Nipamacha recalls last minute ditch of Sadar Hills
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, November 06 2011:
Former Chief Minister Wahengbam Nipamacha has stated that difference of opinion among the champions of Sadar Hills district was the primary factor for the last minute abortion of the Government's plan to declare Sadar Hills as a full fledged district in 1997 .
In an exclusive chat with The Sangai Express, the former Chief Minister stated that even invitation cards were printed for the formal inauguration of Sadar Hills district but disagreement among champions of Sadar Hills district regarding location of district headquarters put off the Government's plan indefinitely.
The then United Front Government took a firm resolution to declare Sadar Hills as a full fledged district despite strong objections.
Notably, Nipamacha was the Chief Minister of then United Front Government.
Even though the Nagas raised strong objections, the United Front Government decided to create Sadar Hills district for the sake of administrative convenience, and even invitation cards were printed for the inaugural function, Nipamacha stated.
The question of district boundary re-organisation was, nevertheless, in the mind of the then Government.
"Though Sadar Hills is largely dominated by non-Nagas, it was the Nagas who raised the stiffest opposition", the former Chief Minister remarked.
As the process for declaration for Sadar Hills district was being taken up in full speed, MLA Thangminlen Kipgen who was elected from Kangpokpi AC was intent on making Kangpokpi the headquarters of Sadar Hills district.
On the other hand, Tribal Development Minister of the then United Front Government, Ngamthang Haokip who was elected from Saitu AC was in favour of locating the district headquarters at Gamnom-Sapermaina.
But at that time, Gamnom Sapermaina was not even a sub-divisional headquarters and there was no infrastructure needed for district headquarters.
However, Kangpokpi had many offices including bungalows of British period.
As such, Government chose Kangpokpi to be Sadar Hills district headquarters.
When the Government was finally ready to declare Sadar Hills as a full fledged district, the then TD Minister Ngamthang Haokip openly proposed to make Gamnom-Sapermaina the district headquarters, Nipamacha recalled.
"Taking into account the sharp difference of opinion between the two representatives I, as a Chief Minister, decided to abort the plan of declaring Sadar Hills as full fledged district", Nipamacha recounted.
On account of this disagreement about the location of district headquarters, the plan to inaugurate Sadar Hills district was delayed for about a month.
Then, the election code of conduct came into force which was never expected by the then Government.
Observing that the Sadar Hills issue has become much more complicated today, the former Chief Minister noted that there is no guarantee people's suffering would end simply because the Government and the SHDDC have signed an MoU.