Protest against proposed bird sanctuary in Manipur

first_imgThe Manipur government’s plan to set up a bird sanctuary at the Loktak lake in Bishnupur district has met with stiff opposition from the villagers in nearby areas.A large number of residents of Thingnunggei village took out a massive procession against the government’s proposal on Sunday.“The villagers of Thingnunggei are poor and they have no other means of earning a livelihood except for catching fish and plucking vegetables from the lake. If fishing is banned in the lake, the villagers would starve. We are all for protection of birds, most of whom are migratory, but the new scheme should not be implemented at the cost of the poor villagers,” said one of the protesters.Declining number Thousands of migratory birds flock to the Loktak lake, the largest freshwater lake in north-eastern India, every year. However, in the past few years there has been a sharp decline in the number of migratory birds coming to the lake.Reports indicate that bird poachers are active in the area, targeting the winged guests. Officials of the forest department’s wildlife wing say in view of the widespread bird poaching at the lake, setting up of the sanctuary is a must. Birdwatchers on the other hand blame human intrusion, bird poaching and hydroelectric power project near the lake for the decline in the number of migratory birds and brow-antlered deer in the Keibul Lamjao national park in the vicinity.Brow-antlered deerSome decades ago, the villagers of the lake islets had agitated against setting up of the Keibul Lamjao National Park, the natural habitat of the endangered brow-antlered deer. They wanted the land demarcated for the park to be made available to them for cultivating paddy.Now, several years later, the latest census suggests that there are only 260 brow-antlered deer in the Keibul Lamjao national park.last_img read more

Eastern St. Thomas MP Offers Help to Teachers

first_imgTeachers in Eastern St. Thomas, who wish to upgrade their skills, can benefit from grants and scholarships being offered by the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).Making the announcement in his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, June 25, Dr. Ferguson said the grants for teacher study upgrade and the scholarships are valued at more than $60,000 each.The grants from the CDF are being bolstered by funds from the Friends of Eastern St. Thomas – Jamaica and New York Chapters; while the scholarships are being made possible through the Dr. Fenton Ferguson Scholarship for Teachers.The Minister emphasized that he is committed to the educational development of his constituents, and pointed out that “the greatest allocation from my Constituency Development Fund has historically been to education and this has not changed.”“This past year, we committed support to infrastructure upgrade, equipment, scholarships, school appliances, and assistance to needy students,” Dr. Ferguson said, as he outlined his stewardship in Eastern St. Thomas.The Minister further informed that he will be continuing this year, the award of $10,000 each for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Top Performing Boy and Girl, from the 21 primary schools in his constituency as well as the hosting of the annual luncheon in their honour.Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwardslast_img read more

Provision of Electricity Opens Opportunities for Communities –Energy Minister

first_img Addressing a National Energy Solutions Limited (NESol) ceremony to officially commission electricity service to the Park Lee and Ridge Pen communities in Mountainside, South West St. Elizabeth, on August 18, Dr. Wheatley said getting electricity to the community should also be viewed as mission accomplished, following a commitment he made to the residents early last year. “By bringing electricity here we are opening the doors and providing opportunities for the people,” the Minister said. He told the residents that following representation from Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth, Hon. Floyd Green, a community access point (CAP) will soon be opened in the area. Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the provision of electricity in communities which were previously without the service forms part of the Government’s push to create economic opportunities for everyone. Story Highlights Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the provision of electricity in communities which were previously without the service forms part of the Government’s push to create economic opportunities for everyone.Addressing a National Energy Solutions Limited (NESol) ceremony to officially commission electricity service to the Park Lee and Ridge Pen communities in Mountainside, South West St. Elizabeth, on August 18, Dr. Wheatley said getting electricity to the community should also be viewed as mission accomplished, following a commitment he made to the residents early last year.“By bringing electricity here we are opening the doors and providing opportunities for the people,” the Minister said.He encouraged the residents who will benefit from the electricity to remember the responsibilities which come with the service.“It is not free…it comes with responsibility, so I encourage you to be responsible and to practise energy conservation,” he said.He told the residents that following representation from Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth, Hon. Floyd Green, a community access point (CAP) will soon be opened in the area.This, the Minister said, is part of the Ministry’s push to get Jamaica on the information super highway as the country works to attain its Vision 2030 developmental goals.“The community access point is to ensure that we build out a knowledge based society – a truly digital society – so that Jamaica can embrace the opportunities that are presented as the economy grows. We do not want South West St. Elizabeth to be left behind,” he said.“We want to create opportunities for young people, such as skills in animation and app development. Even in the farming communities you will be able to use technology,” the Minister added.Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament said the installation of electricity in the communities form part of efforts to restore hope for the residents.“This is part of the reason why I went into politics…to make the lives of people better. There is a lot more work to be done and we are going to ensure that we go community by community and look at the critical issues and treat with them. In this modern day Jamaica, you must have road, water and light that you can turn on. It is now a necessity,” Mr. Green said.Also addressing the ceremony was Mayor of Black River and Councillor for the Mountainside Division of the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, Derrick Sangster, who said residents of the communities are really happy that the service is being made available to them.Some 150 households in the Park Lee and Ridge Pen communities will benefit from the electricity service.last_img read more