From Our Correspondent
TAMENGLONG, Dec 12: Chief minister O Ibobi Singh lauded the people of Tamenglong district for welcoming the effort of the state government for ensuring self sufficient development in the district. This was more than evident in the successful completion of the ADC elections in the district he said.
The chief minister was addressing the gathering at the inauguration of the 10th Orange Festival at Tamenglong District headquarters this afternoon.
The chief minister and several of his cabinet colleagues for the first time travelled by helicopter to Tamenglong and attended the function despite boycott and bandh called against the visit by the UNC.
The festival is aimed at promoting orange growers of the district.
The chief minister chose to request to use an Army helicopter as the Orange Festival coincided with another important state function in Imphjal ‘“ that of Nupilal Day.
He attended the latter function this morning maintained and then dashed off to Tamenglong district headquarters to keep his commitment to inaugurate the 10th Orange Festival.
His visit, as well as those of his cabinet colleagues were sought to be boycotted by the Naga Apex body, UNC.
The chief minister elaborated that there is no condition or intention of the state government to underestimate the rights and liberty of the tribal communities settled in the hill districts of the state.
He further mentioned that realizing the importance and requirement for maintaining the self governance through local self bodies the state government successfully held elections to the Autonomous District Council in hill districts of the state with an objective of decentralizations of powers to the elected representatives of hills districts to promote self involvement and participations in every aspects of the developmental programme.
He also appealed to the Naga bodies to point out any irregularities that had could have been committed by the state government during the recent election to the ADCs of nine districts of the state including Sadar hills and Kangpokpi which had been seriously opposed by the Naga bodies like UNC.
He also appealed to the UNC to abandon any thought of the state nurturing any hidden agenda.
Later, chief minister announced to contribute Rs. 1 lakh to organizing committee of the festival from his discretionary fund as a pledge of support to the festival.
Prior to the inauguration of the 10th Orange festival at Tamenglong district headquarter chief minister upon his arrival this afternoon laid foundation stone of Tamenglong Sport Complex and which was followed by the inauguration of the Tamenglong ADC hall by his wife, MLA O Landhoni.
T Phunzathang, minister Horticulture & Soil Con minister who was presiding over the inaugural session mentioned that state government is concerned over the decreasing production of orange at Tamenglong and Lemon at Kachai village in Ukhrul district caused by the citrus rejuvenations, considering the officials and experts of the departments have started taken up the measures in various forms for the restoring the productions.
He further mentioned that it has become a must for the state government to deliver all forms of awareness to the people of the state specially the people living in the interior parts of the hill district who have been surviving hand to mouth with their productions, considering all this difficulties the state government have taken up many projects and schemes to promote their products and such festival is one it and every farmer need to keep confidence to works for more productions so as to attain their economic sustainability he added.
The function was also attended by IFCD minister N Biren, vice chairman of Hill Area Committee Khanthuanang Panmei, local MLA of Tamenglong AC Awangbaw Newmai, vice chairman ADC Tamenglong ADC and members, Commissioner state horticulture department as guest of honours today.
The dignitaries then inspected the stalls of the Orange Festival. While most had orange produces, some of the stalls also display traditional handloom and handicrafts items. and there were total of 257 stalls.
This year’s best orange production award was bagged by Ihiamang of Dhiulomg village, Tamenglong.
He was rewarded Rs 1 lakh with a citation by the chief minister and second prizes was bagged by Kohupao of Dailon Part-II village, Tamenglong and he was given Rs 75,000 with citation and the third prize was bagged by Hribaw of Tuipren village.
The Orange Queen contest would be held later in the evening with cultural items, modern songs and dances which are to be performed by the various artises.