Wednesday, August 10, 2022

NFR to give employment to next of kin of landslide victims

Correspondent

Northeast Frontier Railways has agreed to pay compensation for the damages caused by the recent devastating landslide at railway line construction site in Manipur’s Noney district, in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Wednesday.
The MoU was signed between Northeast Frontier Railways, Noney District Administration and Makhuam Village Authority at Manipur Chief Minister’s Secretariat today.
It was signed in the presence of state chief minister N Biren Singh, relief and disaster management minister Awangbow Newmai and Noney MLA Diganglung Gangmei who is also chairman of the Hill Area Committee (HAC) of state Assembly among others.
The MoU was regarding the charter of demands put forth by the Makhuam Village Authority in the matter of addressing issues arising out of the recent massive landslide that occurred at railway line construction site at Maranching of Noney district.
On behalf of the NFR, it was signed by its chief engineer Sandeep Sharma, Noney DC Haulianlal Guite on behalf of the state government and Makhuam Village Authority chairman Lanranglung Gondaimei on behalf of village authority.
As per the MoU, the NFR will provide permanent employment to the next of kin of the victim villagers. While awaiting permanent employment, the railways would ensure providing contractual employment in one of its construction agencies near the site.
The railways with district administration of Noney and Kangpokpi districts and village authorities will conduct a joint survey and assess the extent of the damage caused by the landslide and submit the same to railways for compensation.
The railways also agreed to hold extensive discussion with IIT Guwahati, Manipur University and other like-minded institutions to have a detailed investigation for working out how the hill slopes adjacent to railways boundaries in the Jiribam-Imphal project can better be monitored, so that early warning can be given for any future untoward event. Environment Impact assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) will also be revisited in the light of the recent landslide.
The railways also agreed to provide for the expenses of the funeral that may be incurred in the customary rites of burial and cleansing by the Makhuam village authority. Further, the railways will bear the expenses to be incurred in educating three children orphaned by the landslide up to graduation.
The educational fees will be deposited in the bank accounts of the respective next of kin to cover educational expenses till graduation uninterrupted and the children will also be put up in the Rengpang Residential School in Noney district.
Talking to reporters after signing the MoU, chief minister N Biren Singh thanked all the personnel of various organizations, villagers and CSOs of the Maranching area involved in the search and rescue operation for their tireless efforts to trace the missing bodies.
Recalling the unfortunate landslide incident at Maraching in Noney district on the intervening night of June 29 and 30, Singh reiterated that of the 79 persons affected by the massive landslide, 18 persons were rescued alive. He continued that out of 61 missing bodies, 56 bodies had been recovered in the search and rescue operations were conducted for more than 20 days till today and that five persons were still missing. It may be noted that the the search and rescue operation has been halted from today evening as decided by a review meeting held on Tuesday.
The chief minister said that after thorough discussion with all the stakeholders, the government had decided to officially close the rescue operation on Wednesday. However, individual efforts to retrieve the missing properties, machineries, etc. could still be carried on by any organization or agency, he added. Stating the official number of deceased persons in the landslide as 61, he assured that the state government would take up all necessary steps for the deceased and the injured persons.
Prior to signing of the MoU, the chief minister convened a meeting with all stakeholders, including relief and disaster management minister Awangbow Newmai, additional chief secretary MH Khan, NFR chief engineer, among others.
It may be mentioned that more than 700 personnel from various organizations were engaged in the search and rescue operation with more than 43 machines.
State chief minister had earlier announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to those injured.
In addition, the state government had also sanctioned Rs 30 lakh for management of the search and rescue operations.
For bodies still not found consisting of one Territorial Army, three villagers and one VSC, the ex-gratia may be paid after observing necessary enquiry and formalities which would take a period of 30 -35 days, officials said.

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