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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Village called Modi paves own 'achche din' by building road to world beyond

Rahul Karmakar and Sobhapati Samom, Hindustan Times  Guwahati/Imphal Guwahati/Imphal, June 12, 2014
First Published: 14:12 IST(12/6/2014) | Last Updated: 14:40 IST(12/6/2014)

'Achche din' is in your hands. Residents of a Manipur village named Modi, helped by their neighbours and paramilitary personnel, seem to have conveyed this by paving a 22km road to the world beyond.
 
An Anal tribal chieftain had 100 years ago chosen a highland in present-day Chandel district of Manipur for his people to settle down. He subsequently lent his name - Modi - to the settlement that grew to become a polling station catering to 158 voters and 567 others from three adjoining villages.
 
But that did not stop village Modi from falling on bad days, allegedly because of the Imphal Valley-centric Manipur government's indifference to the hill districts. Last month, as India tuned in to 'another Modi', locals set about changing their destiny by working on a road to nearest town Pallel.
 
"The government's failure to repair the road for years made us undertake the 22km road project connecting Modi village," said Kanral Anal, president of Chandel Naga People's Organisation. The organisation coordinated the work by members of seven tribes across 60 villages, local contractors and personnel of a unit each of Assam Rifles and Manipur Rifles.
 
The work was completed two days after Narendra Modi took oath as Prime Minister after announcing 'achchhey din aane waale hai'.
 
Locals, however, hope the name of their village would catch the interest of the Prime Minister for 'better days ahead'. The hope is fuelled by the possibility of former Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio getting a berth in the NDA cabinet.
 
Rio's party, Naga People's Front (NPF), is a constituent of NDA although it had been vociferous against the 'Hindutva BJP' during the poll campaign. Village Modi falls under Chandel assembly constituency represented by NPF's Nunghlung Victor.
 
"Elders tell us the name of the founder of our village means nothing. It should mean everything now," said Modi village resident Pashel Ngamnahring, 27.


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