The central government has sanctioned Rs 150 crore for the construction of markets in Manipur’s hill areas, officials said on Tuesday. The news was confirmed on Monday night and Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that the construction work would start shortly. In Manipur, all markets are exclusively run by women. The unique Ima market, a conglomeration of three women’s market complexes in Imphal city, is world famous. “The government is giving more importance to the hill areas in developmental work. Manipur cannot forge ahead without developing the hill areas which constitute 80 per cent of the total size of the state”, the Chief Minister said.
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Trust deficit is the main cause for the widening communal chasm in Manipur, he said. “We are doing everything possible for a rapprochement among different groups”.
Weapon Zimik, president of Tangkhul Naga Long said that “When the Chief Minister visits Ukhrul on April 11, all sections of people shall accord a warm welcome to him.” When former Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh had visited Ukhrul earlier, there was a shutdown and the security personnel did not allow him and his colleagues to get out of their helicopter. Tribal organisations dubbed O. Ibobi Singh as “communal and anti-tribal”.