IMPHAL, Mar 17: Chief Minister N Biren has stated that the hill districts of Manipur can be brought at par with the valley districts in terms of socio-economic and infrastructure development provided multiple development projects are implemented in the hill districts during the next five to ten years.
The Chief Minister held a meeting with village chiefs of hill districts at the royal palace here today and discussed about effective ways of bringing speedy development in hill areas.
Investment in hill areas and plain areas would not bring uniform results on account of differences in topography.
Implementation of development programmes in hill districts would require greater investment. The Central Government would be apprised about it and the State Government would invest more funds in hills areas so as to bring speedy development, Biren stated.
The State Government would devise different policies to bring development not only in hill areas but also in interior areas of the valley districts so that there is uniform development across the State.
Since a long time back, successive Governments were giving assurances to bring development in hill areas. But rhetoric is not enough and the new Government is determined to show its commitment by action, the Chief Minister stated.
Responding to a query raised by media persons, Biren maintained that there is a need to ascertain when were designated camps of NSCN-IM opened in some hill areas of Manipur and if there was any agreement with the State Government on the matter.
After due investigation about the presence of NSCN-IM’s designated camps in Manipur, the Central Government would be apprised about it and it would be considered whether the same matter can be raised during the political dialogue going on between the Government of India and NSCN-IM.
Rather than distributing benefits of several welfare schemes to tribal beneficiaries at Imphal, Ministers and MLAs ought to deliver the benefits to the beneficiaries directly at their respective villages with the help of district level officials, Biren said. Pointing out that Manipur was once an independent kingdom and Manipuri people are proud of this fact, Biren lamented that the present (titular) king has not been given proper place of respect and dignity today.
The State Government would pay extra attention to this matter and all efforts would be invested to restore hill-valley unity, Biren added. The Chief Minister also met titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba.
Source: The Sangai Express