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TFM Report published by The Wire rocks Manipur Assembly

Photo: MLA Ranjit during the discussion | DDK Imphal

MLA Surjakumar demands compensation to the family of Huidrom Vivekanta, who died while on his way to procure fertilizers on August 11. Fertilizers scarcity crisis might become Achilles’ heel of Manipur government, says another MLA K Ranjit

TFM Report

The Frontier Manipur’s Report published by The Wire over fertilizer crisis in Manipur rocked the second sitting of the ongoing legislative assembly’s session on Monday with MLA Surjakumar Okram demanding compensation to the family of a 20-year-old youth who died while on his way to procure fertilizers on August 11.

Raising the matter in the Assembly during the calling attention discussion, MLA Surjakumar the deceased Huidrom Vivekanta of Huidrom Makha Leikai, Imphal East district was the sole bread earner of his family.

Congress MLA K Ranjit also cautioned the BJP-led Manipur government that the crisis of artificial scarcity of fertilizers in the state could become its Achilles heel.

Both MLA Ranjit and Surjakumar Okram drew the attention of agriculture minister Oinam Lukhoi on the crisis through a calling attention motion during the ongoing session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly.

While condoling the death of Vivekanta, minister Lukhoi termed the incident as ‘self accident’, which happened when Vivekanta along with his friend rammed into a stationary vehicle. But he assured that he will consult with the chief minister to look into the matter.

Reacting to the minister’s statement, MLA Surjakumar lamented over the manner in which the minister portrayed the incident very casually.

Minister Lukhoi denies reports of diversion of fertilizers for illegal poppy plantations

The Congress MLAs demanded that a House committee be instituted to chalk an effective and efficient distribution system of fertilizers in larger interest of the farmers and also enquire whether there was black marketeering in the state.

MLA Ranjit also raised the allegation by the Loumee Sinmee Apun Lup (LOUSHAL), a farmer’s association that some fertilizers might have been siphoned off for poppy plantations.

Clarifying on the matter, Lukhoi maintained that till date there are no reports of diversion of fertilizers for illegal poppy plantations.

He also argued that the fertilizers distribution crisis has been plaguing the state for the past many years. In view of this, the present government has been making efforts for a transparent and sincere distribution system.

The agriculture minister contended that the Point of Sale portal that the Government of India has adopted from this year for fertilizers distribution has hindered the timely distribution.

The minister informed that there are around 1,95,000 hectares of paddy land in the state, out of which 88,820 hectare are in the hills and 1,06,180 hectares in the valley. A total of around 3,500 hectares are involved in organic cultivation under the Manipur Organic Mission Manipur. For Kharif crops, the agriculture department estimated that around 5,50,000 bags of urea is required, he added.

The Government of India allocated 4,40,000 bags (45 Kg each) of fertilizers for Manipur at a subsidised rate of around Rs 276, he said. So far the state has received 3,14,000 bags and around 2,19,240 bags have been distributed so far. The minister also assured that more consignment will be procured.

MLA Ranjit demanded that the fertilizers that are sitting idle in Imphal — around 95,000 — be distributed within a week. There’s no point in sending a fire brigade after the fire has blazed the house, he added, underscoring the timely need of the fertilizers. He also added that paddy fields in the hills do not use fertilizers.

Joining the discussion, chief minister N Biren Singh assured that the fertilizers are not received in bulk at once. As such there might be some shortages faced by the farmers, but the state government will make sure that the fertilizers are distributed as soon as possible, he assured.


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