In a strategic proposal, Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Education, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider converting Moreh, the last border town in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district with Myanmar, into a cantonment cum commercial hub under the Cantonment Act, 2006.
Urgent Call for Transformation
Dr Ranjan Singh, in a letter to Prime Minister Modi, highlighted the need to address the fragile law and order situation in Moreh by transforming it into a cantonment town. Emphasizing the town’s inherent cosmopolitan commercial characteristics, he urged for swift action to leverage Moreh’s potential as a strategic asset for the country.
Reflecting on the historical context, Dr Ranjan mentioned that during 1948-49, settlements in Moreh were minimal, primarily consisting of Meitei settlers from Kabaw Valley, Tamils, Punjabis, and Biharis who arrived after Burma’s separation from British India in 1937. The proposal envisions leveraging Moreh’s historical significance and economic potential for the benefit of the region.
Ethnic Tensions and Population Decline
Addressing the current scenario, Dr Ranjan expressed concern over the ongoing ethnic tension in Moreh, resulting in a significant decline in population and the transformation of the town into a ghost town. He emphasized the need for a secure system to revive trade and business activities, which have remained defunct for nearly seven months.
Cantonment cum Commercial Town Model
Proposing a comprehensive solution, Dr Ranjan suggested modeling Moreh after the Delhi Cantonment Board, creating a cantonment cum commercial town. The proposal envisions a flexible hybrid management model, incorporating both military and civil authorities, along with local representatives, to ensure the efficient functioning of the proposed hub.
Redemption of Peace and Normalcy
Dr Ranjan concluded the letter by urging Prime Minister Modi to prioritize the transformation of Moreh, considering it a golden opportunity to redeem peace and normalcy in the region. The proposal aligns with strategic measures to revive economic activities and foster a secure environment for both the inhabitants and businesses in Moreh.