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HOME >> MEDIA >> MHA to come up with Manipur action  plan
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MHA to come up with Manipur action plan

A CENTRAL team led by Union home secretary G K Pillai recently visited the district government hospital in Senapati, Manipur, to checkout the health facilities available, only to find the operation theatre (OT) locked. Not only did the hospital authorities have to struggle to locate the key when the officials, accompanied by the Senapati district collector, insisted on inspecting OT, but also the team discovered, to its horror, that the surgery table had been out of use for the last eight months.
    The reason? No surgeons are available to justify the crores of public money invested in the specialised equipment needed to run OT at the District Hospital, Senapati. Not only OTs, even the mobile medical units (vans), launched with much fanfare to reach basic health services to the underserved areas, are gathering dust due to nonavailability of basic medical staff to operate them.
    During their surprise visits to the district hospitals in Senapati and Bishnupur, the Central government officials — including secretary, DoNER — also gathered that OPD operates only twice a week and, on a given day, gets only a handful of patients. Obviously, the ill and injured are going elsewhere — to private clinics or, worse, to some fleecing quack. Interestingly, most of the medical attention is taken up by gastro-intestinal diseases and disorders, given the lack of potable drinking water supply in the state.
    Even though monitoring of health services in a state is not the job of the Union government but a prime responsibility of the state, the poor delivery mechanism of Central schemes in insurgency-hit states like Manipur has now led the Union home ministry to come up with an action plan detailing development initiatives to be undertaken in the state in healthcare, water supply, including provision of drinking water, employment generation, agriculture, education, etc. The areas to be addressed in the proposed action plan were identified during Mr Pillai’s two-day visit to the state on August 21 and 22 for a series of development seminars, also attended by DoNER and Planning Commission officials.
    The action plan, to be drawn up by MHA, will set a timeline for projects to be implemented under flagship schemes like NREGA, Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission, National Rural Health Mission, PM Gram Sadak Yojana, etc. The Centre, to ensure that the projects are delivered and the deadlines met, has decided to make as many as 5,000 copies of the action plan and circulate it among village chiefs, block level administrators, NGOs, civil society groups and others to enable them to track the implementation of the schemes and report any diversion of the funds.
    For the Centre, the push to development and improving the delivery mechanism of Central schemes will be a major step towards ending the feeling of alienation among Manipuris for allegedly not getting a share in the fruits of development. This, in turn, will tackle the socio-economic factors that often drive the youth of the state to insurgency.
    The insurgency statistics in Manipur only add to the urgency behind the Central push to the “healing touch” in the state, saddled with alleged corruption and embezzlement of funds by public servants. As many as 362 incidents were recorded in the first half of 2009, up from 324 incidents in the corresponding period last year. As many as seven security personnel and 51 civilians lost their lives until June 30 this year.
    Importantly, Manipur accounted for almost half of the total 752 violent incidents and one-third of the 161 civilian casualties recorded in the north-eastern region in the first six months of 2009.




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