Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Friday inaugurated the Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park, Tonjang village and laid the foundation stone of the Manipur Southern Cultural Centre at Behiang, Indo-Myanmar border, Churachandpur district. The event was organised by the Department of Art and Culture, Manipur at the park.
"Delighted to be amongst the people of Behiang and inaugurate the Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park and lay the foundation stone of Manipur Southern Cultural Centre today," the chief minister said speaking as the chief guest
The chief minister said the government wants to develop Behiang as an international business hub like Moreh town and bring development there. There are various developmental plans for the area, he said.
The chief minister also took to social media and shared glimpses of his visit to Behiang, including the Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park.
"I stood in admiration of the engraved footprints of Maharaj Chandrakirti at Behiang which is located at the Indo-Myanmar border. This stone inscription which was erected during the 1800s reminds us of our unique history. I pay my humble tributes to our heroic forefathers," the chief minister said in a Facebook post.
The inscribed stone at Chivu was erected during the reign of Maharaj Chandrakirti (1850 -1886 CE) in the year 1872 CE to commemorate the Lushai Expedition. A large stone slab with a pair of engraved footprints of Maharaj Chandrakirti and General Nathan lies in front of the inscribed stone.
A stone symbolizing Lord Thangjing and his consort is also located within this complex. The total protected area is 607.50 sqm.
"This site is protected under the provision of the Manipur Ancient and Historical Monuments and archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1976," the chief minister said.
The Manipur Southern Cultural Centre will be constructed at a project cost Rs 6 crore, and will have a museum, conference hall, cottages, amphitheatre, etc, the chief minister said.
"This cultural centre will provide a platform to showcase the unique history and culture of the people of the region," he said.
Biren also highlighted several other developmental works taken up in Singhat. He added that there are plans to expand the centre and develop it further.
There should be equal development, the chief minister said, adding that there are no small or big communities, we are all humans and should live together.
Today, we are taking forward a new Manipur, unfortunately it was affected for around two years by the COVID, but we have been working harder for the past six or so months to make up for the delay, he added.
Appreciating the maintenance of forest cover in the area, he said he is against mass deforestation for poppy cultivation and not against small clearances for food cultivation process.
The chief minister also announced rewards for the 13 villages of the area for properly maintaining the forest cover and for declaring that there is no poppy cultivation in their area.
He also announced projects under Horticulture for each of the villages.
Biren also assured inclusion of a High School Leaving Certificate Examination Centre in the area.
He said that the new Medical College at Churachandpur was set up in the district because the people deserve it.
"Let us settle differences, problems, grievances through the process of talk, discussion and meeting instead of resorting to violent disturbances like bandhs, blockades... Let us forget and forgive our past mistakes," the chief minister said, observing that "no society can move forward if we continue to remember past mistakes".
Rajya Sabha MP Maharaj Leishemba Sanajaoba expressed his happiness to the people of the area for preserving and protecting the artefacts, which are erected in the park for such a long time.
In his brief speech, Singhat MLA Chinlunthang acknowledged before the chief minister that there is no poppy cultivation in the area.
Tipaimukh MLA Ngursanglur Sanate elaborated on the need for everyone in the state to learn Manipuri and said, "If we want to bring unity in the state, we have to learn Manipuri. He encouraged the people, especially the people of the hills to learn the language".
Keirao MLA L Rameshwor Meetei observed that it is evident that the chief minister has concern for the people of the hills from the development work taken up in the hill areas.
The programme was also attended by Minister TA & Hills and Horticulture, Letpao Haokip, Mao MLA Losii Dikho, Saikot MLA Paolienlal Haokip, Henglep MLA Letzamang Haokip, DC Churachandpur Dr. Sharath Chandra Arroju, district administration officials, among others.
Leaders of CSOs, tribes, village chiefs and the general public of the area accorded a warm welcome to the chief minister and his team on their arrival at the venue. The CM also inspected the complex of the park.