Kohima wards support PAC’s ‘Operation check gate’
‘Parasitic extortion and illegal collections’
Dimapur, Sep. 23 (EMN): The Association of Kohima Municipal Wards Panchayat (AKMWP) is all for the Public Action Committee (PAC) of the Naga Council of Dimapur to rid Nagaland of the myriad toll gates and check gates where government agencies and community groups allegedly extort from people. Agreeing that the extortion activities are affecting prices of essentials and other goods, the association named unscrupulous retail ‘middlemen’ to ‘bigger players’ such as the underground groups.
The association issued a press release to the media on Monday.
“’Operation check gate’ initiated by the PAC is yet another important milestone in the people’s fight against unceasing exploitation of the masses in the state. Corruption in any form or manner guarantees devastating consequences in due course of time,” the press release stated.
“The parasitic and much despised illegal collection/extortion in Dimapur, the economic gateway of the state have remained central to the compelling sky high rocketing price of goods and services, which, all too often, we the consumers may only grin and bear.”
The wards agreed that the price of goods passing through these check gates “mysteriously emerges inflated, at times, even in multiples of its original value, selling price SP outpaces the maximum retail price MRP.”
‘Locals or outsiders causing leakages, produces the same effects in draining the blood of our economy dry. The slightest whiff is sufficient for the unscrupulous middleman at the retail level to bite off the largest chunk, nonchalantly point towards the ultimate villains—bigger players such as NNPGs (Naga ‘national political groups’) and dealers at higher levels for such outrageous daylight robberies.’
The association reminded that the long-term impact of ‘this foul drama’ is ‘much more bitter and painful.’
The PAC’s initiative and efforts against the illegal activity is most praiseworthy and deserving all possible support of the association of wards Panchayat and all others in Nagaland, the press release stated.
‘Noteworthy observation of the ‘Operation Check Gate’ has been its mature and rather subdued conduct. A benefit of learning from past experiences and quietly inching towards the goals. The absence of animosity towards the authorities and other parties and the abscence of disturbances/ bandhs/ etc letting the common folks go about their business like any other ordinary day is indeed commendable.’
The association has expressed hearty appreciation for the PAC’s convenor and his colleagues, volunteers, nongovernment organisations and everyone involved directly or indirectly in this “babysteps towards victory for the people of Nagaland.”
‘Any positive change in Dimapur will reverberate throughout the state and to every town and village of the state. We extend our firm support and help solidarity to the cause,’ the press release stated.
Further, the association reminded that the time is ripe for the people to “consider declaring zero tolerance towards corruption anywhere and unfair trade practices and resolutely refuse to be exploited.”
‘We owe it to ourselves and future generations to set matters right once and for all and enable our people to aspire for higher standards, at par with all other societies not overpowered by the diseases of corruption, cheating and trust deficiencies.’
To the government authorities
As for the government authorities, the association wondered if they even had the will to redress the system.
“At this juncture, all eyes are fixed upon the government. The common ordinary folks have done the grunt work with great care. Does the government have the will to make it right? Will the government act swiftly, with sincerity and commitment by fixing responsibility upon the departments and staff caught blatantly violating its directions?”
Stating a need for the authorities to ensure cleaning the ‘mess’ and devise measures to prevent recurrence, the association advised taking mote of the civil and democratic fight of the citizens to secure a peaceful and better future for all.
‘We pray to almighty that the people mandated government remain in sync with its people and take all measures necessary for effecting this change and stand out in the annals of our history,’ the press release added.