IMPHAL, Sep 4 : Former Chief Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Rishang Keishing has categorically stated that there is no need for creation of new districts in Manipur except Sadar Hills.
As for inclusion of certain areas of Ukhrul and Tamenglong districts in the proposed Sadar Hills district, there should be room for due adjustments.
In an exclusive chat with The Sangai Express over telephone, Rishang Keishing who is currently at New Delhi stated that Sadar Hills fulfil all the criteria to be upgraded to a district but there is no need to create other new districts in Manipur.
“It is only obvious to make some adjustments in boundaries if a new district should be created”, the veteran politician stated.
Sadar Hills was created by carving out certain areas from Ukhrul and Tamenglong districts during the British period when Manipur was ruled by the Chief Commissioner of Assam.
There is no harm in creating Sadar Hills district after giving back the areas which originally were under Ukhrul and Tamenglong districts, Rishang Keishing stated.
He also reminded about the district re-organisation committee headed by the Dr L Chandramani as chairman when he (Rishang Keishing) was Chief Minister of Manipur. However, nothing could be done as the report of the committee was never finalised.
“I personally wish creation of Sadar Hills district but it should be administrative convenience and peaceful co-existence”, Rishang conveyed.
On being asked if it was true that the question of creating Sadar Hills district was put off just as a Cabinet decision was to be placed before the
Governor for his approval when he was the Chief Minister of Manipur, Rishang Keishing said that he could not recall any such Cabinet decision.
Talking about the parallel demands for upgrading Phungyar and other areas to full fledged districts, Rishang stated that the total population of Ukhrul district is a little more than one lakh. It would be more apt to confer the position of ADC to Phungyar rather than granting full fledged district status.
The former Chief Minister lauded the constitution of a district re-organisation committee headed by the Chief Secretary as a positive initiative.
During the British period, all the hills located in the valley were put under Sadar Hills.
“At least 17/18 hillocks located in the valley were separated from Sadar Hills and amalgamated to valley districts during my Chief Ministership”, he added.