Plea to stop poppy cultivation

Imphal: Water resources and, youth affairs and sports minister Letpao Haokip appealed poppy cultivators of hilly areas to look for a more viable and economical crops and activities.

The minister made the appeal during thanks-giving cum opening of SDO/BDO Khengjoi office building in Chandel district on Friday.

This office building was part of the TD Block at Khengjoi, one of the many projects virtually inaugurated by the chief minister N. Biren Singh on October 23. Actual shifting and functioning of this said new office started on Friday.

The TD Block was constructed under the Tribal Area Inclusive Growth Project and it consists of the BDO/SDO Office, for quarters for officers and staff, bank building and a police outpost building with security barrack.

Manipur Development Society is the implementing agency and the construction work began in the year 2011. With the inauguration of the new office building, the villagers will now have easier and better access to all the government welfare schemes and in obtaining important documents and certificates. Earlier, the SDO/BDO Khengjoi office was functioning from Chandel district headquarter.

Letpao said the new infrastructure will benefit the residents of the nearby villages, since they no longer have to bear the pain of reaching Chandel town to avail government benefits. He added that benefits will directly reach to the doorsteps of the beneficiaries though this office.

There is a trend in the state to utilize MLA local area funds mostly repairing roads and in building community halls. These funds should be utilized on other purposes as well, the most important being identifying and developing sustainable livelihood options. This will benefit the people, especially in hilly and less developed areas, he added.

The minister appealed to the hill people not to indulge in poppy cultivation, but to shift to other economically viable crops. He said the present government is always ready to encourage and support such activities that will enhance the economy of the people in remote areas. Also, the government will not tolerate poppy cultivation and carrying out other illegal activities including contrabands in any part of the state, he added.

He said an Indane Gas Service Agency will come up in the area soon, and applauded the assistance and role of the Indian Army in bringing development and always helping people residing in such remote areas.

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