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 Ty11Jacintha2 *Hmar students want link-bridge over Tuivai river to facilitate links with Mizoram during monsoon

By Lalmalsawm  Sungte

April 24, 2010: Churachandpur district commissioner Ms Jacintha Lazarus’ surprise one-day visit to Hmar villages in Manipur’s Parbung sub-division on April 21 has set people talking about development issues again and the Tamilian IAS lady officer herself.

According to reports received here, the people were so impressed by Ms Jacintha’s desire to meet them that in very villages she was “warmly received by the locals who aired their grievances without any reservations.”

Sources said that Ms Jacintha was scheduled to attend only the District Level Co-ordination Committee Review Meeting at Thanlon sub-divisional headquarters on April 20. But on the morning of April 21, she changed her plan and headed for Parbung sub-divisional headquarters, which is some 80-plus km away from Thanlon.

“Ms Jacintha told her team to take her to Ruonglevaisuo (Tipaimukh) area where there is practically no functional government machinery. She had always wanted to see for herself the ground realities,” the source added.

The commissioner’s team made brief stoppages at Pherzawl, Damdiei,Taithu, Parbung, Lungthulien and Senvon villages.

At Parbung sub-headquarters representatives of Hmar Welfare Association and Hmar Students Association met Ms Jacintha at the IB Center and submitted their grievances in writing. “We asked her to speed up the reconstruction work of NH-150 connecting Mizoram and Manipur,” they said over phone.

Members of the Tipaimukh Area Development Front (TADF) also asked Ms Jacintha to take up re-construction work of Tuivai Leilak (bridge) to facilitate links with Mizoram during the monsoon season. Another prominent demand of the representatives was the construction of a Mini-Sport Stadium at Parbung.

The sub-divisional staff members who accompanied Ms Jacintha literally turned purpled when they were openly snubbed by HSA leaders during the reception function held at Parbung. “The SDO and TD Block staff members and the medical officials are present today here just because of you. We don’t even know their names,” they told the district magistrate, who looked stunned.

And in Lungthulien village, the TADF members informed Ms Jacintha that Tipaimukh constituency never got the 9000-metric tonne rice sanctioned by the Central government last year in view of mautam. “In the Agriculture Input Subsidy people in Tipaimukh area are given just Rs.1000/-while other subdivisions got Rs 2000/-approx,” Ms Jacintha was informed.

To take action

Listening patiently to the people and their angst against state government officials, the district commissioner assured them that she will take necessary steps to make corrective changes once she is back in office.

An analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Ms Jacintha’s approach and strategy is completely different from her predecessor Mr Sumant Singh. “Mr Sumant Singh was like a stamp sent by vested groups. This young lady is his opposite,” another observer said.

Ms Jacintha had already visited Vangai TD Block under Tipaimuk sub-division last month to take stock of the ground realities. It may be mentioned that Churachandpur district was and is still the stronghold of militants. However, if one is to go by the current situations, Ms Jacintha has garnered an unwavering support of all sections of the people with her USP- development. But, the question in everyone’s mind is whether this “brave” Indian civil servant from Tamil Nadu has the guts to carry forward her development plans in this trouble-torn part of the country. Only time will tell.

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