Pothashang News Service: Imphal, April 19, 2018: Chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh has expressed his happiness on hearing that Joupi villagers of Chandel district had agreed to cultivate lemongrass instead of poppy at around 300 hectares of land at Joupi area on the insistence of 29 Assam Rifles.
The chief minister today interacted with around 50 students, two teachers and a few village chiefs from Joupi area in Chandel district at the Durbar hall of chief minister’s secretariat today.
Informing that the new state government had initiated a campaign known as ‘War on Drugs’ wherein drugs and intoxicants are being seized in huge quantity and large areas of poppy plantations destroyed, the chief minister said alternative livelihoods like Mithun rearing, plantation of Agar and lemongrass etc. would be arranged for the poppy growers.
They were on a tour to the state capital under the initiative of col. Sachin Jain, commandant of 42 Assam Rifles, whose unit is currently deployed at this interior Indo-Myanmar border.
Biren thanked the paramilitary force for taking up such a commendable job.
He encouraged them to work hard for the cause of the state and the country. He also advised them to stay away from drugs and other intoxicants. Biren Singh also assured them to put in maximum efforts to address their educational and developmental needs.
Stating that his government’s ‘Go to Hill’ mission is underway, and another campaign known as ‘Go to Village’ is set to kick start from May 1 to reach out to the villagers of far-flung areas, Biren Singh expressed pleasure on interacting with a group of young students, teachers and village chiefs from interior Joupi area under the initiative of Assam Rifles.
He also stressed on the need to properly utilise the funds which come under Border Area Development Programme to uplift the people of border areas. He also informed that 80 per cent of PMGSY funds are being utilised in hill districts.
Biren also distributed gifts and sweetmeats to the students.