Ukhrul chiefs reach out to Somra
Source: The Sangai Express / Mungchan Zimik

Ukhrul, March 07 2013: Under the theme 'Oneness,' a 17-member delegation led by executive council members of Border Area Villages' Association (BAVA), a few days back, visited Somra, the nearest village in Myanmar from Ukhrul, which was recently declared a township by the Myanmar authority.

With the objective of fostering better relationship in all matters through grass-root people to people contact, the goodwill expedition was carried out from February 23 to 25 last.

Somra, in neighbouring Myanmar territory, is located 150 kms away from Ukhrul district headquarters.

The team passed through Border Pillar 129.The team had a consultation with the chairmen and council members of Somra area.

They resolved to fight for their common cause specially, anti social elements, illegal trade operating in the border.

The border area villages unanimously agreed to demand the setting up of border haat and border liaison offices at Tusom on Indian side and Somra to their respective Governments.

Gateway Somra township
Gateway Somra township

They also assured to ensure the safety of cross-border visitors from both sides.

The newly declared border town Somra comprises of around 350 households with three chairmen for smooth governance.

As per the township rules, a chairman is appointed by the Myanmar Government for every 100 households.

Amongst the chairmen, a chief chairman is nominated for overall supervision of the town.

The village has distinctive achievement in the Myanmar Government.

It has a pro-military Member of Parliament (MP), an army Brigadier and a number of policemen and nurses.

Construction of a hospital, police station, road improvement work and other developmental works have been initiated at Somra with the declaration of it as a new township.

However, there is no proper banking facility and significantly, transaction can be done in both Indian and Myanmarese currencies.

Unfortunately, the Chinese intrusion in their soil has been felt.

The Chinese engaged people of Somra in smuggling Wild Orchid from the transit town Leisii (Myanmar) via Somra Tract to mainland China.

A bunch of wild orchid could fetch an amount somewhere ranging from Rs 600 to Rs 2000 .

The intervention of concerned Govt agencies and NGOs could save the total exploitation of the wild orchid, the Somra natives felt.

Educating and sensitizing the poor villagers on the needs for preservation of the wild orchid could be a value added asset.

Interestingly, the Somra tribe of Myanmar claimed to be descendant of Tangkhul.

In fact, they have the same clan/surname with that of the Tangkhuls in India.

Not surprisingly, senior citizens can communicate well in Manipuri! The Visiting team, to show their good gesture, distributed medicines and salt to the Somra villagers.

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