Government functioning in Manipur remains affected after quake

Imphal, Jan 27 (IANS) The Manipur government’s functioning has been partially affected as the new secretariat building, where several ministers and senior officials have their offices, was damaged in the January 4 earthquake.

Ever since the earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale jolted the north-eastern states, the general public has been inconvenienced as ministers and elected representatives, including parliamentary secretaries, and other officials have not been able to function from the new secretariat.

To make matters worse, no senior official is available to explain the situation.

Sources said the government was mulling alternative accommodation for these ministers and officials for the smooth functioning of the government.

Major cracks developed in the secretariat’s walls while its pillars suffered partial damage in the quake. However, in the absence of adequate funds, the Manipur government has not been able to carry out reconstruction/repair work.

All that has been done in the name of repairs is fixing of few iron rods on damaged pillars.

At least three ministers, a few parliamentary secretaries, state information commissioner and several commissioners and other officials and their staff were earlier functioning from the new secretariat building.

Senior officials, meanwhile, told IANS that the Centre was yet to respond to the Manipur government’s request for Rs.500 crore assistance for relief and rehabilitation work.

Interestingly, while the secretariat and other government buildings suffered damage, old buildings constructed during British rule withstood the temblor.

Two market complexes in the state capital suffered considerable damage. Nearly 2,000 women vendors who plied their trade there were asked not to enter these complexes due to the damage.

The government has so far managed to arrange for some space for displaced vendors to carry on with their daily business.

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