90 air sorties in state for election activities

A highlight about Vijoynagar from the election stories.

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90 air sorties in state for election activities

Itanagar Apr 02: The Election Commission would press 90 air sorties in Arunachal Pradesh for transporting men and materials to various remote and inaccessible polling stations in the state for the April 9 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

“The process of air sorties began today with the departure of four teams of polling officials including security personnel to remote Vijaynagar circle in Changlang district to manage four polling stations consisting of 2,900 electorates,” Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Chandra Bhusan Kumar told reporters at a press conference here this evening.

Vijaynagar, one of the remotest circles under Miao sub-division is located at a distance of 157 kilometres from the sub divisional headquarters. “The circle which has no surface communication, is approachable only by foot which takes five to six days,” Kumar disclosed and added that the teams comprising 39 person including security personnel equipped with polling materials and all logistics have been dispatched in advance keeping in view the weather condition.

He said the polling officials including the security personnel have casted their postal ballots yesterday.

He said, besides Pawan Hans choppers, the Indian Air Force would provide air sorties to the Commission.

“The IAF will provide one air ambulance on the polling day to manage medical emergencies.

Retrieval for any emergency will not be a problem for us as we have arranged adequate medical facilities and other logistics in all the remote and inaccessible polling booths,” he disclosed.

“We have taken all precautionary measures for the polling teams including medical, rations, wireless and other logistics.

The teams from 664 remote and inaccessible polling booths will return back on April 11 next,” he said.

Disclosing that all preparation for a free and fair elections are nearing completion, Kumar informed that 1,358 digital cameras have been installed to check unfair means during polling while, in 124 polling stations webcasting facility would be available.

Altogether 7,53,170 electorates including 3,77,272 female would exercise their franchise in 2,158 polling stations in the state.

A total number of 4316 EVMs would be used separately for Lok Sabha and assemble polls in each booths.

While eight polling stations are having less than 10 voters, 20 having less than 20 voters and 105 polling stations have less than 50 electors.

The C Sector polling station at Itanagar has the highest number of 1650 voters, while Malogaon polling station under Hayuliang in Anjaw district has only two voters. PTI

Lisu Society Leadership at Crossroads

It’s been a couple of years now that I have been sensing a serious leadership crisis in our community but I did not have firsthand experience yet. Since I returned to Miao, I have been observing about it. I learned that at the community level, we don’t have “willing” key leadership to represent our case/ambitions/crisis. I will share two incidents to mention what I mean.

TWO CASES

First: I heard from reliable source that at the Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi, the Indian Singpho community festival, held on 12 – 14 February 2014, displayed several of our Lisu traditional handicrafts as their own. The chey (cross-bow with quiver), hajo (basket), and nokho (small carrying basket) were asserted as theirs own during the fashion show and in other display areas.

In a separate incident, a friend taught some persons from their tribe to teach them the basket making. While in the middle of the progress, they said this is our traditional handicraft. That friend felt bad and stopped teaching.

But my point is when I reported this to two top leadership persons, they were not willing to take responsibility to raise objections.

Second: The MV road construction has been going on and all of us were silent spectators. When tenders were given we did nothing. After the tenders were allocated, there were conflicts between the contractors and the local people, they made our people get involve in their fight.

In this process, there is high probability that this road will not complete well but we are not ready to raise our voice. I encouraged several of our leaders to make public rallies, write to authorities, block constructions to request that this road project be given to the BRO and like companies. But nothing happen!

CLOSING NOTE

I look forward for a change of this crisis situation or the rise of new leadership, a leadership that is less interested in politics and more on the development of our community to its highest potential.

For the current leadership, I will not expect much. I will be just happy to share ideas and knowledge. I will not expect “action” from their side nor responsibilities because they have become masters of running away from responsibilities.

Letter to AP Times on MV Road

This letter was sent to the Editor of Arunachal Times on 9 Feb 2014 but it was not published (Liahey).

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Dear Editor,

Its been almost a year since the foundation stone for Miao – Vijoynagar Road (MV Road) was laid at Miao by the Union Rural Minister, Jairam Ramesh, but nothing have happen on the ground – no construction, although the fund had been allocated under PMGSY scheme. So the 5,000 people of Vijoynagar Circle still walk on foot every day without much hope for future.

As I arrived at Miao I inquired people around as to why the construction has not begun. I learned the basic people – competition between contractors. One contractor is not allowing the other to initiate the work. Our people had been too quite, silent. The politicians and those in power have not looked at the plight of the people without road, rather have aimed for making a profit out of this road.

I appealed our local MLA, Kamlung Mossang, and the Chief Minister to kindly intervene on this deadlock. Let not the work be given to any contractor. Rather give to BRO or GREF to construct because clearly we know contractors will not deliver but the companies will because they have equipment and reputation to complete.

Liahey

Constructors of the MV Road

At least three departments have worked on the Miao – Vijoynagar Road (MV Road): The CPWD, PWD and RWD.

The CPWD (Central Public Works Department) made their entry in the 1970s and completed a kacha version in 1976. Hundreds of our people were also employed as manual workers; hundreds of others from other parts of Arunachal, Assam and Bihar came and worked. Stones were not laid, bridges were only wood materials. The road after a year went out of use. Only the then Governor General KAA Raja came to Vijoynagar on jeeps along with his fleet of eight. Since then no other vehicles ever rode on it again. No further maintenance were done.

Later when Arunachal Pradesh gained statehood, the Public Works Department (PWD) took up the responsibility. No major repairs were done; never comprehensive repairs. Perhaps their biggest contribution on the MV Road was the iron bridge over the Burman nala and on the 27th Mile. Other than that I don’t know of their concrete and last work they have done. They did some road clearing, minor repairs.

In between in 2011 a Tinsukia-based contractor worked and the December of 2011 and Jan 2012, several vehicles passed through our road. But as in the 1970 case, no concrete flooring was done. Hence, it is out of use again after that till now.

Now in 2014, the Rural Works Department (RWD) has taken up the road. Tenders are now allotted to five different contractors, each allotted to a phase. Each phase is to be completed first, starting from Miao, then the next phase.

An Itanagar contractor, people called him Nyishi got for the Miao to 6th Mile phase. He just started doing the work last week. But today I heard he was chased away by the local people. I don’t know the reason. But the local people, after doing that,have sought the Yobin’s opinion about their action. It is very strange that only after the incident they are trying to involve us. Where were they went the plans for tender/contracts were discussed?

My impression is that this Phase 1 incident is just a preview of the things to come.

What do we do? Are we supposed to be silent spectators when it meant life line to us?

MV Road as of March 2014

There has a long silence on MV Road since the foundation stone was laid at Miao in August 2013. No updates from official sources – the Public Works Department – as to how the project is in progress.

I arrived at Miao in January this year. On the ground, nothing has begun. But I heard the planning for its construction and contest for tender (contract) is going on.

The road is planned to construct in five phases:

· Phase 1: Miao to M’pen (6th Mile)

· Phase 2: M’pen to Deban (17th Mile)

· Phase 3: Deban to Burma Nala (40th Mile)

· Phase 4: Burma Nala to 80th Mile

· Phase 5: 80th Mile to Vijoynagar

Each of these phases is given as contract to different contractors. But none of the Lisu people have got any part in it. Neither is there any say from the Lisu or the Settler community in this construction. The decision has been unilaterally taken by the PWD and public leaders outside of Vijoynagar. The actual people who will be directly affected by the road are left out of the picture.

Last week when I visited M’pen, the initial gather of stones for the construction started. I saw some JCB machines at work and few workers clearing the road. For Phase 3, I heard there are controversies for because the other contestant for the tender learned that it was given to a non-Arunachal person. No news yet whether that is clear now.

I am very skeptical about the whole practice of giving to private contractors. The people who have obtained this contract are the same people who have control over other projects in Miao and around. They are not known bringing good result.

I wish this is given to companies like the BRO, GREF that have the reputation and expertise to complete this kind of project.

Some of our people were quite excited when they were told of the process involved for PMGSY project that there are third party must approve whether the road is upto the standard. May I point out several of the PMGSY road between Miao and Kharsang? They are hardly motorable.

Now the tender/contracts have been assigned. There is hardly anything we can do; we had been too silent. But I think our people must be prepared to raise “proper” voice if construction is not done well.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Numbering of children

Some years ago I came across the technical name for numbering sons and daughters just like we have. But now I forgot. Not able to find out.

I compiled the sequence of children’s number.

2013 Nov 2 - Children nos

Few notes:

  • For boys it could go up to eleven in a family. As we know, it is very normal even now to have families up to number 8. Children beyond that are rare, usually in families where there are exclusively boys.
  • The last three for boys have their names from traditional weapons: #9 (a container of arrows), #10 (arrow), and # 11 (quiver). The other 8 do not have meanings, just denote the sequence of birth.
  • The girls number to 10. The sequence of the first four are undisputed. But between numbers 6, 7 and 8, due to some tradition, each family prefer to choose their own sequence. For example, some prefer to have 6, 7, 8. Others will have 7, 8, 6. Some others 8, 6, 7. Only rare families reach to 9 and 10.

Centre clears road project in Arunachal Pradesh–a note

This is one of the most precise news items I read on MV Road. Lots of information are compact within this small space. The only weakness: There is no report on WHEN the construction will begin. (Liahey)

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Centre clears road project in Arunachal Pradesh By Sushanta Talukdar (The Hindu, 29 October 2013)

It is the country’s longest road project under PMGSY

The Centre has cleared the 157 km Miao-Vijaynagar road project that will connect the remote Vijaynagar circle in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh along the India-Myanmar border, 100 km of it passing through the Namdapha National Park.

Touted to be the longest road project under the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana, it will have altogether 25 bridges along its stretch.

At present, there is no road to this border area with 13 recognised villages and one unrecognised settlement. For over 5,000 people of these villages, the only alternative to air transport is a six-day walk from Vijaynagar to the nearest town Miao through the dense jungles of Namdapha. There is no electricity in Vijaynagar.

The Miao-Vijaynagar road was motorable till 1976 and has fallen into disrepair since then. The project, estimated to cost about Rs. 160 crore, is targeted to be completed in four years, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh told The Hindu on Monday. When completed, it will directly link the Advanced Landing Ground of Vijaynagar, considered to be one of the toughest ALGs in the country at an altitude of 4,200 feet, and also an Assam Rifles post that was opened in 1962 in this remote and strategic frontier.



The project is estimated to cost Rs. 160 crore and will be completed in four years.

On completion, the road will directly link Vijaynagar’s ALG


AYSU of 2013 Creates History

This batch of All Yobin Student Union (AYSU) leadership made much impact in our society and for the student community in particular.

Good Beginning

For the first time in its history, AYSU had election-cum-meeting at Miao (see more on this). The leadership had organized and motivated the students well. In addition, they have encouraged the parents. The day after the meeting, they had picnic which students enjoyed.

Even at Shidi, similar celebrations are held and in other villages. Even in Shillong a student body is now organized.

ST Initiative

2013 October 17 - AYSU of 2013 Creates History, DELEGATESThe five member AYSU delegation for three weeks in July 2013 had been significant. First, they approached several government officials and discovered the exact status of our Scheduled Tribe demand. Second, they approached the Government of India especially with the Tribal Ministry and other top country officials. This made our case more aware at Center. Third, they found significant documents in our favour. This further increased the confidence of our people that we are not running in vain. Plus other officials and those who favour our demand became more confident to support. Fourth, as a continuation of their effort, Yobin ST Action Committee was formed in September to take ST matter forward.

It is noteworthy, that the AYSU raised all the funds necessary for their whole stay in Itanagar.

Social Work

2013 October 17 - AYSU of 2013 Creates History, SOCIAL1

2013 October 17 - AYSU of 2013 Creates History, SOCIAL2

On 27 July, AYSU did cleaning up of Miao Christian Cemetery. This was recognized even in local news/media. This teaches students that serving is worthy of life.

Cry for Justice

2013 October 17 - AYSU of 2013 Creates History, RALLYIn support for the justice of late Yethini, a rally was organized at Miao on 5 September. Again this was reported in Independent Review.

Looking at the current trend, the AYSU will go way forward to make a difference in the society.

ST status for Yobin is still distant dream

Letter to the AP Times Editor.

Dear Editor,

The news titled “Union Tribal Affairs Minister assures CM on nomenclature issue” published on 12 September is a strategic step from the Chief Minister. He seems to realize that unless he gets involved into this matter the issue of Scheduled Tribes (ST) from AP will not expedite.

But what alarmed me was the mention of only the change of nomenclature of few tribes and “Any Naga Tribes”. Where does the demand of Yobin for ST stand? Is it that the newspaper failed to report or the Government plans to sideline us again?

The report also confirmed that the State’s recommendation has not been consistent because it said “… He [Minister for Tribal Affairs] requested the State Government to immediately send official recommendations for the same through the State Secretariat, which he said is the normal procedure…”

Recently, union minister Ninong Ering has been telling about this gap to us and to our local MLA. But our MLA and the State had been saying “No further recommendation is needed; your matter is with centre.” Now the Minister for Tribal Affairs had personally informed our Chief Minister. I hope the matter will be processed through proper channel with complete list of ST from Arunachal.

We always request for immediate declaration of Yobin as ST because it is a great need. All the other tribes of Arunachal Pradesh have been receiving facilities as ST, but for Yobin such facilities are far away.

Yours,

Liahey Ngwazah

Source: AP Times Readers’ Forum (16 September 2013), TOI (14 September 2013).