Ukhrul ADC caretaker chairman urges government for smooth passage of ADC bill

Grassroots governance in hill districts is in jeopardy due to the prolonged absence of the executive council, caretaker chairman of Ukhrul ADC Yaronsho Ngalung said.


Caretaker chairman of Ukhrul ADC Yaronsho Ngalung


For empowerment of the grassroots governance in the hills, caretaker chairman of Ukhrul ADC Yaronsho Ngalung has urged the state government to ensure smooth passage of the proposed Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021 at the earliest.

It is crucial that the government passes the bill and makes it a law in order to strengthen the local self-governance in the hill districts, Ngalung said this while interacting with the media at his office in Ukhrul town on Wednesday.  

His statement came amid growing public support across the hill districts, to the call for smooth passage of the bill which promises greater autonomy to the local bodies. 

Despite being constitutionally empowered, the local bodies have never been really empowered. “This is because the powers and functions have not been fully devolved to the ADCs,” he pointed out.

“In the absence of devolution, the state government must ensure the new bill is passed and make a law at the earliest to empower the grassroots governance in the hills,” he said. 

Public support to demand the passage of the bill is fast gaining momentum in the hill districts, ever since the state government failed to table it in its recent assembly session, he said.

The new bill framed under Article 371C of the Constitution, was adopted by the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) on August 16, 2021 and recommended to the state government on the next day.

The state government has reportedly constituted a review committee to study the content of the bill.

“Being an ADC (Caretaker) chairman, I am very much concerned about the fate of the pending elections to the six ADCs. Grassroots governance in hill districts is in jeopardy due to the prolonged absence of the executive council,” he continued. 

But it’s unlikely that the ADC elections will take place in the next few months in view of the forthcoming general elections scheduled to be held in the early part of 2022. “If this is the case, we request the government to conduct the ADC polls right after the general elections and not delay them any further,” he maintained.

He further said that In the prevailing political situation, the rights of the tribal communities are at stake.
“It is important to promote the interest of scheduled tribes and minorities,” he said, adding that the tribal people need to fend for their rights.

He further stated that empowering the youth is a way to secure the future of the tribal communities. The passion of the youths needs to be translated into a skill set by way of empowering and including them in action-oriented activities, he said.  

He also called for a transparent and accountable work precedent in public offices and positions, while promoting productive welfare programmes and rapid growth.

Another crucial component of a prosperous society is its economy. “To make this workable, we need to harness local based products through cluster settings from across the villages. This will go a long way in enhancing the local economy,” he added. 

He also expressed concern over the prolonged delay in resolving the Naga political issue. “We need to look forward to translating the issue into an honourable and acceptable solution through the ongoing Naga political talks,” he said.

First Published:Sept. 23, 2021, 1:39 a.m.

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