Kiren Rijiju Reviews Development of Chandel, A Predominantly Naga District of Manipur
| IOP Desk - 03 Sep 2019

Chandel Was Predominantly Naga District of Manipur, Dominated by NSCN (IM)


By Brown Nongmaithem from Manipur

Imphal, September 3, 2019: Chief Minister N. Biren Singh along with Union Youth Affairs and Sports State Minister (Independent Charge) and Union Minority Affairs State Minister Kiren Rijiju visited Chandel District Headquarters and reviewed the Aspirational Districts Programme taken up in the district on Monday Sep 02, 2019, in Manipur. Chandel is among one of the 117 districts of the country selected under the programme.

Kiren Rijiju arrived at Imphal International Airport from Guwahati in an MHA helicopter at around 12 noon on Sep. 02, 2019. From there, he along with the Chief Minister headed to Chandel District headquarters in the same helicopter. The two leaders landed at the helipad of 18 Assam Rifles. From there, they went to Chandel DC office complex, where they planted saplings. The two leaders also inaugurated a One Stop Centre at DC office complex apart from distributing LPG connections to selected beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).

During the visit, N. Biren Singh and  Kiren Rijiju later reviewed various works taken up in the district under Aspirational Districts Programme. Chief Secretary Dr. J. Suresh Babu, Administrative Secretaries concerned, Chandel DC  Krishna Kumar and other high ranking Government officials briefed them about the programme.

Speaking to media persons after the review meeting, Kiren Rijiju said that the Government is committed to transform and uplift Chandel District at par with other progressive districts of the country. He maintained that Chandel District had been selected as Aspirational District of Manipur as it was lagging behind in some development parameters. However, in the last 8-9 months, he said, the district has been tremendously progressing in various sectors.

The Union Minister further elaborated that he had reviewed the challenges and performance in key sectors like education, health and other parameters of development of the district during the meeting. He maintained that there is need to focus on these sectors and centrally sponsored schemes, which are not fully reaching to the grassroots due to lack of communication.

As such, education, health and communication are the key sectors which need improvement in the district, he said and added that being a guardian Minister of the Aspirational Districts Programme, he had also enquired about the Central Government projects, which are pending. In the next one year, the Government would improve these sectors, he assured.

The Minister also appreciated the State Government, Chandel DC and other officials of Chandel district for extending help in bringing further development and improvement of amenities under the Aspirational Districts Programme.

On the other hand, Rijiju maintained that he would also review works related with construction of the National Sports University tomorrow. The Union Minister said that the construction of the National Sports University was delayed due to land acquisition and work agency related problems. He then assured that there would be no further delay in the construction of the University. Stating that the National Sports University is not a State or regional University but a National level institute, he said that the Government had signed an MoU with top Universities of the world to make the National Sports University a top class University.

Later, N. Biren and  Kiren Rijiju left Chandel District headquarters in the MHA helicopter.


Chandel district is one of the 16 districts of Manipur state in northeastern India. As of 2011 it is the second least populous district in the state, after Tamenglong. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Chandel one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the three districts in Manipur currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).

Chandel District came into existence on May 13, 1974. The District lies in the south-eastern part of Manipur at 24o40′ N Latitude and 93o50′ E Longitude. It is the border district of the state with an area of 2,100 sq. km. Its neighbors are Myanmar (erstwhile Burma) on the south and east, Ukhrul district on the north, Churachandpur district on the south and west, and Thoubal district on the north. It is about 64 km. away from Imphal. The National Highway No. 39 passes through this district.

The district is inhabited by several communities. It is sparsely inhabited by about 20 different tribes. They are scattered all over the district. Prominent tribes in the district are Anal, Lamkang, Kuki, Moyon, Monsang, Chothe, Thadou, Paite, Maring and Zou etc. There are also other communities like Meiteis, and Muslims (Meitei Pangal) in small numbers as compared to the tribes. Non-Manipuris like Nepalis, Tamils, Bengalis, Punjabis and Biharis are also settled in this district.

The Moreh town, the international trade centre of the state, lies on the southernmost part of the district. When the Trans-Asian Super Highway comes into existence, Chandel district will be one of the gateways to the Asian countries.

Even though considered as one of the backward districts, Chandel is not left behind when the safety of the nation comes. The names of Chara Nicholas Mayon, S. Gemithang, and NL Benaingvir Mayon, who sacrificed their lives during the Kargil War, included in the list of Matryrs of India, will always be remembered by one and all.


On December 9, 2016, the Manipur government issued a gazette notification creating seven new districts by carving out and bifurcating the state’s existing nine districts. This took the total number of districts in the state to 16. The seven new districts are: Kangpokpi (a long standing demand by the Kukis for a separate Sadar Hills district carved out from parts of the predominantly Naga populated district of Senapati); Tengnoupal (carved out from the predominantly Naga district of Chandel); Pherzawl (earlier a part of Kuki-dominated Churachandpur); Noney (earlier a part of Naga-dominated Tamenglong), Jiribam (carved out from Imphal East), Kamjong (carved out from Ukhrul) and Kakching (in the Imphal Valley, to which some areas of Chandel have been added). The creation of these districts came against the backdrop of the ongoing indefinite economic blockade enforced by the United Naga Council (UNC) against an earlier proposal for creating two districts, Sadar and Jiribam.1 The UNC had launched the blockade only after its attempts to interact with the Manipur Government on the issue was stonewalled. The aim of the blockade was to make the UNC’s voice on, and objections to the creation of the two districts, heard in New Delhi, According to a report published in IDSA.

Image credit - PIB, Imphal / DIPR, Imphal 

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(Onkareshwar Pandey is Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor - News, ANI


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