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Pherzawl - a dying District!?

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
~ Jr Amo

I was born the son of a Government Teacher in a far-flung village of Patpuihmun, in Pherzawl District under the Tipaimukh Assembly Constituency. My childhood days were spent in this neglected region of our State and we had to shift from village to village every few years. My dad then got transferred to Mualnuam Village of Thanlon AC which is not too far from town, and then we shifted from Patpuihmun to Churachandpur town and settled in Sielmat Village which is now our home.

Recalling my childhood days, I feel no sense of nostalgia for the times i spent as a small boy nor is there any fondness to visit or travel back to those villages in Pherzawl District. The forests, the landscapes, the rivers and the people are lovely. But there is no development, no metal and proper road connectivity, no electricity, separated from the rest of the world in every-way. There is no better hope than going to the fields to toil all day from dawn to dusk. This is all that's happening in our lovely but neglected Pherzawl District.

In the year 2016, while enroute to Haflong for the General Assembly of my church, I heard a welcome news that the Manipur Government had issued an order creating 7 (seven) new districts in the state, Pherzawl District being one of them.

It was beyond my expectation and imagination - Pherzawl becoming a full fledged District, but it was true. The bus journey was filled with laughter and joy throughout. It's more than a dream coming true.

Pherzawl is just 182km near from the heart of Tuițhaphai (Churachandpur), but due to poor road connectivity,it takes around 6/7 hours drive to reach Pherzawl District.
Likewise, Pherzawl district and the other new six districts are created for administrative convenience, which will help the much neglected and forgotten land of Tipaimukh constituency and it's people.

Buildings of the ADC which now became DC, Sub-Divisional Officers, police outposts and bank buildings inside the district are already constructed but empty and unoccupied. Thanlon constituency with no doubt is the least developed area in Pherzawl District.

Pherzawl District in particular has now has seen a little more light than before, some villages have been electrified already. I pray, this development doesn't stop somewhere in the middle of the road, unknown about its beginning or end.

Meanwhile, metal roads are yet to be laid properly. There was a road construction going on at the beginning of this year. JT road which runs along Patpuihmun village was laid under the PMGSY scheme. The people of this area and the Hmars in general are happy to now have 'Metal Roads'. But, before long and soon after the road construction work was completed, grass sprouted from the bed of the new metal roads that wasn't even a month old. What a shame for the contractor, also the Department.

Keeping in view the slow electrifying works and worsening road conditions, the Hmar Students' Association GHQ took certain measures and held the government accountable. The HSA felt the need of closing down Sub-Divisional Officer camp offices in Churachandpur and requested the Sub-Divisional Officers/Block Divisional Officers of Tipaimukh constituency to work from their stations, Parbung & Vangai respectively.
So, in standing with the order of the Chief Secretary, Government of Manipur,that "every Sub-Divisional Officer/Block Divisional Officer must abandon their camp offices and be stationed at their own genuine station (Vide order no. 1/1/2018 - CS (Manipur), 25th January 2018), the HSA leaders and volunteers on July 16, 2018 locked both camp offices of the Parbung & Vangai Sub-Divisional Officers located in Apollo Veng, Churachandpur till date.

There has been no response form the officers of stationing themselves at their own place of posting. Now, here's the question - Why?

Half a year had already passed from the day of the shutting down of their offices, but, to no avail.
Not only the Sub-Divisional Officers, how long will the government of Manipur keep a silent watch on this issue. The development the government is talking about is all in vain. Also, it is a contradicting stand for the government while it's campaign for Go to Village is in full swing.

These Sub-Divisional Officers are paid so they can work for the people in every place or region they are posted. When they are away from their place of postings, the common man, the underprivileged are spending money and time in their journey coming to and fro to their Camp Offices from these remote villages to get essential documents like their Income Certificates and Tribe Certificates to avail Schemes which were meant to benefit them leaving them at a disadvantage!!!
The people of Pherzawl District are living hand to mouth and don't get anything right from rice to job card salary. Because, the representatives given by the government are shying away from them. The Sub-Divisional Officer buildings in Parbung & Patpuihmun, aren't built for the homeless animals or cows. It is really sad and demeaning that the state government is blind to the fact that its Govt. Servants are not present in their stations.

To make matters worse, a sitting MLA at the Manipur State Assembly on March 2, 2019 (Sangai Express) brought to light a big scam/misappropriation of 17,290 quintals of food worth 13 crores for the newly created Pherzawl district.

Even this case is swept under the carpet of the Assembly and we haven't heard of any action taken against those involved in this scam by the government. The poor and downtrodden people of Pherzawl district, who expected the best now only have feelings to expect the least!
How long are they going to be left out from the rest of the world?

Is it not time, the government sees the reality, fact check and start the process of building its new district. Created for administrative convenience, but left out in the administration column, I do not think this is the reason it is created for - Let's serve the people.

As we can see, the people and the district are dying gradually. The people love it, the people care about it, but, it is slowly degrading economically. So, here's my love note for all - Can't help falling in love with Pherzawl. But, is Pherzawl already a dying District!?

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