Slow govt response irks Manipur quake survivors

Slow govt response irks Manipur quake survivors

Collateral damage: State has released funds for homeless, says chief secretary

Slow govt response irks Manipur quake survivors

Fifty-two-year-old R K Lansana, an employee of Manipur’s public works department, has been part of teams working on construction projects.

The man, who has a family of four, was building his own house, which had the permission of five storeys, over the years. But Lansana and his family became homeless after the completion of only two storeys.

Lansana’s house collapsed in the earthquake of January 4 and the man, who was away from Imphal on an official duty on that day, is yet to receive help from the government.

“I am a government employee and I know people in high administration. I request them a lot but the government till now has not come to help. If they a can do this with an educated person like me, think what kind of treatment the victims in the rural and remote areas would be getting at this hour of crisis,” Lansana told Deccan Herald as the remains of his concrete house at Dewlaland locality in Imphal were being dismantled.

Lansana’s only respite is that his wife and two children had a miraculous escape. His wife S Aruna Devi, however, suffered a leg fracture.

“I wake up very early. On that day, it was very cold and I was still in the bed. It jolted like hell and then everything came crumbing. I shouted to my children. We were caught inside the rubble. My son and daughter pulled me out. We ran out and saw that our house had turned into dust,” an emotional Aruna Devi said.

There are more people like Lansana who are annoyed with the government’s response.
While nearly 500 houses and building suffered damages across the north-eastern state, government help has been reaching out slowly. Reports said the government’s support was lacking in remote Tamenglong and Senapati districts.

While eight people died in the 6.8-magnitude quake, according to the government’s latest information, 33 have been seriously injured, while 45 others are nursing minor injuries. “We have not been able to complete the assessment of damage and losses. Our teams are doing a statewide survey. There have been no deaths in the past two days.

We have released funds for helping those who have lost their homes. An expert teams from the Centre would visit this week,” state’s Chief Secretary O Nabakishore told Deccan herald.

Meanwhile, Two NDRF teams sent to Manipur were busy clearing the debris and looking for survivors at Noney and Nungba in Tamenglong. “Our teams are reaching every remote village. We have not found any bodies, neither are there reports about anyone being trapped. We have alerted the government on vulnerable structures,” said Marut Pandey, a deputy commandant of the NDRF.