The Saikot Sub-Division Demand Committee (SSDDC) from Churachanpur district and the Chandel district Flood victims are the latest pressure groups from the hills to have announced agitations to back their demands for a ‘functional’ SDO (Sub-divisional office) and deliver of relief funds respectively. The latter has threatened to block highways in Chandel district if their demand for disbursement of last year’s flood and landslide relief funds claimed to have already been sanctioned by the centre. The form of agitation the SSDDC intends to carry out is not exactly spelt out but it can be said for sure that bandhs and blockades would surely be in the agitation menu. Both valley and hill based organizations already has many burning issues with them and are ever ready to press the agitation button. Such threat of agitations emanates from the lack of positive response from the concerned authority but it also appears that those on the agitation warpath have not considered the limitation part of the government or the process involved in various stages for anything. Yet the government need not necessarily wait for a public outcry to start the process. Chandel district witnessed and experienced a great magnitude of misery last year due to flood and landslide calamity resulting in loss of life, property and displacement. Being a natural calamity humanitarian assistance and contributions from non-government agencies and civil societies were promptly and generously extended. The central government too reportedly acted swift to do its part by sanctioning funds for the flood and landslide hit villagers. The failure of this government relief money to reach its ultimate destiny even after a year has now made the victims and their advocates to threaten the concerned authority to either give away the cash or face road blockades. But those who have threatened such mode of agitation seem to have forgotten that they themselves or the people for whom they speak would be the sufferer only. In whose hand this relief fund for the unfortunate has got stuck up should first be identified and the reason for delay in distribution should be made public.
The Saikot sub-division issue too is not worth for announcing an agitation. It is already from a TD Block to a full-fledged Sub-divisional office. The office building enough to accommodate an SDO and his staff must be already there. There are many MCS officers including fresh entrants to the service who can be posted as SDO there. A Sub-divisional office becoming functional there would mean no additional financial burden. After all, SDOs in Tuibong, Lanva and Kangvai which are just few Kms away from the DC office in the district headquarters have already started to function. At the same time the SSDDC may remember that an agitation in this regard could result in hurting the wrong target only.