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Prof. L. Fimate to The President of India

Friday, April 15, 2011

/ Published by VIRTHLI
Her Excellency,
Smt. Pratibha Patil
The President of India

Subject: Prayer to declare Tipaimukh Sub-Division of Manipur as Most Backward and Most Difficult Area and request for providing Special Package for its development.


At the outset, we, the representatives of Ruong-le-vaisuo (Tipaimukh), heartily welcome you on your maiden visit to our state Manipur. We wish your brief stay here a pleasant and meaningful one.Ruong-le Vaisuo in South-West Manipur is a local name for Tipaimukh situated at the strategic confluence of Tuiruong (Barak) River originated from the border of Nagaland and Tuivai River from Mizoram. Historically, this place holds a very special place in the memory of the 12 tribes, who, centuries ago, dispersed from this place to different parts of Assam, Manipur and Tripura but still speak different but kindred dialects with a common root and syntax.Each tribe is emotionally attached to this sacred home as it is Ganga to the Hindus, Jerusalemto the Israelites and Mecca to the Muslims. It is also the birthplace of Christianity in the southernpart of Manipur.However, despite its historical signigicance and the pride of place it occupies in the hearts of the Christian community of the northeast, Tipaimukh sub-division has been the most backward and neglected subdivision in the entire Manipur State. This is evident from the following facts:

1. National Highway 150 which connects Manipur with Mizoram passes through Tipaimukh and the road, commissioned in the year 1978, has since been left more or lest unrepaired.Passenger buses that used to ply between Churachandpur and Aizawl stopped services since the last more than twenty years. Surprisingly, instead of repairing and maintaining the road, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) which has recently been entrusted to resume repairwork of NH-150 diverted it a few kilometres before entering the Tipaimukh Sub-Division to connect to Mizoram through Sinzawl road. The BRO shockingly maintained that their mandate covered only upto 185 km from Churachandpur which technically means that repair work has to stop just short of reaching the Tipaimukh Area inhabited mostly by the Hmar tribe who have been reeling under lack of road communication since more than two decades. The only bridge connecting Manipur and Mizoram through this highway at the inter-State border at Tipaimukh was swept away by flood in 1989 and has not been replaced till today.

2. There are about 45 villages in the Tipaimukh Sub-division and though they had even celebrated their Gospel Centenary year in 2010, none of these villages, except a few villages onthe NH-150, are connected by a motorable road. As such they cannot sell their products, and are living in extreme poverty.

3. None of the villages on HH-150 are electrified. It is an irony that though Manipur government supplies electricity to Mizoram and the supply line pases through Tipaimukh subdivision,the people of Tipaimukh are till this day deprived of electricity. While the villages in Tipaimukh Area are groping in darkness, the adjoining villages of Mizoram are bathing in brightlight supplied from Manipur. Since there is no electricity, no mills or small scale industries can be established. Wihout electricity, life remains primitive. It is a paradox that while India is heading for a Superpower status, Tipaimukh sub-division is sinking back to the Stone Age existence.

4. None of these villages have functioning health centre. Quack practisioners are mushrooming,resulting in many avoidable deaths. The few villages which have health centres on paper are left only with rickety empty building without any staff to man the centres. People of this area are completely deprived of their right to healthcare.

5.None of the government schools in the entire subdivision is functioning, thereby depriving the people of their fundamental rights to education. The illiteracy rate is skyrocketing with more than 50% of the youth unable to read and write.

6. Because of its remoteness and lack of road communication, Public Distribution System cannot properly function in the area. Essential commodities like rice, kerosene and others rarely reach them. Even when it reached them with great difficulties, they had to sell it at exorbitantrates. Rice is sold at the rate of not less than Rs. 15 a kg which is far above BPL and AYA rates. This has compelled the poor inhabitants to get these commodities from across theborder (Mizoram), but at the cost of their honour (being non-residents of Mizoram, they have to manipulate office procedures to get the items).

7. Because of all these harships faced by the inhabitants of this subdivision, there has been an increasing exodus of migration from Tipaimukh area to different parts of the northeast,thus making themselves refugees in their own country, creating in turn a sense of insecurity and disillusionment. Consequently, cries of frustrated people are increasingly heard saying;“ We don’t want any more elections. We don’t need MLAs. We don’t require Ministers for they didn’t do anything for our development. We have been having Ministers, mostly from Congress, all these 38 years. But our area is becoming poorer and poorer every year. Congress Ministry might be a blessing in many places, but it appears to be a stumbling block to progress and a curse in this area.”People of this area are law-abiding citizens of the country. It is of the few areas of the northeast where crime is virtually unheard of. It has produced many distinguished citizens who represent and brought laurels for our country. Some members of this area have served the countryas Ambassadors, Secretaries and Directors in various offices of the central government.Under these circumstances, and in order to bring back confidence of the people in the Government of India, the area may kindly be declared as Most Backward Area, and a Special Package be introduced to develop the area at par with other developed areas of the country.We, therefore, request your Excellency to kindly look into the matter and do something to help and uplift the Hmars, a majority Tribe, living in this abandoned and neglected spot to become proud citizens in the comity of our nations.

Yours faithfully,

Sd/- Prof. L. Fimate

Quarter No.6/type V,

RIMS Colony, Imphal- 795004
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