STAFF REPORTER/DIPR IMPHAL, 29th Nov:
Giving a clarion call to all sections of the society to uphold the universally accepted way of settling any dispute on the negotiating table, chief minister N Biren has unequivocally stated that the majority Meetei people should take the main role in strengthening the age-old fraternal bond.
Speaking as the chief guest of a function held at Khwairamband Keithel on Wednesday in connection with the donation of a tipper truck to IMC by the chief general manager of SBI North East Circle, chief minister Biren called upon the Meetei people as well as functionaries of valley-based civil society organisations to shoulder the responsibility of uniting and instilling a sense of belongingness of all the people settling in the state.
Even though the government is committed to bridging the communication gap or lack of trust that existed in the past, it is in the hands of the Meeteis to promote social and ethnic harmony in the state, he maintained.
Apparently referring to sporadic incidents of aggrieved parties staging protests and trying to storm the CM’s bungalow, Biren observed that such agitation is uncalled for at the juncture as the government has been keeping the doors wide open to settle all genuine and outstanding issues through negotiation.
On receipt of information that some hill-based organisations are planning to launch agitation or had already resorted to road blockade, the agitating leaders were immediately contacted and urged to have a meaningful dialogue, he said, adding that proposed agitations were suspended through consensus brought on the negotiation table.
Stressing the need for conveying grievances and making the right approach for finding solution to all issues, he remarked that announcement for including the Cherry Blossom festival in Mao a part of the Manipur Sangai Festival materialised subsequent to his visit and interaction with people of Mao town recently.
Further stating that the government is keen to capitalise on the friendly disposition of the hill people to accelerate the pace of development in the state, Biren reiterated that the Meeteis need to have the sacrificial spirit to attain the goal of social amity and economic advancement.
Maintaining that there has been remarkable improvement in the hill-valley relation in the recent past, the Chief Minister pledged that the government will leave no stone unturned in restoring the age-old hill-valley bonding.
Biren also confided that the state government is keen to provide soft loans to the street vendors of Khwairamband Keithel and advised the officials of Municipal Administration Housing and Urban Development (MAHUD), Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) and women vendors of Khwairamband to jointly study whether it is possible to provide an alternative livelihood to street vendors by arranging loans for them.
Further stating that the State Bank of India (SBI) had agreed in principle to provide soft loans to street vendors of Khwairamband, he explained that such an arrangement is being considered to help the street vendors to start their chosen livelihoods at their respective localities, homes and nearby markets.
In case the initiative materialises then it would reduce traffic congestion and improve cleanliness in the city considerably, he noted.
On the other hand, Biren expressed pleasure on learning that the number of visitors to Keibul Lamjao National Park had increased manifold after a venue of Manipur Sangai Festival is allotted to Keibul village this year.
Regarding various developmental projects declared by the new government, the Chief Minister said that all these projects would be executed without fail as the current Government understands that they would be rejected by the people if their promises are not translated into action.
The function was also attended by MAHUD Minister Th Shyamkumar as president and IMC Mayor L Lokeshwor, Commissioner (MAHUD) Dr Prem Singh, SBI NE Circle chief general manager PVSLN Murty and general manager of Network-II SBI NE Circle Digmanu Gupta as the guests of honour.
In his brief address, minister Shyamkumar said that different works would be taken up as part of Imphal Smart City project soon.
Stating that women vendors and shopkeepers should not forget their responsibility towards keeping the city neat and clean, he conceded that all the efforts of the Government would go in vain without their cooperation.
PVSLN Murty handed over the key of the tipper truck to N Biren. The truck was gifted to IMC as part of SBI’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.