Barely a kilometre from the official residence of the Chief Minister and the Governor of Manipur, Keishamthong Hodam Leirak which is zero mile from the centre of Imphal is a strategically located street that connects Tiddim Road with Mayai Lambi. What is significant about this street is that it is wider and heavy vehicles ply on this street unlike the many other streets nearby.
The unfortunate story, however, is the political apathy-regime after regime, year after year, months after months that the residents of this streets have forgotten what it is like to have a well tarred road. People living in this street have come to accept the fact that it is innate to suffer from lack of basic infrastructure such as good pucca road. The conditions of the road are abysmal esp. during raining season. As this road connects to Khagempali too through Irom Pukhri Mapal, the usage of this street is aplenty. A senior citizen and a resident of the Keishamthong Hodam Leirak, S. Tarunibala whose sentiments is echoed by probably all the residents of the street says that she has problem walking down the bad road as she is getting old and suffers from osteoporosis. “My knee aches esp. walking through and above all the stones on the street’, she said. She further said that the residents of streets would be glad if the government look into the matter and do the needful. The only time the state government seemed interested in mending the street is before every general election. However, even that didn’t happen this election or for that matter the previous election too, she added.
While the government is gung-ho about getting Imphal a ‘smart city’ tag, how would it be possible without developing the street that is at the heart of the city. Keishamthong Hodam Leirak represents a symbol of neglect, a case of political apathy, a promise unkept by the Biren Singh Government in his first 100 days-a government that came to power on the plank of development and signifies a far cry and a mockery of a dream towards making Imphal a smart city.