By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Sep 15: Denouncing Tourism Department's bid to run Santhei Natural Park in Andro under PPP (Public Private Partnership) mode, locals dismantled a foundation stone at the park bearing the names of Chief Minister N Biren Singh and ex-Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar today.
The locals' agitation came after the Tourism Corporation of Manipur Limited floated a tender on September 7 inviting firms to operate and maintain the park under PPP Mode.
Calling on the authorities concerned to revoke the tender notice immediately, the locals asserted that the park cannot be given to any firm or agency in the name of development.
Stating that the park is a major source of livelihood for the locals and is vital for the economy of the Andro people, they said giving the park away to a firm or agency would mean surrendering their means of livelihood.
They also asserted that the committee and clubs concerned of Andro and the park were not consulted by the authorities concerned before floating the tender.
Meanwhile, Andro Western Baruni Road Youth Club has informed that locals of Andro Kharam have taken a series of resolutions denouncing the bid to operate the Santhei Natural Park under PPP mode.
The park can never be converted to a PPP model without the consent of the Park Committee, clubs and locals. The tender inviting firms for operating the park under PPP mode should be revoked immediately. The right to livelihood of the locals must not be given away to any individual or firm. All attempts to convert the park into a PPP model and hurt the livelihood and sentiments of the locals will be unitedly faced by the locals. The park should remain as a natural park and its ecological balance will be maintained, said the resolutions.