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Newmai News Network
Imphal | December 9
Ignoring intense protests by the Nagas in Manipur against the State Government’s plan to create Sadar Hills and Jiribam districts, the Ibobi Singh government has ordered the creation of 7 new districts taking the total number of districts in the state now to 16.
Earlier, the number of districts was only nine—four in the valley namely, Imphal West, Imphal East, Thoubal and Bishnupur and five districts in the hills namely, Senapati, Ukhrul, Churachandpur, Chandel and Tamenglong. The new districts are: Jiribam, Kamjong, Kakching, Tengnoupal, Noney, Pherzawl and Kangpokpi. It can also be noted here that all the five hill districts have been bifurcated into two districts each.
The creation of the seven new districts was announced following a state cabinet meeting that went on till late night yesterday. The Chief Minister Okram Ibobi-headed Congress government has also issued an order appointing Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police for the newly created districts.
Chief Minister Ibobi asserted that the creation of new districts purely intended to enable administrative convenience.
Tamenglong district has been bifurcated into Noney and Tamenglong districts, Churachandpur into Pherzawl and Churachandpur, Chandel into Tengnoupal and Chandel districts, Ukhrul into Kamjong and Ukhrul districts, and Senapati into Kangpokpi and Senapati districts. Kangpokpi district is also the other name of Sadar Hills district.
Meanwhile, taking part in a political conference at Tribal Research Institute (TRI), Chingmeirong here today, Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh stated that formation of new districts was not against the interest of any community. “It aims to promote the general welfare of the people. The government is not taking political advantage. The government is the ultimate owner of all land possessed by everyone that requires payment of taxes to the government,” Ibobi said.
He said Ukhrul district’s Kamjong, now a new district, Kasom Khullen and Phungyar subdivisions covering almost half of the total land area of this district are geographically isolated from their respective district headquarters causing administrative inertia.
Upgradation of Jiribam to the status of a district had been a long-time demand of people of Jiribam near Manipur-Assam border, he added. The Imphal East’s former subdivision is located about 200 km from its administrative headquarters Porompat.
The state has a geographical area of 22,327 sq km and 90 percent of the total geographical area of Manipur is covered by the hills and the remaining area is a small valley accounting for only one-tenth of the total area. Elated by the news, people in Jiribam celebrated in a big way.
The Manipur government had earlier prepared to declare Sadar Hills as a district that ultimately led to the ongoing economic blockade call given by the United Naga Council (UNC) to protest the move.