Sadar Hills Church Leaders' Forum backs district demand
Church leaders for peaceful co-existence
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 26 2011:
A seven-member delegation of Church Leaders' Forum of Sadar Hills Autonomous District today called on Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and submitted a memorandum urging for full implementation of Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Act, 1971 for ensuring equal development of all the communities living in Sadar hills.
The memorandum asserted that full implementation of Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971 would most certainly ensure removal of economic disparity, deliverance from economic bondage, mitigation of long suffering of the people, rapid development at par with others, fresh lease of life with brighter hope for future, widening the scope of mutual co-operation and preservation of existing approved boundary of Sadar hills.
Maintaining that the question of creation or upgradation of Sadar Hills as a new district does not arise as Sadar Hills Autonomous Council has been already in existence as a full-fledged district having its own approved boundary and villages with own elected Chairman and other members as per the Manipur (Hill Areas) Act, 1971, the memorandum recalled that when the election of members to the District Councils (MDC) was held for the first time in 1973, there were Council members representing various tribes including Tangkhul Naga, Liangmei Naga, Kom and Chiru.
Contending that the people of Sadar hills have been suffering from severe economic deprivation and hardships for the last 40 years, the memorandum explained that Deputy Commissioner of Senapati district who is also the chairman of DRDA is the controller and distributor of fund for various developmental schemes.
But the practice is such that the entire amount of the fund sanctioned for Senapati and Sadar hills is being wholly availed or consumed by influential local people of Senapati leaving nothing for Sadar Hills.
So, the anomaly in distribution of development fund has occurred mainly due to the fact that no exclusive development fund has been either provided or earmarked for the people of Sadar hills which has a total area of 1689 sq km and a total population of 1,95,513 people as against Senapati whose total area is just 1573 sq km and population 1,21,468 in accordance to Census 2001 .
Talking to mediapersons after the meeting with the Chief Minister which took place at around 2 pm today, Rev Dr Kim Haokip observed that it is the wish of the Church Leaders' Forum to see all the communities living in Manipur since time immemorial to maintain peaceful co-existence.
So, in the interest of equal development for all the people, the Forum supports the demand for upgradation of not just Sadar Hills but also Jiribam to full-fledged districts.
Sadar Hills is like a mini-Manipur, where various tribes and communities including Meitei Kabui Naga, Tangkhul Naga, Kacha Naga, Paomei Naga, Thangal Naga, Mao Naga, Vaiphei, Kom, Chiru, Any Kuki Tribe, Thadou, Nepalese, Purum, Koireng and Kharam, have been living together in perfect social harmony.
The Forum wants equal development for all these tribes/communities, Rev Kim Haokip said, while observing that no one should claim it as their own land.