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Manipur’s famous Ima market reopens after 11 months

Chief Minister Biren lauds women vendors’ contribution in containing Covid-19 pandemic

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Imphal: Ima Keithel, also known as women’s market in the heart of Imphal city, reopened after 11 months here Monday. The women’s markets were shut on March 21 last year in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak as a precautionary measure.

The reopening of women’s markets brought a huge relief to women vendors whose businesses have been tremendously suffered since the lockdown being imposed by the state government to arrest the spread of the dreaded disease.

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Chief Minister N Biren Singh who interacted with the women vendors here Monday announced exemption of paying license fee by the women vendors for this year. The government decided to reopen the markets considering the hardship faced by the women vendors during the COVID-19 pandemic as the markets remained closed for nearly a year, he added.

While participating in a simple but impressive function N Biren stated the government had been successful in containing the spread of COVID-19 and saving precious lives of the people mainly due to the contribution and the responsible decision of women vendors to close the markets.

Stating that the pandemic had made humans learn a lesson about the importance of preserving the nature, the Chief Minister called for a change of our mindset and move towards a clean environment to prevent mankind from such other diseases in future. He also urged the officials of MAHUD Department to supply garbage bags to women vendors so that garbage and spoiled vegetables could be put in these and collected for proper disposal. Such conduct would help maintain cleanliness in and around the market places and prevent the women vendors from certain diseases, he added.

Biren asked the women vendors to allot a day to the government once a month for maintenance and cleaning work of the market areas. He further added that construction work on roads along the markets would be completed soon. He also appealed to the women vendors to bring up their grievances to the concerned authority before resorting to any strikes or rallies. Urging the street vendors not to sit on roads blocking the passageway while selling their products, he stated that the government would sort out ways to accommodate them.

Appreciating the early initiative and concern shown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister stated that various schemes had been taken up under the supervision of the Prime Minister during the countrywide lockdown to ease the adversities faced by the people. He also appreciated the Ministers, MLAs, Doctors and other frontline workers for their timely efforts and contributions made to contain the spread of the virus and save people’s lives.

He also informed that a cancer hospital would be constructed in the state soon and an amount of 10 crore rupees had also been allocated in the budget as the Chief Minister’s Cancer Relief Fund.

Later, the Chief Minister announces the new names of the three Ima Markets as Leimarel Sidabi Ima Keithel for Market No. 1, Imoinu Ima Keithel for Market No. 2 and Phouoibi Ima Keithel for Market No. 3.

Education Minister Sorokhaibam Rajen, CAF & PD Minister Thokchom Satyabrata, MAHUD Minister Okram Henry, Deputy Speaker Kongkham Robindro, Advisor to CM (Health) Dr Sapam Ranjan, Chairman, Loktak Development Authority L Susindro, Deputy Chairman, Manipur State Planning Board L Rameshwor, Corporators of Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC), Officials of MAHUD Department and IMC and women vendors of Ima Market attended the function among others.

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