Manipur CM takes steps to develop former rebel stronghold

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IMPHAL, JUNE 8: Taking note of the sluggish rate of development at Chandel district’s Kengjoi Sub-Division bordering Myanmar, Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Thursday instructed the authorities concerned to take up infrastructure developmental programmes there.
The area was once a stronghold of various insurgent groups before they were flushed out by a massive military operation about a decade ago. 19 Battalion AssamRifles is currently deployed there. On special request made by the paramilitary force, Biren interacted with leaders and authorities of 21 different villages of the Sub-Division at his office secretariat.
The AR officers briefed the CM about the benefits which can be possibly reaped from the introduction of widespread avocado plantation in the area. They also apprised him of the problems faced by villagers owing to poor connectivity, absence of water supply, electricity and other basic amenities. The village leaders highlighted the inconveniences which they have been facing for many years.
After listening to them, Biren reached out to officials of Manipur State Power Distribution Company Ltd over phone and asked them to take up necessary steps for providing power supply to Tuitong and adjoining areas at the earliest. He also asked Deputy Commissioner (Chandel) Krishna Kumar to prepare a project report for the construction of a road having proper drains from Sehlon to New Samtal. Stating that the Centre had agreed to provide more funds to the state under Border Area Development Programme, Biren said he will forward the said project to the Union Home Ministry for its inclusion into such a programme.
Asking the AR officers to encourage villagers to plant lemongrass, avocado and banana instead of poppy, Biren said the Government is ready to install banana fibre extracting machines if widespread banana plantation is possible at the area. (TNN)