Chaga Ngee day will be restricted holiday: Biren

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Imphal: The day Chaga Ngee festival falls will be a restricted holiday, considering the significance of the festival, announced chief minister N. Biren Singh at the 9th State Level Chaga Ngee Festival organised at Makuilongdi-II, Liang-Nam, Senapati district on Sunday.

The current government aims to empower minority sections of the society and to take them along in the path of development, Biren said.

“We should know what we are,” the chief minister and stressed the need to remember the aged-old relationship amongst different communities and live together having respect for one another. Stating on the need to revive the facts of our history, he expressed his desire to include the history shared by different communities in the syllabus of school students.

He informed that the Heritage Park which is being constructed at Makhel with the cost of Rs 6 crore would be completed before this year’s Sangai Festival. Continuing that the Liangmai community of the state has been deprived of access to certain benefits of government’s welfare programme earlier, he informed that the government has decided to open a Sub-Deputy Collector’s office at Makui Village. The office will be later upgraded to the Sub-Divisional Office, he added.

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Considering the historical importance of Makuilongdi village, Biren announced to install a statue of Haipou Jadonang and the approval of the same would be sanctioned within 15 days. He also assured to construct a permanent hall, instead of the current bamboo structure, at the ground where the festival was observed.

He lauded the people of Makuilongdi village for carrying out plantation of organic crops instead of poppy plantations practices and assured to send officials of the Horticulture department to look for suitable crops which could be provided to the village for plantation. He also assured to construct a cold storage at the village to prevent wastage of the crop produced and added that the government would provide a market platform for selling their produce.

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Water Resources minister Awangbow Newmai expressed satisfaction that the Chaga Ngee festival is celebrated in a big way. He continued that the festival, which is also known as the festival of sanctification, had been celebrated since the olden days. He appreciated the governance of Biren Singh, stating that the aged-old relationships among different communities had been revived under his leadership.

Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha Leishemba Sanajaoba said the aged-old tradition of celebrating the Chaga Ngee festival had been known since the olden days. However, as time changes, the significance of the festival had lost its primacy for some time. “With the current trend of bringing up our own identity, the festival began to be celebrated in a more refined way from 2004,” he added.

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Chairman, Hill Areas Committee, Dinganglung Gangmei, MLA Janghemlung Panmei, the district deputy commissioner and superintendent of police, office bearers of civil society organisations and students’ associations and officials of District Administration, Senapati also attended the programme among others.

Biren handed over the reward of Rs 5 lakh to Tapon Village, which was announced earlier for voluntarily destroying the poppy plantation.

Cultural dances of different cultural troupes were also showcased during the celebration.

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