MMTA nullifies Dzuko valley ‘pact’, urges Govt to develop site

IMPHAL, 8th Dec: Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association (MMTA) has nullified the agreement on Dzuko Valley signed in Nagaland on November 30 following the arrest of some trekkers.
MMTA president Bijoy Kakchingtabam informed newspersons at its office Saturday that an executive meeting of MMTA rejected the agreement which was signed among Nagaland government, SAPO, SAYO, Manipur government and MMTA.
He said that MMTA Senapati president took major role in ensuring safe return of the eight trekkers, who were rounded by SAPO and SAYO volunteers after they fled a wildfire towards Nagaland side, and later taken into police custody. Some of the trekkers had also their examination coming up, which resulted in giving priority to the career of the trekkers and their safe return.
Maintaining that two-third of the approximately 3 square km valley belongs to Manipur and the remaining one-third to Nagaland, Bijoy said that SAPO and SAYO claiming to be legal custodian of the valley is not acceptable and MMTA strongly oppose such claims. There were several incidents in the past, during which several trekkers were assaulted and forced to sign papers declaring the valley as property of SAPO and SAYO or Nagaland.
The root cause for the problem is the failure of the state government to develop proper roads and other facilities from Manipur side. Despite repeated appeals from MMTA, the government has been ignoring the matter. Considering the series of unfortunate incidents meted out against state trekkers by SAPO, SAYO and Nagaland government, MMTA has resolved not to set up camp inside the valley in their future tours. Instead, camps will be set up in the nearby hills and visit the valley from there, he said.
Rejecting the diktat of SAPO and SAYO to enter the valley only from their village, Bijoy said that MMTA will always enter and exit the valley from Manipur side irrespective of any agreement or diktat for entering the valley from Nagaland side. Though there are reports of an agreement between Manipur and Nagaland for entering the valley from Nagaland side, MMTA has not seen any such official document, he maintained. MMTA simply offered apology for the accidental trespassing towards Nagaland by the eight trekkers while fleeing the wild fire. Even if the fire was caused by recklessness of the trekkers, they did not do it intentionally. SAPO and SAYO took political advantage of the situation and MMTA strongly condemns such opportunistic nature of the two organisations, he added.
He further appealed to the government to develop road leading to the valley from the state’s side, construct rest houses and public toilet near the valley before the next edition of Manipur Sangai Festival in order to prevent such unwanted incidents in future.

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