‘Onus on elected leaders to bring development’

Though work culture and social stability are essential conditions for bringing development in Manipur, it is the sincerity and commitment of the elected representatives that will make a difference towards transforming the state to a progressive society, said revenue minister Karam Shyam.

Speaking as chief guest of the 32nd foundation day of Manipur Mountaineering Institute (MMI) held at its premises at Lamdan under Henglep sub-division of Churachandpur district on Wednesday, minister Shyam opined that in case the vast pool of talented youths and available natural resources could be tapped effectively, Manipur would take huge strides towards the path of socio-economic development.

One of the reasons for the state continuing to lag behind even in the tourism sector in-spite of being bestowed with natural beauty and pleasant climatic condition throughout the year could be fallout of the elected representatives’ inability to either chalk up area-specific development programmes or take pro-active role in social activities, he said.

Further stating that the large tract of land lying used is another factor for the people of Manipur being unable to shake-off the dependency syndrome in terms of food-grains, minister Shyam stressed the need for proper and sustainable utilisation of land.

While arable land could be used to expand the farm area, those considered unsuitable for growing food or cash crops may be developed into tourist spots so that at-least local tourists could be drawn, he proposed.

“As natural beauty is there in abundance in Manipur, just a little man-made effort is required for bringing the much needed change”, Karam Shyam said, while stating that Manipur possesses tremendous potential to become a major tourist hub if right steps are taken in this sector.

Further mentioning that hospitality is an essential component for succeeding in the tourism sector, he also praised the hospitality and friendly nature displayed by the people of Laipou village near Pallel in Chandel district during his recent visit to attend a Christmas programme.

Regarding development of the hill areas, he said sincerity and sacrifice on the part of the elected leaders and awareness amongst the people about their own rights will help achieve the goal of overall development.

Proposing that a detailed project report be prepared and submitted for presentation to the chief minister for further development of the MMI complex, minister Shyam also donated Rs 50,000 to assist the institute in taking up infrastructure development works.

The foundation day celebration organised by Training Wing of Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association (MMTA) was also attended by Henglep MLA and Hill Area Committee chairman T Thangzalam Haokip, MMTA founder president RK Ranendrajit Singh, vice-president of Zeliangrong Union (Manipur, Assam & Nagaland) R Chandra Haomei and MMTA president Bijoy Kakchingtabam.

Recalling the aeroplane crash at Thangjing Hills in 1991, MLA Thangzalam appreciated MMI volunteers for their noble efforts in coming to the join the rescue effort.

He also noted that strategic location of MMI at Lamdan has good scope for tourist destination and adventure sports along with stating that he is ready to extend co-operation for realising the visions of the institute.

In his address, RK Ranendrajit said that it was an ecstatic moment when MMI trainees scaled Mount Everest.

While appreciating the government’s financial support for the maintenance of the institute, he sought continuous government assistance towards materialisation of the goal for further infrastructure development so that MMI could continue to focus on tapping the youthful energy and keep Manipuri youths away from the menace of drugs and other violent activities. Delivering the address as the functional president, Bijoy Kakchingtabam proposed that the government of Manipur should prevail upon the Central authorities to upgrade MMI to a regional institute so that the institute could continue to serve the youths of Manipur as well as the north-eastern states and mould them into responsible citizens.

While conveying gratitude to the villagers settling around MMI for their continuous assistance and cooperation in the institute’s development, Bijoy expressed confidence that the villages will continue to take active part in making MMI the best mountaineering and adventure sports centre in the region. As a part of the function, dignitaries present offered floral tributes to the photo of Sir Tenzing Norgay, who laid the foundation stone of MMI at Lamdan in 1986.

Representatives of Gorkha Regiment, Red Cross Society, Planning and YAS departments as well as village elders also took part in the event.

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