Experiencing Senapati town

Manglal Chongloi *

 Senapati as seen from the Road  :: July 2012
Senapati as seen from the Road through the lenses of Bunti Phurailatpam :: July 2012

Bedecked with different admirable cultures, languages, lifestyles and innumerable activities of living, Senapati town is flourishing in the North of Manipur State, about 62 kms from Imphal in the South and 45 km from Mao gate in the North which NH-2 passes right in its hearth .

The Senapati town is the District Headquarter of Senapati District, which was earlier known as Manipur North District which came into existence wef 14 November 1969 with its headquarters at Karong. Later the district headquarter was shifted to Senapati town on 13 December 1976, and the District came to be known as Senapati District wef 15 July 1983.

Senapati town is easily accessible to the rest of Indian States through the NH-2 in the North and – to Khamsom and beyond through Sorbung road in the east, to Imphal and beyond through NH-2 in the South, to Tamenlong via Imphal-Tamei road Kpi Dist through Senapati-Tamei road in the West.

Besides, the town is also interconnected with many inter-village roads that come along way from far flung hills and mountains of the District. It is surrounded like a chain of guards by TNK and Senapati village in the East, Rikhumai Taphou in the South, Taphou Naga, Pudunamai, and Katomei in the West and Vakho-Karong in the North.

Its original inhabitants mostly are of Nagas of different tribes – Mao, Maram, Poumai, Thangal, Liangmai, Rongmai, Inpui, Zeme etc speaking different languages and practicing different cultures; and belonging to different denominational churches. There are also inhabitants other than the original inhabitants such as- Biharis, Marvaris, Meitei, Pangal, Nepalis, Bangalis etc, who settled here temporarily for business, teaching, learning and other purposes.

These inhabitants both insiders and outsiders have to abide by the strict rules and regulations of the town – pay necessary town funds, safeguard and help develop the town and give a cooperating hand to the District administration, the ADC, Senapati, the town committee and the town associated clubs or organizations when ever called for.

The past desolated parts of the areas within the town are now filled with so many magnificent buildings, business establishments and offices of the government and the Civil societies. It is continuously growing and developing. It will not be wrong to say that Senapati town is the fastest growing town in the State.

Its growing trend is unimaginably miraculous that within one’s awake, the town flourishes to a city standard- you see how the town is adorned with finely constructed buildings and business establishments-their structures and designs are admirably attractive and almost all kinds of business is carried out with first-class goods and services- the hotels and the restaurants services, the luxurious items provided to the public is indeed marvelous.

For the new comers, Senapati town may seem to be as usual but for the old inhabitants and for ones who are familiar with its past history, Senapati town remains a wonder as to how it grows changing in a tremendous manner within a few span of years. You may be surprised to know how and in which condition the old road of Senapati town passed like a river running through a deep gorge with few shops on both sides in a slump, and only kutcha houses with few pucca houses, the old community hall which was sometimes used as a cinema hall, the old Senapati Monday market, the unmodified rough playground etc.

On comparing with this present standard of the town – its buildings playground, offices, market complex, vegetable markets and other structural developments of the town which generates activities related to business, education, banking, health services, transportation etc. are indeed wonderfully modernized.

Shopping at Senapati town is immensely amazing and pleasing, because, you know, almost all kinds of consumer goods ranging from kitchen utensils to luxury items are abundantly available, except medical facilities for serious diseases. Just for minor illness, Senapati town has sufficient infrastructures and doctors. The district hospital complex is situated at the extreme North-West of the town and is just a stone’s throw from it.

Moreover there are few private clinics run by well qualified doctors and pharmacists. In one way we can say there is nothing short in Senapati town. The presence of many Nationalised banks, such as-SBI, HDFC Bank, CBI, UCO Banks UBI, AXIS Bank and BOI; and the installation of their respective ATM Booths at different places of the town makes life extremely comfortable and fittingly time saving because withdrawal of money is available everywhere at anytime provided we have fund in the banks.

Another important feature of Senapati town is the abundance of vehicles – especially autos, vans, mobile Tatas and luxury cars. The availability of auto, van and tata services made the town much impressive, comfy and homely, although a bit noisy and congested as traveling and transportation could be done instantly as per one’s choice and desire.

Passenger services and goods carriage services are provided to the public any time and any where, even to the farthest part of the State and beyond, provided an agreement is reached between the driver and the passenger with regards to the distance to be traveled and the fare to be paid. Among the many important flourishing features of the town, growth of education and educational infrastructures is also worth mentioning. You see, in the early eighties, there were only two schools – Senapati Govt.

School and Donbosco high school. Later, many more schools came into being, such as Bethany, Shaklim, Broke Dale, DV, Mt. Everest, St. Anthony, Mt. Pisgah, New Life etc. Most of these institutions, including Donbosco, are now upgraded to secondary and college levels. The students are not only from the locality, but also from other parts of the State. And the town is educationally shinning to its zenith.

You know education is a thing which opens the eyes and breaks the cloud of ignorance. Senapati town is advancing in the field of education which makes the people well behaved and disciplined. The town inhabitants are greatly influenced by the well mannered culture and social life through social interactions of different well disciplined and organized communities within the town which is attributed to proper education, training and a set of disciplines.

One thing which might be odd to mention but very interesting – the perfection of engineering work that was undertaken at the early eighties’ – the exact calculation of location of the present hand pump that stands at the side of the entrance of Senapati Police station just close to the waiting shed near traffic point to the north. When the hand pump was installed some time in the early eighties, the Senapati town was unplanned and so, was rough and void, without proper road inter connectivity and infrastructural establishments.

Monday market was run at the area enclosed by the police station in the North, old community hall in the west, NH-39 in the East and DC road in the South. (Monday market was then shifted to TNK village at the river bank close to the bridge, and again shifted to the present location, ie, adjacent to the mini stadium playground).

You see, how the engineer could foresee the present landscape of the town, how the town would be and where the hand pump would stand and where the high way should pass undisturbed. You see how the hand pump stands just at the right place now. It is one of the miraculous works of engineering science. Finally, Senapati town is a land of peace and prosperity.

And with the presence of many growing banks, health clinics, Govt.and non-Govt. offices, schools, colleges, business centre, hotels, restaurants, hardware stores, furniture houses, departmental stores, cloth houses, grocery complex, Monday market complex etc, life in senapati town is as remarkably comfortable as that of other cities and towns.

Believe it or not, the town will soon become a tourist spot within no years. It will not be wrong to say that growth of a town by and large depends on the hospitality, honesty, sincerity and hard work of the inhabitants, which the Senapati town is adorned with. Moreover, development of the Senapati town is also attributed to the proper exercise of leadership from higher level of town based organizations and cooperation of the public under strict disciplines.

* Manglal Chongloi wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at chongloimanglal(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on October 26, 2018.

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