The common ground in Tamenglong town in Manipur that has witnessed various several events year after year, come rain or shine, is infamous for its muddy pools and slushy condition during rainy season. However, it will soon get a new green look covered with natural grass by October 2020, the district administration said.
Popularly called the Lower Ground, located at Ward No 1 Utopia locality in the district headquarters, it serves as a venue for all types of events in the district, be it government functions, festivals or games and sports. However, owing to its unpaved surface, the ground often gets damaged during rainy season. And school children are often made to conduct parade in the muddy and slushy ground braving the rain during national functions.
Many school shoes were lost in the muddy pool during march-pass on India’s Independence Day celebration or Republic Day celebration. Many students fell sick after performing the parade in the rain. In view of the deplorable condition of the ground, the parent's association in Tamenglong district headquarters had in the past boycotted public functions like the Independence Day celebration or the Republic Day celebrations.
Now, to the delight of the people in the town, renovation of the field is underway. Designed by architect Suritrika Salem from Imphal, the Lower Ground is soon developing into a green field with solar lights to light up the place and other infrastructure. At least 50 per cent of the earth works is reportedly completed.
Speaking exclusively to the Imphal Free Press, Tamenglong deputy commissioner Armstrong Pame said Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh’s promise during his visit to Tamenglong as CM in 2019 “to let children walk on dry ground” is coming true. A well-equipped natural grass football field will be ready by October, he said.
The project was to complete by August 15. However, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ground construction works was delayed and it would be completed by October, Pame said.
N Biren Singh made his maiden visit to Tamenglong as chief minister of Manipur in 2017 and assured to develop the ground and reiterated his promise for the development of the ground during the orange festival in 2019.
The Manipur government has sanctioned the fund to construct the natural grass football field with eight running tracks, two VIP galleries, a basketball court, two dressing rooms for players, and a solar lighting system in the entire complex, Pame said.
“Tamenglong is going to see the commitment of Chief Minister N Biren Singh coming true very soon. Fund has been sanctioned. Work will progress after relaxation of lockdown in view of the pandemic covid-19,” Pame told IFP.
Pame also said a drainage system outside and inside the ground is being constructed and the entire length and breadth of the natural grass football field will be properly fenced to prevent unwanted intruders to the field.
The deputy commissioner gave credit for the development work to Jacintha Lazarus, Commissioner, Minority Affairs, Manipur government.
The Lower Ground is also utilized by the district administration during the time of election, for parking of vehicles and dispersal place.