Massive protest rallies were taken out on Monday in two Hmar-dominated villages in Manipur’s Pherzawl district in protest against the government’s failure to electrify their villages and complete inter-village roads.
The rallies were held at Senvon and Lungthulien, two remote villages under Tipaimuk Assembly constituency district, bordering Mizoram, about 294 and 281kms from the state capital, Imphal respectively, sources said.
More than 2,000 people from different walks of life took to the street at Senvon under the aegis of various organisations and Senvon Kohran Inzawmkhawm (SKI), a conglomerate of different churches in the village.
SKI chairman L Rolawm Pulamte told Northeast Now that the protest was prompted by the government’s laxity to complete electrification of the village even two years after the initial deadline.
He said the government promised to provide electricity to the village, which was initially scheduled to be completed by 2018 and then extended to December 2019.
“The government again missed the second deadline as erection of electric post and wires are far from completion,” he said, adding that in some areas electric wires are being fixed to the trees.
“We are living under dark for over a century as we have been deprived of certain basic amenities,” he said.
Pulamte said the Centre sanctioned money for the construction of inter-village highway between Senvon-Lungthulien and other neighbouring villages under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) scheme.
“Though the fund was sanctioned many years ago, but the construction failed to take off till date,” he said.
He said the villagers heavily depend on the road constructed by Central Water Commission (CWC), which has become too old and dilapidated to be used.
The leader alleged that a primary health centre, high school and veterinary hospital, among others, have remained non-functional for more than two-decade in Senvon.
He said that they have made repeated appeals to the state government but to no avail.
He said they would submit a memorandum to both the Centre and the state government in connection with the absence of basic amenities in their village.
Similar protest rally was held at Lungthulien village, about 11 km from Sevon on Monday, during which more than 1,000 protesters aired their anger over the government’s failure to complete electrification and blacktopping of inter-village road within a stipulated time.
The protesters chanted slogan like “We want electricity to study” and demanded stringent action against corrupt officials.
Sources said similar protest will also be held at Rawvakawt, about 4 km from Sevon, on Tuesday.
Despite repeated attempts, local MLA Dr. Chaltonlien Amo could not be contacted due to poor connectivity.
Senvon, Lungthulien and Rawvakawt are remote villages in Hmar-dominated south-west Manipur, which have been in existence for over a century.
Owing to their remote location, the villages lack basic amenities and have been allegedly deprived of parallel developments from the state government
Senvon occupies an important place in the history of the Hmar people and other Zo ethnic communities as Christianity was introduced in this village by Welsh missionaries in 1910, which according to historians, was the arrival of Christianity in south-west Manipur.