The PMGKAY Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Upper Hungpung on Wednesday gave October 19 as the latest deadline for 44-Ukhrul MLA Alfred Kan-Ngam Arthur and the district administration to fulfill its charter of demands as promised.
Announcing this during a press conference held at UDWJA office, Viewland in Ukhrul town Wednesday, JAC Convenor T S Elvis stated that if the local MLA and the district administrator fail to fulfill the charter of demands as promised, the JAC would be constrained to launch an indefinite bandh in the district with effect from October 20.
“Our earnest appeal to our local MLA and the district administration is to address the grievances of the poor beneficiaries before the deadline, failing which we would be left with little option other than resorting to an indefinite bandh,” stated Elvis, flanked by the JAC’s Co-convenor Hungmathot Hungshi, Secretary PS Somingam and Spokesperson CM Kennedy Kashangmi.
Asserting that the JAC has been fighting against the continued irregularities in the implementation of PMGKAY scheme in the village, especially Upper Hungpung localities since April this year, he continued: “This movement for fair distribution of free rice for the poor under PMGKAY scheme initiated by the JAC in August has evoke positive response from the public.”
He said that towards resolving the matter, a joint meeting was officially called at DC’s office chamber on 14 September involving MLA Alfred, DC Joseph Pauline Kamson, Ukhrul SDO, Assistant Commissioner, District Supply Officer, Hungpung Village authority and members of the JAC.
“During the meeting, MLA Alfred assured that the JAC’s charter of demands would be fulfilled within one week. Forget one week, now one month has passed but the same grievances remain unaddressed,” Elvis contended.
According to Spokesperson CM Kennedy Kashangmi, the MLA had assured to provide additional 30 quintals rice from September onward so as to ensure that each beneficiary in Dungrei, Awungtang and Vashimtang receive the stipulated quantity of food grains.
“MLA Alfred also promised to compensate the missing 157 quintals rice for the three localities and also to replace the poor quality dal as demanded by the JAC,” Kashangmi informed. He disclosed that the MLA then assured to initiate an administrative probe into the misappropriation of the food grains and the unwarranted transport charge collected from Vashimtang residents and to penalize the offenders as per the norms under the scheme. “But nothing concrete has materialized out of the assurances till date,” he rued.
He pointed out that only 200 bags have been issued out of the missing 314 bags and additional 30 quintals rice have been provided for September only till date and the rest of the JAC’s charter of demands remained unfulfilled.
“Our demand is clear, we want the remaining 114 bags to be provided, along with replacement of the poor quality dal. Transportation charge collected from Vashimtang residents to be refunded and initiate an administrative probe and punish those involved in the misappropriation at the earliest,” Kashangmi reiterated.
It may be recalled that the JAC was formed in August last after beneficiaries in Upper Hungpung localities raised complaints that local agents have failed to distribute them the full measure of the entitled quantity of rice, despite the government’s directive for distribution of free 5 kg of rice per person under PMGKAY to provide means of sustenance for the poor in the view of Covid-19 lockdown situation.Attachments area