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Manipur landslide: Rescue operation ends, MoU signed between Railways & Village Authority

Till today, 56 bodies have been recovered and five are still missing. 

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Imphal: Chief Minister N Biren Singh Wednesday officially announced the end of the search and rescue operation which had been conducted at Manipur’s Noney district that was struck by a massive landslide at a railway construction site in the midnight of June 29.

A total of 79 persons were affected by the landslide out of which 18 injured persons were rescued alive and evacuated to hospitals. Till today, 56 bodies have been recovered and five are still missing. 

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The Chief Minister said that individual efforts to retrieve the missing properties, machinery, etc could still be carried out by any organization or agency and assured that his government would take up all necessary steps for the deceased and the injured persons.

N. Biren Singh also expressed his sincere gratitude to all the personnel of various organizations, villagers and CSOs of the Maranching area involved in the search and rescue operation for their tireless efforts to trace the missing bodies.

Memorandum of Understanding signed

Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the North Frontier Railways, Noney District Administration and Makhuam Village Authority at the CM’s Secretariat Wednesday in presence of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, Relief and Disaster Management Minister Awangbow Newmai and Chairman, Hill Area Committee Diganglung Gangmei.

The MoU was regarding the charter of demands put forth by the Makhuam Village authority in the matter of addressing issues arising out of the recent massive landslide that occurred at Maranching, Noney District. 

The MoU signed included that until a permanent employment could be provided to the next of kin, the Railways would ensure providing contractual employment in one of its construction agencies near the site, the Railways with Noney/Kangpokpi District Administration and the village authority shall jointly survey and assess the extent of the damage done and submit the same to railways for compensation. 

The other points of MoU included the Railways to hold extensive discussion with IIT Guwahati, Manipur University and other like minded institutions to have a detailed investigation for working out how the hill slopes adjacent to Railways boundaries in the Jiribam-Imphal project can better be monitored, so that early warning can be given for any future untoward event. Environment Impact assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) shall be revisited in the light of this landslide.

The MoU was signed by Chief Engineer, North Frontier Railway (NFR) Shri Sandeep Sharma on Railways behalf, Deputy Commissioner, Noney District Shri Haulianlal Guite for District Administration, Noney and Chairman, Makhuam Village Authority Shri Lanranglung Gondaimei on behalf of village authority.

According to the MoU, the Railways shall also provide for the funeral expenses that may be incurred in the customary rites of burial and cleansing by the Makhuam village authority. Further, the 3 children orphaned by the landslide shall be provided educational fees which shall be deposited in their respective next of kin’s bank accounts so that their education may continue till graduation uninterrupted and the children shall also be put up in the Rengpang Residential School first.

Prior to signing of the MoU, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh held a meeting with all stakeholders including Relief and Disaster Management Minister Awangbow Newmai, Chairman, Hill Area Committee Diganglung Gangmei, Additional Chief Secretary M.H. Khan, Chief Engineer, NFR, Brigade Commander, Leimakhong, DC and SP Noney, President (RNYO), NDRF Commander and representatives of Makhuam Village Authority to discuss on each issue flagged by Makhuam Village Authority.       

It may be mentioned that more than 700 personnel from various organisations/agencies were engaged in the Search and Rescue Operation (S&R) with more than 43 machines. 

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had also earlier announced ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 for the injured persons. In addition, Rs. 30 lakh were also sanctioned for management of the S&R operations. For those cases, where the bodies are still not found consisting of one Territorial Army, three villagers and one VSC, the ex-gratia may be paid after observing necessary enquiry and formalities which would take a period of 30 -35 days.

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