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628 bandhs, blockade in Manipur in 15 years
Correspondent IMPHAL, JUL 8:
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Published on 9 Jul. 2010 12:03 AM IST
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Manipur witnessed 628 bandhs and blockades during the last 15 years, from 1995 till June of the current year 2010, causing huge loss to the tune of Rs 2828 crore in the state exchequer, said Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh in the House of the Manipur Legislative Assembly Thursday.
Despite the huge loss experience by the state, government failed to take up measures to control the same which was indicated by the Chief Minister’s unsatisfied reply that government evokes Manipur Essential Service Maintenance Act, 1984 whenever strikes are called by agencies involved in essential service.
“Government evokes the Act whenever strikes are called. During recent highway blockade the state government has obtained additional central forces through the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs),” Ibobi Singh said in the house. As per estimates prepared by Department of Economic and Statistics, Rs 5 to 6 crore per day when a bandh is imposed in the state while the loss is Rs 2 to 3 crore per day due to National Highway blockade, the Chief Minister asserted adding that during the pass 15 year Manipur suffered a loss of Rs 2828 crore to Rs 3000 crore in its exchequer.
Bandhs and blockades were called by numerous organisations in the state. They may be categorized as students’ organisations, Joint Action Committee (JAC), political parties, trade unions, underground groups etc. Their demands range from purely localized issues to political, religious, administrative, and other such matters, he added. Not satisfied with the Chief Minister’s reply, opposition member of the House, O Joy Singh of MPP blamed the government of not taking up appropriate action to prevent calling of bandhs and blockade.
Government has no definite policy to recoup the loss during the said agitations. During 2008, government issued a notification to recover losses during bandhs and blockades from the bodies responsible for calling the strikes. However, the same order could not enforce effectively till date.
Bandhs and economic blockade are using as tools to fulfill certain demands. People of the state are yet to relief from the impact of ANSAM sponsored economic blockade backed by UNC. All the while another hill based students’ bodies is threatening to impose on NH-53, he observed and urged the government to take up a long term measures to prevent such type of strike causing huge loss in the future. A socio economy condition of the state is highly deteriorated by these types of bandhs and blockades. Though the impact could not be known today, one day people will suffer as a consequence of the huge losses experiences today, he warned.

 
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