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Ukhrul as Summer Capital of Manipur and The Hao Heritage Centre: The Tangkhul-Meitei Reconciliation

Last Updated on October 20, 2023 by SPN Editor

Ukhrul/October 19, 2023 (SPN) | In a landmark event for the Ukhrul district, Chief Minister N Biren laid the foundation for the Hao Heritage Centre at Hungpung yesterday. This center signifies a powerful commitment to strengthening the historical and cultural ties between Tangkhul and Meiteis. The Hao Heritage Centre also aims to bridge the gap between communities and promote unity and communal harmony within Manipur.

Addressing the public function at the Mini Secretariat, the Chief Minister said Ukhrul district will be developed into a “Summer Capital” as a priority.

In a heartwarming and reconciliatory address, CM N Biren emphasized the significance of fostering understanding and harmony between the Tangkhul and Meitei communities.

During his speech at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Hao Heritage Centre, Chief Minister N Biren underlined the need to preserve the historical bonds between these communities. He stated, “Our history should not be distorted nor kept aside.” He acknowledged that political interference had created divisions in the past, but he expressed optimism about the gradual process of mutual understanding and reconciliation between the Tangkhuls and Meiteis. This momentous declaration reflects the government’s commitment to healing historical wounds and nurturing a sense of unity among the diverse communities in Manipur.

The Chief Minister’s dedication to reinforcing these communal bonds was beautifully exemplified when he laid the foundation stone of the Hao Heritage Centre in Tangkhul (Hungpung). This center holds immense significance as it not only reaffirms the close ties and familial relationship between the Meiteis and the Tangkhul but also symbolizes the age-old connections between the hills and the valley of Manipur. Chief Minister N Biren described the Hao Heritage Centre as a beacon of communal harmony, a place where the shared history, traditions, and legacies of these communities will be preserved and celebrated.

CM Biren further emphasized the importance of the new generation of indigenous people living together in peace. To concretize this vision, a heritage museum dedicated to the history of Meiteis and Tangkhuls will be constructed at Hungpung, serving as a testament to the enduring bond between these communities.

This commitment to cultural preservation and reconciliation stands as a poignant reminder of the government’s determination to create an environment of unity and peaceful coexistence among the diverse communities in Manipur.

The Second Cabinet Meeting at Ukhrul under the leadership of Chief Minister N Biren, marks the second occasion since the BJP-led government took the reins in 2017. The meeting was not just an administrative formality; it symbolized a strategic approach to engage with the region and tackle critical issues head-on.

For the first time, Ukhrul hosted a Cabinet meeting on June 5, 2019 under CM N Biren. Not unexpectedly two of the Kuki-Chin MLAs in the Cabinet-Textile, Commerce, Industry, and Cooperation Minister Nemcha Kipgen and Tribal Affairs Minister Letpao Haokip stayed away from the Cabinet meeting citing the current crisis.

While a whole lot of MLAs in the ruling front traveled to Ukhrul today, all the 10 Kuki-Chin MLAs stayed away.

Earlier, the 10 Kuki MLAs also did not attend the last Assembly Session held on August 29 citing security reasons. They had reportedly said that they did not feel safe traveling to Imphal amid the current crisis. However, this time, the Cabinet meeting was held in Ukhrul district headquarters which is not affected by the current violence.

Ukhrul is more than 80 Kms away from Imphal. The Cabinet meeting was held at the conference hall of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in the morning. Later in the day, CM N Biren Singh inaugurated and laid foundation stones for various projects worth Rs 64.38 crore for Ukhrul and Kamjong districts.

After the Cabinet meeting at the DC’s conference hall today, Chief Minister N Biren attended a public function at the Mini Secretariat Complex, Ukhrul. The Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers were given a warm welcome at a reception ceremony at Hungpung Village.

Ukhrul’s population is growing and it is an important town after Imphal. The district should also be a major part of the vision for North East and development programs meant for Manipur under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said. The CM mulled the idea of developing a new Ukhrul township near Sirarakhong and urged the people to consider it.

During the meeting today, the State Cabinet approved the creation of an SDC office at Paoyi village and Tolloi police station, he said. The main concern for the people in Ukhrul at present is water scarcity, and the first priority of the Government is to solve this problem, said CM Biren. To solve the issue of water scarcity, Rs 6 crore has been sanctioned for augmentation of the water supply of Ukhrul Town, he said.

A dam at Shirui at a cost of Rs 180-200 crore to supply water to the whole of Ukhrul district will be constructed on priority, he said, seeking the support of the people, CSOs, and MLAs and urging them to remove all obstacles so that the construction of the dam can be completed without any problem.

N Biren said the second priority of his Government is to complete the construction of the Imphal-Ukhrul road. The Chief Minister hinted that he has fulfilled the assurances and commitment he gave to the people of Ukhrul during his last visit.

Had the Government not delivered the assurances or commitments given during his visits in 2017-18, he would not have been able to return today, said the CM. This Government was chosen by the people, and it will deliver all assurances or commitments given to the people, he said.

On the mobile internet ban currently imposed in the whole of the State, CM N Biren said the internet service may be restored within 4-5 days.

On the healthcare front, Rs 12.5 crore has been allocated for the construction of a Nursing College in Ukhrul. Chief Minister N Biren Singh affirmed that the district would receive top priority when establishing medical colleges in the future. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to set up at least one medical college in each district aligns with this commitment.

Addressing the critical issue of substance abuse, Rs 5 crore has been earmarked to establish Drug Rehabilitation Centers under the Social Welfare Department. The government praised the efforts of civil society organizations and village leaders in their anti-drug campaigns, underscoring the joint fight against drug-related challenges.

Recognizing the need for essential infrastructure, the government has approved the construction of a cold storage facility in the district. This project aims to enhance food preservation capabilities and support local agriculture.

The “Go to Hills Mission,” an initiative to bridge the gap between the hills and the valley, underscores the government’s commitment to achieving unity and equal development across the state. Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s dedication to reducing disparities between regions is evident in this mission.

In a move to strengthen governance, Chief Minister N Biren handed over appointment letters to 26 individuals for the Autonomous District Council office under the “die in harness” scheme. This demonstrates the government’s commitment to empowering local administration.

MLA Ram Muivah, on behalf of the Ukhrul and Kamjong districts, expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister and the government for bringing various developmental projects to the region. He urged the resumption of the Shirui Lily Festival, highlighting the cultural significance of the event.

The projects for which foundation stones were laid today include the construction of a Bailey Bridge over Challou River at Poi Village, the construction of a road from NH-202 to Halang Village circular road, improvement of inter village circular road at New Tusom Christian village.

Other projects include construction of PHSC Phungcham and Shirui under PM ABHIM; construction of Type IV, III and Type II police quarters at Ukhrul, Chingai, Jessami, Shangshak, Somdal and Litan PS under MHPC Ltd; construction of Government children homes at Ukhrul under Engg Cell Health and Family Welfare; Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) under MSPCL; construction of Cultural Centre cum Multipurpose Building in Ukhrul; and upliftment of integrated farming of Huishu village under NEC.

The Chief Minister also handed over 20 various projects to the people of Ukhrul.

The projects include Women’s Hostel and Girls’ Hostel at Ukhrul Headquarters and Paoyi Chingai Village under MOBEDS; PHSC building at TUSOM CV, Ngainga Chingai, and Ringui Lungchong Maiphei under MOBEDS.

Other projects include a school building and sanitation complex for boys and girls at Sirarakhong, Ngachonmi, Ringui Ayotang, Ringui Ramhon, and Paorei Primary School.

The CM also inaugurated a Guest House at Shirui; a Geriatric Ward at District Hospital Ukhrul; Barrack type quarters at PHC Lambui; Augmentation of a water supply scheme at Yaolen village, Paoyi Azingtang village, Chingjaroi CV, Leiyaram village, Tora Khunou, and Lungreiphung village under PHED; and an Open Gym at Ukhrul under YAS.

The function was attended by Transport Minister Khashim Vashum, Water Resources Minister Awangbow Newmai, MAHUD Minister Y Khemchand, Health Minister Dr Sapam Ranjan Singh, Social Welfare Minister H Dingo Singh, PHE Minister L Susindro Meitei, Education Minister Thounaojam Basanta Kumar Singh, HAC Chairman Dinganglung Gangmei, MLA Ram Muivah, MLA Kh Joykisan, MLA Th Shyamkumar, MLA Janghemlung Pamei, MLA J Kumo Sha, MLA Ibomcha, MLA Ashabuddin, MLA L Shanti and MLA Leishiyo Keishing.