By SHRI RAM SHAW
New Delhi/Imphal, 4 May: “Yes, we took in 7,000 refugees that fled from Myanmar. These people are mostly from Chin Kuki group of Myanmar nationals. Some of the refugees stay at the Moreh border town and the rest of the group stays at Churachandpur District in Manipur. Among them, we also found some illegal refugees of Rohingya Muslims. The influx of the refugees from Myanmar is a cause of concern because of the Covid pandemic,” said BJP Manipur Pradesh vice president, RK Somorjit Singh.
In an exclusive telephonic interview with SHRI RAM SHAW, BJP senior leader Somorjit Singh divulged the details from Imphal, the capital city of the Indian state of Manipur, about industrial reformation, mining in Manipur, possibility for the export of horticulture products and Rohingya Muslims et al.
- What are the prospects of industrial reformation in Manipur?
Somorjit Singh: As part of the industrial reformation we are planning to make a Bamboo Plantation with resource for bamboo from Vangai Range and Barail Range in Churachandpur district to Keilam Range in Tamenlong district in Manipur and a Rubber Plantation in Shivpuri Ghat NH37. For the Bamboo Paper Mill it needs to be constructed at Kamdamtala to integrate with the railway line which is already there for smooth transportation.
- How many herbs and orchid plants are there in Manipur and how much can they be used for medicinal purpose?
Somorjit Singh: There are known 500+ orchid plants and herbs respectively and they are recognized by the Govt. of India. So the need of a Medicinal Plant is urgent to make recourse for herbal medicine and ointment. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Manipur for the first time in May, 2014 and he saw the prospect of a medicinal plant.
- Is there a Freshwater Lake in Manipur?
Somorjit Singh: Yes and its name is Loktak Lake and it is the largest Freshwater Lake in Northeast India. It is located at Moirang in Bishnupur district. It has three island Thanga, Ithing and Sendra. It is well known for its Phumdis floating on the surface and is also one of the well-known Tourist Spot and the rare deer called Sangai is found here at Keibul Lamjao National Park.
- Is there any prospect of mining in Manipur?
Somorjit Singh: Yes…there is huge prospect for mining in Manipur for chromite at Tengoupal district, Quartz at Ukhrul district and lime stone at Hundung of Ukhrul district.
- Is there any possibility for the export of horticulture products in Manipur?
Somorjit Singh: Yes, there are many products of horticulture that can be exported from Manipur. Manipur is rich in Orange at Tamenglong district, Lemon in Kachai and Chatric at Ukhrul, Passion fruit at Senapati district and pineapple. Currently, we are exporting pineapple only. All these resource are not being used as the opportunity and the budget needed is not given. We need new ideas and push for industrial reformation in Manipur. This will not only open new employment option for the native people and a good source of income for the nation.
- In March, CM of Manipur had said that we will welcome any civilian from Myanmar. What is the present situation there regarding people coming from Myanmar and do you think that influx is a cause of concern? And, what about Rohingyas?
Somorjit Singh: Yes…we took in 7,000 refugees that fled from Myanmar. These people are mostly from Chin Kuki group of Myanmar nationals. Some of the refugees stay at the Moreh border town and the rest of the group stays at Churachandpur District in Manipur, which is a Kuki dominated area in Manipur. And among these refugees, we also found some illegal refugees of Rohingya Muslims. About 36 of them are hiding in Muslim populated areas. Most of the refugees came through our Myanmar –Manipur border and some came through Mizoram to our state. As far as the influx of the refugees from Myanmar is concerned…yes, it’s a cause of concern because of the current situation of Covid pandemic which is making things worse for allocation of shelter, food and water.
- BJP Govt wants to build a big statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Could you tell us more about this plan?
Somorjit Singh: Right now, there is no immediate plan to make a statue for Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. But we are planning to raise a flag in Chaobaching in his name. Chaobaching was a part of Moirang Constituency. It is here on 14 April, 1944 that the flag of the Indian National Army (INA) was for the second time hoisted on the Indian soil, and the first tricolour flag hoisted for India’s independence by Netaji. It is 45 KM from Imphal. However, the Flag to be raised in his name will have a height of 67 feet tall and a width of 116 feet which will fly on a pole of 230 feet tall on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
- How is the state Govt. dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic?
Somorjit Singh: We are fighting it hard to combat the pandemic. All medical staff are working the best way they can using the equipment we have in hand. We have covid center in every constituency for infected patients to quarantine and for treatment. Right now, we facing some problem regarding the procurement of Oxygen cylinders and there is a provision for building an oxygen plant in Manipur. We want to build two more to meet the requirement of covid patients and for future use.