manipur: Economic blockade by All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur hits supplies

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With All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) clamping economic blockade on two highways in Manipur supplies from Assam are hard hit.

Trucks are stranded in Imphal-Dimapur highway (NH-2) and Imphal-Jiribam highway (NH-39) as protesters blocked the roads with boulders, besides burning tyres.

The ATSUM was demanding the tabling of the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the Monsoon session of the assembly for greater financial and administrative autonomy of the hill region to ensure development at par with the valley areas of the state.

Manipur Tribal Affairs and Hills Minister Letpao Haokip Tuesday introduced the sixth and seventh amendments of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (Sixth Amendment) Bills, 2022 during the ongoing Budget session of the Manipur Assembly.

Governor of Manipur, La Ganesan on Monday, in an official order under Clause (3) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, recommending the Manipur Legislative Assembly the consideration of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council (Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2022.

Last year Hill Area Committee Members of Manipur Legislative Assembly proposed Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill. On November 22, 2021, vehicles were stranded along National Highway 2 due to an indefinite economic blockade in Manipur. Tribal student bodies had called for a 12-hour total shutdown in the hill districts of Manipur from December 18, 2021 seeking introduction of the bill in the assembly.

The bill aimed to bring equal development in the hill districts. The committee argued that the bill will correct disproportionate development between the hill and valley and will repeal Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Act, 1971. The proposed legislation will provide more autonomy to ADC. However, the state government argued that the bill needed to be addressed and scrutinised legally before tabling in the House.

The hill districts combine Churachandpur, Chandel, Senapati, Tamenglong, Ukhrul, Kamjong, Noney, Kangpokpi and Pherzawl.

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