By Paojel Chaoba
IMPHAL, March 21: A perennial fountain with a statue pouring water to another adorns the entrance of the spacious new assembly complex at Chingmeirong. But, not a single drop of drinking water is available inside the assembly complex.
However, it is only the beginning. Members of the press and visitors faced many woes. One has to pass through four barriers of metal detector check points. The checking begins at the main gate and each person is patted down by the security personnel, looking for mobile phones and other ‘harmful objects’.
The mobiles along with other sharp objects are withheld at the main gate by the security.
At the old assembly complex, the media had a separate room and proper seating arrangements. One could also listen to the proceedings in the press room outside the assembly hall via the sound system.
In stark contrast, the capitol assembly hall may bear an air of upgradation with the ceiling dome painted with different symbols representing the different ethnic tribes and the imposing structure. Though, the floor is carpeted, and seats are made of leather upholstery, several complaints are voiced to IFP.
Firstly, the assembly complex has no public facility for drinking water. ‘If one chokes, we just have to run to the fountains located outside the assembly hall’, a visitor told IFP.
The officers and visitors inside the gallery also complained of the suffocating atmosphere inside the assembly complex, the carpeted floor also is a source for accumulation of dust and people could be heard coughing and sneezing from the dust kicked up. ‘There is no air conditioning in the gallery’, the visitors complained.
Further, it was found that the top part of the assembly building has tinted glasses and presently, blankets are used to cover the glass which would provide natural light for the morning session. Individuals sitting at the gallery complained that the strobe lights used directly hits on the eyes of those sitting above but however do not affect the MLAs sitting below.
Visitors voiced disapproval of the present scenario and further media at the spot had to run near the speakers as the comments of the Chief Minister and other MLAs were inaudible.