With nearly 3 million population, Manipur is almost the size of Caribbean country Belize in size. Around 57 per cent of the population live in valley districts, and the remaining 43 per cent in the hill districts. Exclusion of hill districts in the previous government's agenda, failure to fulfil the wish and aspirations of the people of hill areas during its longest-serving tenure (15 years from March 7, 2002, to March 14 2017) that blatantly carved out the hill areas from the development map of the State infuriated and deepened the hill and valley rift.
The first-ever BJP–led Government in Manipur exerted all its efforts in bringing normalcy and ended the infamous 139 days-long economic blockades imposed by UNC (United Naga Council) on March 19, 2017, just four days after the it assumed office. The agenda of inclusive development and bridging the hill and valley divide was manifested with the state-wide launch of Chinggi Luchingbasingi Numit (Hill Leaders' Day), Meeyamgi Numit (People’s Day) and Khungang Chatse (Go To Village).Accessible to masses
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and officials have redressed to the people of the State general issues of the hill area and hear their grievances on the day of Hill Leaders Day, held 10th of every month since 2017. At the same time, the 15th of every month is reserved for People's Day. As per the record available at Chief Minister's Secretariat, 37 People’s Day and Hill Leaders Day has been held, and the CM has met with 33,865 individuals and attended 14,157 complaints and grievances, while he resolved 6825 (48.21 per cent) grievances during the two public events as on February 22 2020.
Lack of proper infrastructure is still a focal point of discontentment and detrimental to the development of hill areas. However, prioritisation of developmental works in hill areas, construction of iconic Women's Markets (Ima Markets) at seven districts churachandpur, Ukhrul, Chandel, Tamenglong, Senapati, Kangpokpi and Jiribam, and the genuine commitment to redress the concerns of hill and valley people have earned the accolade of People’s Chief Minister and People’s Government.
The Hill Area Development Program (HADP) and implementation of 41 projects in Tamenglong and Noney districts under HADP at the tune of Rs 98 crores and the 19 transit accommodations of Government officials posted at hill areas and from hills areas posted at valley mitigates the lodgings issue face by the employee on a day-to-day basis.
The holistic approach to improve government schools in the state including 20 in hill areas under the School Fagathansi Mission, improvement of school infrastructure, improving learning outcomes, no school bag day on all working Saturday in all schools for class I-VIII, remedial coaching classes at government schools were the never taken place initiatives in our lifetime. Know Your State, where students from different parts of the state were provided to explore the geography and beauty of Manipur, is a stepping stone to build unity among communities and inculcate a sense of love for Manipur,
Under the first phase of the Mission, 20 schools in hill areas benefited and witnessed improvement in infrastructure, manpower and performance of the students towards learning outcomes. The Government has also constructed a barrack type quarter for primary teachers of six Autonomous District Councils and one Eklavya Model Residential School at Mantripantha, Chandel district.
Three years after the formation of the first-ever BJP government in the State, it has decided to establish a State-run medical college at Churachandpur on September 15, 2020. The upcoming medical college having 100 MBBS seats will fulfil the long-cherished dream of increasing the intake capacity for medical students in Manipur. The first session of the second state-run medical college is expected to start from September 2021.
Fillip To Tourism
The State is gifted with several exquisite eco-tourism sites at hill areas, which are unexplored. Integrated Tourist Circuit at Longa Koireng under Imphal- Tamei Tourist Circuit and earmarking funds to develop tourist destinations in each Assembly constituency, including 20 Assembly constituencies of Hill areas, are breakthroughs to boost tourism. The State-Level Ginger Festival (launched on April 20, 2018) at Parbung in Pherzawl District, one of the most backward hill districts of Manipur, will remain as the legacy of promoting tourism agriculture and communal harmony.
From ending the era of frequent economic blockade, bandh and general strikes, the government has successfully restored normalcy in the state. Chief Minister N. Biren Singh even warned legal actions against those who called strikes that affect everyday lives and the economy
A resident of Khayang, a village situated near Indo-Myanmar border, said that for the first time by any minister in history, Bishwajit Singh, Minister of Manipur, visited areas under supervision of Road Development Work and worked out a development plan along with locals. The Government has developed the village as a favourite eco-tourism spot with the newly inaugurated Khayang Eco-tourism Project. The border village has a tourist lodge, cultural hall, village gate, three viewpoints, two rest camps, nine home stays with attached washrooms and three footpaths.
Cabinet meetings at hill
In a clear intention to bring the historical and emotional relationship between the hill and valley while giving substantial meaning to Go to the Hill initiative, the BJP–led Government convened its State Cabinet Meeting for the first time in the history at Churachandpur district headquarters, 60 km from the capital city, on July 15 2017. The tradition was followed, and State Cabinet Meetings were held at other hill district headquarters- Ukhrul, Churachandpur, Chandel, Kangpokpi and Tamenglong.
Bandh and general strike
From ending the era of frequent economic blockade, bandh and general strikes, the Government has successfully restored normalcy in the State. The Chief Minister even warned legal actions against those who called strikes that affect everyday lives and the economy. Every section of society welcomes the firm resolution and determination to curb unconstitutional protest.
The people of Manipur are fed up with disturbances and don’t endorse them. His (CM) mastery over handling social, political issues and civil society organisations is helping in creating an ecosystem of peace, communal harmony and prosperity for all, pointed Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times, while stating that resolving armed ethnic conflict of Naga will bring long-lasting peace and root out hill and valley divide.