IMPHAL, December 3: The central government has no knowledge of any organizations from the region demanding the Supra state body, and the people of the state should not be apprehensive of the centre’s intention towards the territorial integrity of the state as the UPA government at the centre is committed to safeguarding the territorial integrity of the state, declared the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh this evening at a public meeting at the historic Kangla fort.
“The central Congress led UPA government is committed to safeguarding the territorial integrity of Manipur and there has been no such proposal of Supra state body from any organization”, the Prime Minister assured the public.
The Prime Minister was addressing a crowd of more than 50,000 people at the Kangla fort after inaugurating several mega projects in the state capital.
The projects inaugurated today by the Prime Minister in the presence of the UPA chairperson include the City Convention Centre and the multipurpose auditorium of the Manipur Film Development Corporation at Palace Gate; Assembly buiding, High Court building inside the Capitol project at Chingmeirong and the Inter State Bus Terminus at Dewlahland.
He also unveiled the foundation stone of NIT, Imphal at Kangla before the start of the public meeting at Kangla.
The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh accompanied by the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and MoS in the PMO V Narayanasami arrived at the Imphal airport at 11:40am by a special aircraft and was received by a state team led by the Governor Gurbachan Jagat and Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, MPCC president Gaikhangam and others.
Further addressing the crowd of supporters, the Prime Minister further stated that the centre is considering to incorporate the amount of Rs 6000 crore in the 12th Five year plan for the state. The amount had been proposed by the Chief Minister to be announced as PM package for the state and to be used for the implementation of the Sixth Central revised pay scale and other projects in the state.
Further elaborating on the issue, the Prime Minister stated that “It has been the endeavour of our UPA government at the centre to make every possible effort for the rapid progress of Manipur and the other Northeastern states. We want that the people of the state get opportunities for their talents and abilities to flourish. Over the last five years we have worked very closely with the Congress led government of Manipur to make this happen. The devolution under the 13th Finance Commission from the centre to the state for the period 2010-2015 is expected to be about Rs 13,600 crore, which is more than double the amount given in the period 2005-2010. Manipur`s Plan outlay for the current year is Rs. 3210 crore which is more than three times the Plan outlay in ihe year 2005-06”.
“I am very happy that many of the projects that were announced during my visits to Manipur in 2004 and 2006 have been completed. Earlier today, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and I inaugurated the New Assembly Secretariat Complex and the High Court Complex. These are parts of the State Capital Project whose foundation stone I had laid in 2004. Work on the third component of the Project, the New Secretariat Complex has also commenced and is likely to be completed by March 2014”, the PM also said.
“I have always held that Manipur is a state with a lot of potential and promise. It is a state of breathtaking natural beauty, a very rich cultural heritage, and a long and glorious tradition of peace and harmony amongst the many communities that live here. The rivers and valleys of Manipur, its flora and fauna and its songs and dances make it a tourist`s delight.
It is no surprise that the brave people of Manipur excel in sports. Despite being smaller than many other States, in both area and population, Manipur was the top performer among states in the National Games this year. I congratulate the sportspersons of the State for this wonderful achievement”.
The PM further said that the Airports Authority of India has drawn up a plan for upgrading the infrastructure to international standards. Work on the 125 km railway line from Jiribam to Imphal via Tupul is under progress and is likely to be completed by March 2016, with the Jiribum-Tupul portion getting constructed by March 2014. Double laning of the Maram-Peren road is likely to be completed by March 2012. Works on NH-53 are also going on and are expected to finish by December 2013. Construction of the old Cachar road has been approved in principle, the PM added.
“The state government has requested for central assistance to improve road connectivity in hill areas. I urge the state government to prepare detailed proposals in this regard so that they may be suitably considered”.
The project for augmentation of water supply for Imphal city with raw water from Thoubal dam is being actively considered for funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the PM further added.
The PM also announced that the proposed oil depot at Malom will be taken up for construction and that it will be a road fed depot till the railway line upto Imphal is completed. The PM further announced that the capacity of the LPG bottling plant at Sekmai will be doubled from 600 MT to 1200 MT. This will help in maintaining a regular supply of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG to the people of Manipur.
Further elaborating on the developmental projects taken up in the state, the PM said “In the power sector, I have been informed that the 1500 MW Tipaimukh Hydro Electric Project will be executed by a joint venture company of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, Satlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited and the Government of Manipur. Environmental clearance for this project has been granted and forest clearance is under process. I understand that a project for expansion and up-gradation of power transmission, sub-transmission and distribution networks in the North-Eastern States has been posed to the World Bank for funding. I am asking the concerned Central government Ministries to pursue the matter actively with the World Bank”.
Regarding the steps taken up in the state to improve the educational facilities in the state, the PM further said, “UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and I have just unveiled the foundation stone for the building and campus of the new National Institute of Technology. …we have decided to set up Kasturba Gandhi residential schools in all the 9 districts of the state, covering even those districts that do not meet the normal eligibility conditions. Similarly, we have recently sanctioned two new Navodaya Vidyalaya for Ukhrul and Senapati districts. The proposal for upgradation of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) has been approved and work is likely to begin in December 2011. The proposal for up-gradation of the Jawahar Lai Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences is under consideration”.
To address the requirements of the minority community, the Ministry of Minority Affairs has funded the ITI at Lilong in Thoubal district under the Multi-Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP) with a total intake capacity of 164 students. I am asking the ministry of Minority Affairs to work with the state government for preparing a special package for minority concentration areas which will cover education, health and skill development”.
“During my last visit, we had also announced the setting up of 50-bed hospitals in four Hill districts and at Jiribam. I am informed that my colleague P. Chidambaram, the Union home minister, inaugurated the 50-bed Hospital at Senapati on November 2. I also understand that the construction of the other four hospitals will be completed within the year 2013, these hospitals will address a long felt need for better medical care in the tribal Hill Areas”.
“The state government has requested for increased central assistance to support modernization of the state police. I am asking the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide Rs. 50 crore annually for this purpose in the 12th Plan period. The state government has also requested for introduction of an international bus service between Imphal and Mandalay. As part of our look east policy, we will suitably take up this request with the Government of Myanmar”.
“The enormous capabilities and talents of the people of Manipur need to be encouraged and channelized into productive and creative pursuits. We need to build an enabling environment so that the tremendous developmental potential of the State is fully realized. All this can happen only when there is peace and harmony in the State. While there may be varied view of points on many issues facing Manipur, our democratic set-up gives ample space for all of them to be heard and given due consideration. It is in this context that I urge the people of Manipur to shun violence and let their demands be articulated through Constitutional means. Though the State has been witness to bouts of violent incidents in the past, I am happy to note that they have declined considerably in the last few years. I am hopeful that we will continue to move ahead with eliminating violence and strengthening the roots of democracy, which are so very essential for unhindered economic growth of the State”.
He further congratulated the state government for holding the elections to the six tribal ADCs and further appealed to the state government to ensure adequate devolution of funds to the councils and further urged the people to support the elected district councils to function from their respective hqs”.
“We are aware that the recent road blockades by some groups caused immense hardships to the common people of Manipur. While the Central government did extend all possible support to the State government for meeting the crisis and making essential commodities available to the people, the blockades were painful for the people of the State and harmful to its economy. Though the economic blockades have now ended, it is incumbent upon all of us to deliberate about the efficacy of such acts. To my mind, there are no winners in such disruptive activities, there are only losers”.
“It is my hope that Manipur will emerge as one of the best state of the country” the PM ended.