Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya celebrate statehood day


Agartala/Shillong/Imphal : As they celebrate 38 years of statehood, the northeastern states of Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya say much remains to be done, be it in terms of economic development or rooting out terrorism.

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Colourful functions and numerous programmes were organised in the three states Thursday and Friday.

The erstwhile princely states of Tripura and Manipur had merged with India in 1949 and become union territories before getting the status of full-fledged state Jan 21, 1972. Meghalaya was formed as an autonomous state on April 2, 1970 after being carving out of Assam and became a full-fledged state Jan 21, 1972.

“From agriculture to education and infrastructure, Tripura has seen massive transformation in nearly four decades, more so in recent years. However, there is much more to be done for the all round development of people,” Tripura Higher Education Minister Anil Sarkar said while addressing the statehood day function here.

“With militancy on the wane, Tripura is witnessing rapid industrialisation in sectors like natural gas, forestry, rubber and horticulture,” he said.

Tripura is the second largest rubber producer after Kerala. It is also progressing rapidly in the energy sector. The rate of literacy in the state has jumped to over 81 percent now from 22 percent in 1970-71.

While terrorism was tamed in Tripura, another northeastern state, Manipur is still ravaged by militancy.

“Around 70 percent of the total 2,500,000 population in Manipur is educated but still the state is not developed because of the armed conflict and terrorism in the backward state,” Manipur Health Minister Pheiroijam Parijat said.

Speaking on the 39th statehood day function Thursday evening at first Manipur rifles ground in Imphal, Parijat said: “Manipur, the most resourceful state, would be peaceful and achieve prosperity when the armed conflict and terrorism is resolved.”

Meghalaya Chief Minister D.D. Lapang Thursday evening at a function in Tura, 325 km east of state capital Shillong, indicated that the government will soon declare Meghalaya Day a state holiday.

Recalling the historical events and series of movements that led to the creation of Meghalaya, Lapang said: “The Meghalaya government has undertaken a number of ambitious programmes to develop the state.

“Meghalaya has huge mineral resources, including vast deposits of coal, uranium, limestone, granite. We have to tap these resources for the betterment of the northeastern state,” he said.