Imphal: Manipur government is giving priority to interior villages and border areas in the state, chief minister N. Biren Singh said at the inaugural function of the Laii (Vafiimai) Day celebrated under the theme “Our Culture, Our Identity ” at the local ground, Laii Village, Senapati Manipur.
The two day festival is celebrated on January 12 and 13.
Upon his arrival at the venue, the chief minister and his entourage were accorded a rousing welcome by the general public.
Senapati is a strategically important area, and taking advantage of the national highway which passes through the district, it can be fully developed, Biren said. “We are trying to create a city like atmosphere in the district with due consultation with civil organisations like NPO and students union etc.”
Biren highlighted developmental projects undertaken in the district including construction of Ima Market, stadiums, laying of astro turf for football, development of amusement park, foundation stone laying of youth centre for skill development of youth, etc.
“We are working day and night, today we are able to provide potable water to atleast 70-80 percent in the district,” the chief minister said. Calling on the people to be united and live together, he urged all to forgive and forget the past mistakes and instead move forward unitedly.
He also sought the people’s support to the ‘War on Drugs’ campaign and further appreciated the people of the district including the Poumais, Thangals, Maos, Maram, Liangmais for coming out voluntarily and pledging against poppy plantation and illegal drug business.
Explaining the ills of Poppy plantation, he said it not only helps in production of drugs like opium but also destroys forest and environment, it causes massive deforestation, which adversely affects the climate.
The chief minister lauded the Naga community for protecting and preserving the jungle cover in their areas.
Highlighting that the proposal for upgradation of the Laii-Tusom via Kharasom road to national highway status was not included in the proposal sent to the Centre earlier, the chief minister said he would look into the demand for the upgradation. He assured to look into the other points included in the memorandum submitted by the villagers.
He applauded the people of the village for properly preserving their age-old tradition and culture.
Stressing on certain similarities between the Poumais and the Meiteis, the chief inister also explained that he wants to fully understand these similarities.
He also explained the need to visit the interior villages and said the government has to understand the necessities and needs of its entire people including those living in the interior villages.
Highlighting the launching of the ‘Go to Hills’ and ‘Go to Village’ schemes in the earlier term, the chief inister said the government understands the difficulties of life in the far-flung villages and so in its second term, the government is giving first priority to the interior villages and border areas under the leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Village chairman Th. Kapani said the day is celebrated every five years to commemorate the innumerable blessings, the people have received since time immemorial, and also the day to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the village.
Minister L. Susindro Meitei, MP Rajya Sabha Maharaj Leishemba Sanajaoba, MLA L. Dikho, DC, SP, public leaders among others also attended the inaugural function.
Highlights of the day included inauguration of a monolith by the chief minister, whooping by three keels, hoisting of village flag, special items, cultural item by the Laii Women Society, Bee Dance by Laii Village Men folk among others.