Irate SAYO seals NH-29, reopens after government assurance
Kohima, March 25 (EMN): Apparently not happy with the indifferent attitude of the government, the Southern Angami Youth Organisation (SAYO) on Wednesday sealed the National Highway-29 (NH-29) at the Nagaland and Manipur border that falls under its jurisdiction.
Speaking to Eastern Mirror at the blocked site in Khuzama, SAYO president Zakieleto Tsükrü maintained that the organisation was forced to take the actions owing to the lackadaisical attitude of the government over the serious issue- the outbreak of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
Expressing his anguish and concern over the pathetic condition, Tsükrü asserted that despite the case of Covid-19 being tested positive next to “our doorstep,” the state government has not taken the necessary precautions at the border gates.
The president claimed that the government had placed only one thermal scanner at the Khuzama police check gate, with no one trained personnel to operate the same and alleged that the policemen were also not trained/skilled to operate it.
“It was only when SAYO raised serious concern, the transit scanning camp (tent) was temporarily set up last evening under the initiatives of the medical superintendent Kohima and a medical officer from Viswema community health centre and two health workers were deputed to the site from Khuzama health centre,” stated Tsükrü.
The president added, “Yet, contrary to the expectations, none of them were trained to operate the scanner and it was only when a clerical staff from chief medical officer’s office, Kohima, came to demonstrate the use of the machine.”
The president stated that despite several orders and notifications being issued by the government, no proper measures were taken to mend the entry of travellers, vehicles or without proper scanning, although police were stationed in the check gate.
Tsükrü questioned, “How can a person execute duty 24×7 under that make shift camp?”
He reiterated that given the condition, all vehicles coming from Manipur were sent back on Wednesday morning and in the afternoon, the road was totally blocked, which would continue until the organisation got satisfactory action/measures from the government.
Tsükrü also highlighted the pathetic condition of the isolation ward identified by the government at TB hospital, Khuzama, with no equipment being set up until now. He stated that it had created panic among the citizens of Khuzama and the Southern Angamis.
The president also revealed that SAYO, in its executive meeting, had resolved that no government or organisation would impose/ levy any tax on all vehicles during the time of crisis on humanitarian ground.
Isolation ward without proper facilities
The identified Isolation ward when visited with the officials of SAYO consisted of beds, bedsheets and mattresses with no other facilities and without electricity. Whereas, the government had claimed that 30 beds were identified, yet there were only ten beds in female ward and six beds in male ward in three rooms.
The staff on duty also expressed fear and concern over the condition of the hospital for isolation ward without proper facilities and equipment and without any training.
Road block lifted
Later in the evening, an official update from SAYO informed that the road blockade was lifted after making an agreement, signed by the government and SAYO executives.
The government, represented by the SDO (Civil) Alemyapang Longchar, and SAYO, represented by its president Zakieleto Tsükrü and general secretary Mhalie Luho, agreed on the following grounds to open the inter-state road block:
1. “That we will take the responsibility to provide PPE along with equipments in order to save the public.”
2. We will inform the higher authorities to take all precautionary measures for the protection of the public.”
3. “We’ll control the unauthorised vehicles passing through the state enroute.”