IMPHAL, April 19 - Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh today stated that the State Government has initiated a campaign called �War on Drugs� to confiscate drugs and other intoxicants, and destroy areas under poppy cultivation.
The Chief Minister said this while interacting with students, teachers and village chiefs from the Joupi area of Chandel district at the Chief Minister�s Secretariat here.
Encouraging them to work for the cause of the State and the country, Singh advised the students to stay away from drugs. The Chief Minister said that maximum efforts would be made to address educational and developmental needs of the State.
Expressing happiness that villagers have agreed to cultivate lemongrass instead of poppy on around 250 hectares of land in Joupi area on the insistence of the Assam Rifles, Singh thanked the paramilitary force for taking up such a commendable initiative. The Chief Minister said that alternative livelihoods like mithun rearing, plantation of agarwood, lemongrass, etc., would be arranged for the poppy growers.
Singh stated that his Government�s �Go to Hill� mission is currently under way, and another similar campaign called �Go to Village� will be launched from May 1 in a bid to reach out to villagers living in far-flung areas. He stressed the need to properly utilise the funds under the Border Area Development Programme. The Chief Minister also informed that 80 per cent of the PMGSY funds are being utilised in the hill districts.
The students have been on a tour to the State capital under the initiative of Col Sachin Jain, Commandant of 29 Assam Rifles, whose unit is currently deployed along the interior Indo-Myanmar border.
Later, the Chief Minister also distributed gifts and sweetmeats to the students.