ULFA cadre despite his attempt to escape thereby sending a strong message to all misguided youths who are still acting as ULFA cadres that Armed Forces and Assam police are not on a killing spree and anyone who is willing to surrender is most welcome to come forward and lay down arms and join the national mainstream, said a press release from AR.

Investigations have revealed that even this cadre had escaped from ULFA camp in Myanmar on December 15,  2011 along with another accomplice named Vikash Dutta who was killed enroute by the chasing ULFA cadres in Myanmar. It highlights the fact that most ULFA cadres are working for the outfit only under the fear of gun in most inhumane conditions, the release further added.


APLS’s foundation day, title for Late Khandu

ITANAGAR, Jan 3: Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society (APLS) would confer the title of Karma Veer on former chief minister, late Dorjee Khandu in recognition of his unparallel endeavours to accelerate the development of this land-locked state.

The award would be conferred during the celebration of APLS’s 7th Foundation Day at State Jawaharlal Nehru complex here on January 8 next as decided in a meeting today under the chairmanship of its vice president Tage Tada.

Former chief minister’s son Prema Khandu, RWD and Tourism Minister is expected to receive the honour from Agriculture, Horticulture, and Animal Husbandry & Dairy Development Minister Setong Sena.

The maiden annual magazine of APLS – Prayas – would also be unveiled on the occasion.


ANYA hopes

ITANAGAR, Jan 3: All Nyishi Youth Association (ANYA) has hoped that with creation of ADC headquarter at Tali in Kurung Kumey, will see speedy development. It said that Tali still do not have road connectivity despite being the oldest circle.

Meanwhile ANYA has appealed to the entire group C and D employees and government officers of five Nyishi districts to stay in their respective places of postings. ANYA regretted that people of interior places are facing problems due to absenteeism of the Govt officials who are reportedly staying in the capital town.


Utpal Borpujari to be part of MIFF jury

ITANAGAR, Jan 3: The International Film Critics' Federation (FIPRESCI) has selected New Delhi-based Assamese film critic Utpal Borpujari as a member of the International Critics' Jury at the forthcoming Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF).

The other two members in the three-member jury will be Carlos Alberto Mattos from Brazil and Steffen Moestrup from Denmark.

MIFF is one of the world's largest festivals of documentaries, short fiction films and animation films. Organized by the Films Division of the Government of India, it will be held from February 3 to 9 this year.

Borpujari has earlier served in FIPRESCI juries at the Montreal World Film Festival, Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian Cinema-New Delhi, MAMI International Film Festival-Mumbai. He had also served as a member of the Indian Critics' Jury at the 2008 edition of MIFF.


Capital complex bandh on Jan 10

ITANAGAR, Jan 3: Having failed to get any response from the authority regarding its two-point demands, the Unemployed Arunachalee Engineers’ Association (UAEA) has called 12-hour capital complex bandh on January 10.

The association had staged a peaceful dharna near Raj Bhawan on December 27 to draw the attention of the Governor towards its demands, which included re-examination for the post of Assistant Engineer (Civil) and resignation of Chairman and Members of Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.


Dept blamed for death

ITANAGAR:  Blaming the Electrical Department for death of one Yabi Tarak, who allegedly was electrocuted at Tapi village under Maro circle in Upper Subansiri district on December 26 , Capital Complex Karga Ao Welfare Association (CCKAWA) today demanded compensation for the deceased’s family.  Association claimed death was due to gross negligence of electrical department of Daporijo Division as there is no caution sign board. Confirming the incident SP Daporijo informed that a case of unnatural death has been registered at Police Station Daporijo and the case is under investigation.


Yomgo River Festival

Aalo: West Siang is gearing up to celebrate Annual Yomgo River Festival from Jan 16-20 next.

Kabu village, as usual is taking up the construction of bamboo bridge connecting left bank of Yomgo river to vast island in the right bank which is the venue for the festival.

West Siang Deputy Commissioner Amjad Tak who is the chairman of the festival has formed various committees to share the responsibilities with help of line departments and general public of West Siang.


News Impact

2011-- A year of denial, glory and deprivation for sportspersons

M Doley

ITANAGAR, Jan 3: Started with whimper, it all ended on a cheerful note as the year gone by saw a mixed bag of denial, glory and deprivation for sportspersons of Arunachal Pradesh.

While national champion Yukar Sibi was denied a chance to travel to China for visa controversy two lady mountaineers were able to make a mark in adventure sports by climbing world’s highest mountain peak Mount Everest. On the other hand, it was heartbreak for the state archery boys’ team, who could not take part in the Olympic round team fight in Compound category at 34th Junior National Archery Championship held in Shillong due to non-availability of bows and arrows.

The issuance of stapled visas to Sibi and AWA president Abraham K Techi by Chinese embassy in New Delhi sparked strong protest in the state with All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union (AAPSU) burning effigies of Chinese Premier Hu Jintao. AAPSU also boycotted Chinese goods.

Sibi and Abraham were to participate in the Chinese IWF Weightlifting Grandprix slated for January 15 to 17.  

India does not consider staple visa as valid document to travel to China nor does it issue regular visa to Arunachalee people. This means Arunachalee players can never take part in any event that is organized in China.

As a big sporting nation, China hosts most of the world level sporting events in sports like karate, badminton, wushu, weightlifting etc. which are commonly played in Arunachal Pradesh.

However, icing on the cake came when Sibi created a new national record by lifting 151 kg in clean and jerk in the men's 62kg category at 63rd Men's and 26th Women's Senior National weightlifting championships held in Bangalore in March.

Representing India in the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship held at Cape Town in South Africa in October, the weightlifters’ trio of Sibi, Soram Hitlar Tagru and Takio Yana won a total 12 medals, including 5 gold and 7 silver, in their respective sections and weight categories.

In adventure sports, it was Tine Mena, who achieved the rare feat of becoming the first lady climber from North East to scale the most fearsome and highest mountain peak in the world. Three days after Mena scaled Mount Everest, another Arunachalee Anshu Jamsenpa conquered the peak. Jamsenpa, 35 and mother of two children also achieved the rare feat of becoming the first mountaineer to climb the peak twice in a span of 10 days in a single season.  In their best ever performance at any National Games, Arunachal won 11 medals in the 34th edition of the Games held in Jharkhand in February. Of the total medals, karatekas contributed four. Sibi, Tarh Tapak (ITBP), Likha Rajen (APP), Chunnu Sangno (APP) and Debia Yakap (APP) won a Bronze medal each.

Meanwhile, six karatekas--Tarh Tapak, Chunnu Sangno, Yomken Noshi, P Nobin Jamoh, Rei Yadi and Sumpi Chege have already qualified for the 35th National Games to be held in Kerala next year.

The year ended with a bang as the lifters of the state in their best ever performance notched up as many as 20 medals, including 6 gold, 7 silver and as many bronze in the season ending National Weightlifting Championships held at Nirjuli. The medal winners were, Takio Yana (3 Gold), Taba Kojum (3 Gold), Soram Hitler Tagru (3 Sil. 1 Br.), Sambu Lapang (1 Sil, 2 Br.) Menu Tajo (3 Br), Jimjang Deru (3 Sil.), Kipa Shaku (1 Br).

The event would be memorable not only for record medal haul by Arunachalee lifters but also for smooth organization.

“This was one of the best organized events in India ever,” declared Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

Another silver lining of the event was emergence of some promising weightlifters from the state. According to IWF, Arunachal would produce Olympians by 2016.

The state also hosted the 25th North East Games at Dirang, Bomdila and Rupa this year. The hosts finished runners up behind Manipur with a total medal haul of 115.

Arunachal Pradesh added another jewel in its cap when shuttler Laa Talar became (U-15) national sub-junior badminton champion.

Talar defeated Ansal Yadav of Uttar Pradesh in a straight match 21-18, 21-16 to clinch the title of the 25th National Sub-junior Badminton Championships conducted at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium New Delhi last month.

The girl archers of Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy (SLSA) comprising Genung Taksing, Maselo Mihu, Sorang Yumi and Ledi Loye won their maiden Gold medal in 34th Junior National Archery Championship held at Shillong in December, 2011. They won the medal in Olympic round team fight in Compound category. But, it was heartbreak for the Boys team as it could not take part in the Olympic round team fight in Compound category due to non-availability of bows and arrows. The directorate of sports and youth affairs had confessed that it has only four bows which was procured couple of months ago.

It is a million dollar question that how the Govt can construct the multi-purpose sports complex when it cannot provide few pairs of bows and arrows to the sportspersons (archers)?


AR’s CAP reach Vijaynagar

JAIRAMPUR, Jan 3: As part of it Civic Action Program, “Op Samaritan”, the 18 Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ 25 Sect Assam Rifles has distributed 53 Solar lanterns to 12 villages of Vijaynagar.

Daodi, Daragaon, Phaparbari, Gairigaon, Hazolu, Ramnagar, Budhamandir, Two Hut Topi Hill, Mazgaon, Chidudi, Gandhigram and Kona Villiges benefitted under the scheme.

Vijaynagar, the remotest circle of district Changlang has an approximate population of around 6000 but lacks basic amenities like electricity.  

This beautiful valley has one of the Coy of 18 Assam Rifles deployed to guard the borders. Post Commander 18 Assam Rifles Asst Commandent S K Jaswal distributed the Solar Lanterns in presence of all the Gaon Bura during a simple ceremony at Vijaynagar.   

 “18 Assam Rifles is committed to the welfare of people besides its main role of guarding our borders” said Col. Chauhan.


Training cum demonstration for SHGs

ITANAGAR, Jan 3: Ragi is one of the important food crops grown in Lower Dibang Valley district.

Farmers are at present getting lower yield because of local/ traditional varieties   grown under traditional method in the region as an intercrop with paddy. After realizing this field problem, KVK, Lower Dibang Valley, introduced  a new variety, KMR-204, procured  from Zonal  Agriculture  Research Station, VC Farm Mandya, Karnataka  to assess its suitability and performance under local agro-climatic conditions.

A field visit was organized to different farmers plots which revealed that the production performance of the variety was good indicating its high suitability for the region. But farmers have lack of awareness on diversified usage of farm produce. Hence  in this regard,  a  one day training programme  on January 3 was organized at Kebali village  on value addition in Ragi for  farmwomen  of SHG  by Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Lower Dibang Valley.

 Dr. C R Ravi Shankar, Professor, Genetics and Plant breeding and Head (Small Millets) participating as resource person stressed upon   role of Kodo in human nutrition, need for scientific cultivation and income generation avenues in the sector. Addition to this,   a  demonstration on  preparation of value added products was conducted  where  farm women  actively  involved in the preparation.

Dr.T J Ramesha, Programme Coordinator accompanied the scientist to the field and motivated farmers to open a retail market outlet at   urban areas to sell the value added products for earning hand some amount of money as well as to improve socio- economic status.

A total  of  12  farm women  actively participated  in the programme and expressed that the  training has been organized at appropriate season to gain knowledge on diversified utilization of farm produce.


Project cost overrun may result in increase in power tariff

Ranjit Sinha

ITANAGAR, Jan 3: A day after Chief Minister Nabam Tuki appealed to the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity to come to the negotiation table to discuss the issues concerning state Govts, the  Subansiri Lower HE project authorities today expressed serious concern over the un-ending agitation launched by KMSS in protest against the construction of 2000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydro Electric project.

KMSS started its agitation anew from Monday as part of their campaign to prevent the  construction of mega projects in Arunachal Pradesh.

The cost of the project now stands at Rs.10667.09 crores from its initial estimated cost of Rs 6285.33 crore. Rs.5400 crore (Aprox) has already been spent, Subansiri Lower project sources said.

Till date around 55 per cent of construction work of the project as a whole stands completed, sources said. 45 per cent of the concrete gravity dam with 116 meter height from river bed has already been completed. The project is having surface power house with eight units with a capacity of 250 MW each and 40 per cent of the power house work has been completed.

 Sources further said that the entire work of all the components of project has come to a standstill with effect from Dec 20 last after the agitation was launched by various pressure groups from Dec 16.  

Sources said there is a restriction of movement of vehicles carrying diesel, petrol, LPG, cement, steel, electrical equipments and other construction materials to the project site. As a result, the project is facing acute shortage of diesel, petrol and LPG. Moreover, the supply of water, electricity through DGs has been affected adversely causing inconvenience to the residents, it said adding around 6000 employees of NHPC and contractors are badly affected due to the movement launched by various pressure groups.

The action of agitators has created fear psychosis amongst transporters. Oil companies and petrol pump owners are also reluctant to restore diesel supply even for basic amenities, it added.

Sources further revealed that there shall be time and cost overrun resulting in increased cost of tariff due to the disruption in project works. On average, loss in terms of generation of electric power is approximately 4-5 crore per day.

Subansiri Lower Hydro Electric Project with its headquarters at Gerukamukh is India’s single largest hydropower development initiative. It is a run of river project being constructed by NHPC Limited.


MoP’s extra efforts to expedite projects in Arunachal

Itanagar, Jan 3: The Ministry of Power (MoP) has suggested that Arunachal Pradesh govt entitled to get about 12% free power from hydro electric project (HEP), as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) can sell upfront and generate funds to meet the equity requirements.

In light of the fact that the state does not have any surplus funds to provide for its shareholdings, ranging from 11% to 26% in bigger projects, the models of generating funds of equity were deliberated upon in the recently held Group of Officers (GoO) meeting.

During the course of the meeting, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh has stated that it needs only a part of the Rs 13,262 crore equity requirements over the next 3 to 4 years till the year 2015-16, claiming that thereafter it would generate adequate resources from the revenues generated by the commissioned HEPs to fund further equity requirements.

The representative from the Department of Expenditure supported the power ministry's views and added that this methodology may be initiated for 8 projects, for which the techno economic clearance has already been granted, instead of undertaking this for all projects at once.

Meanwhile, the Department of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has put forth that the Planning Commission examine the possibility of utilizing a portion of the ACP funds provided to the state of AP every year, 50% of which qualify as untied funds.

Agreeing that the construction of transmission lines should not precede the generation activities, the MoP has stated it would designate a focal point in the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), to look into the matter of transmission lines from Arunachal Pradesh, in a time-bound manner.

As a part of the power evacuation from HEPs, the CEA has reiterated the need to decide on a firm evacuation plan for all 132 projects in the state.

On the other hand to help the power developers, the Border Roads Organization (BRO) has been asked to expedite works on good double lane roads with 70 R specifications of bridges that are required for transport of construction material and machinery to the projects.

To ensure timely examination of DPRs, the CEA and MoP have been asked to examine the suggestion of the state government, relating to augmenting of staff to deal with the project reports in a time bound manner, and if required through temporarily hiring retired experts in the field as per existing instructions.

The CEA and the Central Water Commission (CWC) have been reeling under pressure to accord early clearances for a large number of DPRs that have been prepared by the hydropower developers and submitted to CEA/ CWC. There are already 8 DPRs that are currently pending with CWC. Moreover, there are 9 other reports that were projected to be submitted by December 2011 and 18 reports are slated for submission in years 2012 and 2013.

Alongside this, the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) has stated that CWC requires a minimum of three to five years site-specific hydrological data for examining the DPRs. However, at present, a number of DPRs have been submitted without state specific siltation studies and hydrological investigation.

This has been attributed to the fact that with only 10 sites are available in Arunachal Pradesh for collection of hydrological data, many a times the Independent Power Producer (IPP) does not have adequate expertise and data to prepare the DPRs and therefore resorts to extrapolation.

Claiming this to be unacceptable, the MoWR has stated that the whole feasibility depends on siltation rates and has requested the state government to provide the requisite hydrological data to avoid any delay in DPR clearance, since this problem lies outside the statutory responsibilities of CWC and cannot be discharged by its contractual staff. (Courtesy www.energylineindia.com )


The politics of power

Tongam Rina

Apart from the Chinese interest in Arunachal, one thing that has kept us in news is humongous amount of Hydro electric projects (HEPs), ranging from few Kilowatts to thousands of Megawatts.  With some 132 projects amounting to more than 28000 MW, Arunachal has been projected as answer to India’s power need. Experts say Arunachal is capable of generating some 50000 plus MW of power.

What these experts don’t tell us is amount of environmental destruction it is going to cause us apart from massive influx of workers from outside, dislocation of indigenous communities.

Even if these facts are hidden from us deliberately, there are already ample examples in the state to learn from.

Before someone accuse those raising voices against power projects of being anti development, let us take a look at three examples that the government of Arunachal and centre must not forget.

The Chakma and Hajong communities in Arunachal, who are unwanted and unwelcome refugees, deprived of basic facilities, did not pop out from nowhere just like that. These communities were displaced because of coming up of Kaptai hydropower project, which subsequently led to internal conflict including communal riots forcing them to flee from Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Closure home, 2000 MW Subansiri Lower Project is one example. For those of you who have been to the project site, it is for all to see, how absolutely nothing has changed for the common people. Apart from few contractors who have made huge sums of money, most people continue to live in abject poverty.  

During a visit couple of years back, yours truly was told there were just three children from nearby villages in each class at a central school somewhere in Gerukamukh.  The school anyways was very intimidating with barbed wires across its boundary. It’s a good example of corporate social responsibility.

Another example is those living downstream of the Ranganadi Hydro project. In villages near to Kimin, Sher, people live in continues fear. More so in summers since they never know when the water is going to be released from the dam. The water dramatically dries up in winter and there is deluge in summer. To add insult to the injury, the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) actually served a notice to the villagers some years back stating that it would not be responsible for human and livestock casualty in case of excess release of water.

If it was anywhere else in the world, the project would have been asked to shut for good the day notice was made public. The dreadful and unimaginable happens only in this state run by greedy politicians and spineless technocrats and bureaucrats who are such a waste.  

Governments have come and gone but every Chief Minister in this state has in unequivocal terms have come out in support of power projects in the state. Off course we understand the need of power projects but the question is how big? So far there is no opposition to minor projects which is a clear indication that people do agree to the fact that the state need power to sustain itself.

The recent statements by politicians including an MP regarding alleged funding of anti dam activists by China and Maoists support was another indication of how desperate some people in power are when it comes to HEPS.   Given the fact that these allegations pertains to national security, we would want to know what steps the centre and the state takes to counter such threats.

It is easy to brand anyone but who is going to address the real concerns of the people set to be affected by mindless power projects?  


AAPSU concerned at economic blockade

ITANAGAR, Jan 3: Reacting to the economic blockade imposed by KMSS and AASU to protest against 2, 000 Subansiri Lower Hydro Electric Project, All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union has expressed serious concern over it.

In a release AAPSU President Takam Tatung stated that they support the agitation launched by KMSS and AASU against NHPC hydro electric project but it should not affect the people of the state.  

“KMSS and AASU have every right to fight for the cause of Assam people and NHPC need to address the concern raised by the two organizations. Development projects are taken up for benefit of citizens and if people in Assam have some issue then NHPC has to listen to them,” stated Tatung.

However, AAPSU has fervently urged all Assam based organizations that are agitating against Lower Subansiri project not to harm interest of Arunachalee citizens in their fight against NHPC.

“People of Siang belt have been badly affected by present agitation. Economic blockade against fellow citizen is bad. Arunachalee people are supporting the movement of KMSS and AASU. So, they should not impose economic blockade against Arunachalee people. This will send wrong message and perhaps harm relation between the two states,” stated AAPSU.

Further, the union has appealed to North East Students Organization (NESO) to interfere so that economic blockade does not cause trouble to the Arunachalee people.

 Further, AAPSU has appealed to all hydropower developers to learn lesson from ongoing Lower Subansiri fiasco.

 “More than 150 MOUs/MOAs has been signed by Arunachal government with various hydropower developers. If hydropower developers do not implement relief and rehabilitation packages properly, affected people may revolt against them. We request all the power developers to be honest in their intention and follow all terms and conditions of MOU/MOAs,” AAPSU appealed.  


A Traveler’s Anecdote

Visiting the Good Samaritans

To begin with here’s a joke: a block headed simpleton was passing by a locality. He saw some people gathered around a man lying on the road. “What happened? Why the man is lying here?” the simpleton enquired.

 ”He is bitten by a snake”, someone from the gathering replied.

“Oh, oh!”, reacted the simpleton, “where did it actually bite?”

“It bit in the middle of the eyebrows”.

 ”Thank God, it spared the eyes”, said the simpleton with an apparent sigh of relief and added, “Eyes are like precious gems. Eyes gone, everything is gone. No?”

The joke notwithstanding, the simpleton’s observation on the preciousness of eyes is simply precious. But then the problem remains with the eyes of the beholders as far as properly understanding the preciousness is concerned. The ideal eye health conditions are a matter of casual approach for a great number of us. We think it is our birthright to see properly and continue with that propriety until our eyelids are permanently closed.  And we think so even though we do lot many improper things against eye health. Rampant use of tobacco, touching the eyes with unclean hands, eating the food not having enough eye health supporting ingredients are some of the things that are usually ignored by us. To the detriment of our eyes, obviously. 

One of the common but major eye problems is cataract formation. Lot of people mostly in developing countries like India and its neighboring sovereignties remain oblivious to it until the eyes sight is almost lost leading to blindness. The eye consciousness, however, is growing and people are gradually getting to know that the cataract is too costly to be careless about and the treatment is easy, quick, practically painless and affordable. The consciousness is spreading mainly by the NGOs dedicated to the cause of eye.  The governments and the UN health wing are also doing their bit in that direction but somehow or other going to a government hospital for the eye treatment is a proposition accepted quite reluctantly by the patients without even the minimum means. Pity, the government hospitals generally in this part of the globe are known more by their penchant for everything inhospitable than any other thing. The exceptions are rare and not examples.

The eye-caring NGOs are quite active everywhere particularly in countries of South Asia. Nepal, a neighbor of ours just at a stone-throw distance is an instance. As compared to the size of India, its population and the eye-care movement, Nepal NGOs are giving no less an yeoman service to whosoever goes to them. And the destination-Nepal patient-traffic is ever increasing.

One such jam-packed premier hospital is Mechi Eye Hospital (MEH). Situated at Amarmani in Japha district of Nepal, MEH was founded by an NGO in November, 1996 with the help of the Eye Care Foundation of The Netherlands.

MEH statistics say, since its inception till November 2011, I.8 million patients were examined in the hospitals and 150000+ of them having undergone surgical operation satisfactorily were sent back home contented.

If compared to an average eye hospital in India, MEH would appear to be outstanding in terms of professionalism with which it deals with the patients. Discipline – not the dry variety but palpably humane —  is evidently the mantra religiously adhered to by the ones – from the administration persons and senior surgeons to the ushers – managing the 300 bedded MEH functioning in two indoor-patient buildings. The kind of general approach the patients are greeted with in MEH is only available in some private hospitals in India. But one has to pay for it the price which almost as a matter of rule is astronomic and out of reach for the common patients. In MEH each patient is sort of a VIP and for that a thin or even empty purse is virtually no problem. Of course, there are two admission streams there, one is free and the other is paid but for a visitor it is difficult to distinguish one from the other insofar as the treatment is concerned.

The other remarkable thing in MEH is its uncompromising and meticulous adherence to cleanliness. The whole atmosphere in a sprawling area of six acres is pleasant, odorless and elegantly comfortable. The treatment, simple or difficult is carried out from the beginning to end in a relaxed mood percolating down to the patients. One can rarely find a tensed patient in MEH. A patient there in MEH is sure to be further relaxed, maybe charmed too by the demeanors of the nursing and other attending junior staff who not only look graceful but also behave equally gracefully. It seems there is no entry in MEH for grim and uncouth!

Another notable thing in MEH is, on any working day the patients from the neighboring countries especially India and Bangladesh hugely outnumber the indigenous Nepalese patients. The hospital employing 102 medical, para-medical and other personnel attends to 600 to 750 patients in the OPD and surgically treats 60 to 150 cases in five OTs and two special OTs everyday.

The principal administrator of MEH Mr. Suraj K. Raunier is compassion and cooperation personified. Along with his army of surgeons headed by the Medical Director and one of the finest surgeons famous by their own right, Dr. Purushottam Joshi,  Raunier is putting up a stiff but victorious fight against all eye ailments of the patients going over to MEH for treatment.

A visit to MEH either as a patient or otherwise is like a memorable journey to a temple of recovery manned by only the Good Samaritans.

[The hospital can be reached, besides from other points, from Siliguri via  Kankar Vitta (Indo-Nepal

border from Paschim Banga side), about 53 km from Siliguri and Birta Mod inside Nepal, about 17 km

from the border point. MEH is about two km south of Birta Mod. The hospital can be contacted through telephone no. Tel no 00977 -23 -541992 /541993 /540153, FAX 00977-23-541492. Email Id : [email protected]]


Arunachal should not suffer due to anti-dam campaign: Friends of AP

Guwahati, Jan 3: Friends of  Arunachal Pradesh, a platform comprising environment activists, civil society leaders and journalists, in a press meet at Guwahati Press Club on Tuesday argues that the controversy related to the big-dams planned in Arunachal Pradesh for generating thousands Megawatt electricity should be resolved amicably.

The common people of Arunachal Pradesh should not suffer due to the ongoing anti-big dam campaign in Assam. Hence the movement against the big dams in Arunachal Pradesh should not include any step that affect the supply of essential commodities to the neighboring State.

While morally supporting the anti-big dam movement and criticizing the attitude of the Union government, NHPC and both the State governments of Assam & Arunachal Pradesh for preaching big-dam lobbies, the forum also apprehends that the ongoing crisis would only benefit the Chinese design for capturing some parts of northeast India.

Addressing the media persons, Soumyadeep Datta, an active environment activist emphasized that the people of Arunachal Pradesh should be taken into confidence, rather ignoring them, in the process of anti-big dam movement campaign.

“Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have historic relationship that is enriched by many Arunachali writers and social activists. The people of Arunachal also wept while Dr Bhupen Hazarika died and his holy ash was taken to their State with all dignities for immersion. Now we must not endanger the relationship for a movement. Of course, we believe that the Arunachali people will also try to convince their government at Itanagar to take pro-people stand on big dam issues,” added Datta. Nava Thakuria, secretary of Asia Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists, meanwhile expressed serious  concern at the ongoing construction of a number of hydroelectric dams in Brahmaputra inside Tibetan region of China. He warns that  once the dams in the 2,900 km trans-boundary river will be commissioned,  there will be massive ecological affect in northeast India and Bangladesh.

“Moreover, if the Beijing government diverts some volume of water of Brahmaputra, Bangladesh and eastern India will be affected severely.

The people of Bangladesh and northeast India must not be taken for granted to suffer because of the hydroelectric projects in China, Thakuria insisted.


KMSS suspends stir

Guwahati, Jan 3: Reciprocating the Assam government's invite for talks, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) general secretary Akhil Gogoi has announced suspension of the ongoing blockade of construction materials for the dam being constructed by the National Hydro Electric Power Corporation (NHPC) as well as the "economic blockade" against Arunachal Pradesh.

The ongoing agitation had totally paralysed construction work of the dam and resulted in scarcity of essential items to the neighbouring state of Arunachal Pradesh. PTI

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Spare some for Basar

Dear Editor,

During the visit of Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, the people of Aalo had submitted a public memorandum for shifting of additional session court from Basar to Aalo, which creates embarrassing situation for the people.

ANM School which is approved and sanctioned against Basar has been forcefully snatched by the leader of Aalo, which is totally against the interest of greater public of West Siang district.

Horticulture and Forestry College has been shifted from Basar to Pasighat few years back without any logical reason. For that college the then Chief Minister Gegong Apang laid the foundation stone at Basar.


Marpin Basar


Organizing Committee

Basar Bachao Chintan Baithak,  (on email)



Needs physiotherapists

Dear Editor,

I would like to bring to your notice the hues and cries of stroke patients and the urgent need for absorption of Physiotherapists in the govt. hospitals of our state as it becomes unaffordable for the needy and poorer section to face the private hospitals or chains of reputed hospitals outside our state.

I must say that unlike other states where physiotherapists are given priority for both Govt. and private hospitals but this is least seen in our state. Every year many professionals pass out from various colleges but due to lack of absorption to the various district hospitals where seat are laying vacant they are forced to go for other jobs.  Hence, I, as a concerned physiotherapist request health minister of state to consider the matter as grave and make needful arrangement for the same.


Dr Chow,  Physio



Identity and existence

Dear Editor,

There is a tug of war between existence and identity. Whenever some aspects of identity do any harm to the existence, the existence itself opts to discard those aspects of identity. This results into a better and appropriate form of identity.

Every community in the society has their own identity and culture. But, like the Darwin's theory of evolution of survival of the fittest, those aspects of identity and cultures have been discarded by the society to ensure their existence. One can take the example of 'Sati system' of Hindus, which had been discarded because of its harmful effect on the existence of women of that community.

Likewise there have been reformations in the field of identity and culture of various communities, with the motive of ensuring the existence. Our communities also have the identity and culture of its own in the form of taking local opo during every gatherings and rituals, sacrificing live stocks during every ritual to pacify the evil spirits, performing traditional dances during local festival and putting on traditional dress and ornaments. But, among these aspects of identity and culture, the first two aspects i.e. local opo and sacrifice, are the two which need to be discarded to ensure the existence of the community. But, I'm sure that this change is too tough to be brought in, as our ancestral belief is dominant here.

And because of these practices many have turned bankrupt and drunkard. So, we need to find out other method of securing our life.


Talo Siga

Daporijo (on email)



Open letter to chief ministers of NE

Dear Editor,

During my ongoing nationwide tour, I came into close interaction with many women and girls from North East India narrating about their bitter experiences and suffering in daily walks of their lives.

The women and girls who are mostly Asiatic Mongolian origin Indians from North East suffer from many untold humiliations, tortures and molestations in their daily walks of lives who travel by train particularly North East Express from Guwahati to other parts of India. They face discrimination and humiliation in their journey, working and studying places only due to different looks, linguistic and racial dissimilarities which is gross violation of human rights. Many have been raped, murdered and humiliated so far and the illegal human trafficking is silently taking place taking advantage of innocence, simple and open minded tribal natures. India has often talked about racial discrimination of Indian students in Australia at highest form, then what about North East Tribal Indians who suffer racial discrimination in their own country?

The Sanskritic   Aryan and Dravidian origin Indians must respect the human status of other Indigenous tribal Indians who belong to North East India. Even the tribal people are not safe in some parts of Assam due to criminalization acts of so called notorious illegal Bangladeshi who operate as docaits  and murderers.

The All India Rajeev Gandhi Vichar Manch International (AIRGVMI) is seriously concerned about this burning issue and unanimously resolved to raise the issue to highest form at national level. I wonder how many Chief Ministers, Ministers, MPs and MLAs and other Top beaurocrates of North East are truly concern about the safety and safeguarding of North East women and the people in the rest of the country. I wonder how many women’s commission, youth and student’s forum and other political leaders are concern about this issue. It is not always needed to show off ourselves as VVIPs, VIPs and Top bureaucrates travelling by flight, cars and staying in luxury houses or  Hotels, rather we need to focus and share real grievances and sufferings of our people.

Therefore, I write this letter to all the Chief Ministers of North East with a sincere hope that they would take this issue to highest office of Prime Minister of India to find out a lasting solution to problem of tribal people of North East India. There must be complete reservation and strong security measures for tribal women and girls either in train, working places and study centres and accommodations etc. there must be a law for protection of tribal people or the women must find their liberties and safety in the country. The anti social elements such as notorious thieves, rapist and murderers and equally some corrupted police and railway officials must be punished and booked as per the law so that the people of North East can also live peacefully in the mainstream of the nation without social insecurity and discriminations.

The Govt. must promote the youths for vision building and provide ample opportunities to harness their talents and skills in various fields for their socio-political and economic growth.


Mongol Yomso


All India Rajeev Gandhi Vichar Manch


Vasant Kunj



Public resilience should not be tested

Dear Editor,

The public thought the disruption of landline in and around Mowb-II is due to unavoidable circumstance. But if an earlier news report is to be believed, the problem could have been solved very long time ago.

The technocrats are least expected to indulge in one-upmanship at the cost of public inconvenience like the usual suspects. BSNL is known to promptly expedite public grievances in matters of service and maintenance. The head honchos of the public sector behemoth are known to lend earful to all and sundry. Perhaps being patient is seen as meekly.

In this area there are many dead spots, including Government offices and quarters, where wireless signal is unavailable. In this circumstance only landline broadband is a viable net connectivity option. These days being online are a necessity rather than a luxury, both for office establishments and individuals.

BSNL should plug the jinx first and pursue the matter, if any, with the Urban Development department. The public resilience should not be tested for so long a period.


A citizen






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Improved infant mortality rate


The infant mortality rate (IMR) in India has shown a 3 point decline, dropping from 50 deaths per 1,000 live births to 47 and moving a step closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) target of 30.

According to the latest Sample Registration System (SRS), conducted by the Registrar-General of India, the two worst performing States — Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh — have shown an impressive 5 point decline. In the former, the figure dropped from 67 in 2009 to 62 in 2010 and in the latter, it was from 45 to 40. However, IMR increased by one point in Kerala, Mizoram and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

While the IMR national average is 47, it stands at 51 in the rural areas and 31 in the urban regions. However, neo-natal deaths continue to be a challenge where 34 babies are still dying for every 1,000 born.

Bihar, Gujarat, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura had shown a four-point decline in the IMR. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Delhi, Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh have shown a three-point decline.

Similarly, in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the IMR came down by two points while it remained static in Lakshdweep and Puducherry. A one point decline was reported from Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Daman and Diu.

The results could be because of the centre’s ambitious Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram, which provides free transport, food and drugs and diagnostics to all pregnant women and sick newborns. And also improved universal immunisation programme could be one of the reasons. However more efforts need to be made to keep up with the MDG target.