Governor Address - 1977
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF MANIPUR, SHRI LALLAN PRASAD SINGH TO THE MANIPUR LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ON 25.3.1977
Mr. Speaker and Hon'ble Members,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this Budget Session of the Legislative Assembly.
1. I am glad to say that the year which is now coming to a close has been a year of all-round progress and advancement. There has been an atmosphere of discipline and hard work which, I am sure, will continue over the coming year. That alone will enable us to face the challenges that lie ahead.
2. During the year 1976-77, the law and order situation remained under control even though the underground were active in the East District. A number of Naga and Mizo hostiles surrendered to the authorities, in some cases along with weapons. Financial assistance of approximately Rs. 10 lakhs was given to 526 underground for their rehabilitation. 39 new Police out-posts were opened. The CID was strengthened.
3. My Government has decided to continue the rehabilitation programme during the coming year and extend the assistance to the loyal citizens who have suffered at the hands of the underground and also to offer rehabilitation benefits to the ex-members of the RGM. We have also decided to raise another battalion of Manipur Rifles to meet the law and order situation.
4. In view of the long outstanding demand for the return of KANGLA to the State Government, the Government of India have agreed to shift the 4th Assam Rifles to a new site on the outskirts of Imphal, as soon as the construction of buildings required by the battalion is completed. The construction is likely to start in the coming year.
5. It has been decided to open 7 more courts of Judicial Magistrates. For the purpose, the posts of one Chief Judicial Magistrate, 6 Munsiff Magistrates, 2 Addl. Public Prosecutors and 6 Assistant Public Prosecutors have been sanctioned. The posts of Chief Judicial Magistrates and the Munsiff Magistrates have been filled.
6. For the first time, 10 officers of Manipur Police Service are in the Select List for appointment against promotion vacancies in the I.P.S. and 6 vacancies are likely to be filled in the near future. Similarly, officers of the forest Service have also been selected for the Indian Forest Service.
7. A Treasury has been opened at Senapati and a Sub-Treasury at Chandel. It has been decided to introduce during the coming year a State Finance and Accounts Service for which Service Rules have been finalised.
8. The Planning Commission have examined the requirements of the State Government sympathetically and have increased the Annual Plan outlay for the current year from Rs. 16.59 crores to Rs. 17.56 crores. For the next year, an outlay of Rs. 23.19 crores has been agreed to. This represents an increase of 36% over the current year's outlay. For the accelerated development of the tribal areas, special assistance of Rs. 124 lakhs has been approved. This is in addition to the flow of Rs. 861 lakhs out of the State Plan. The NEC has also agreed to allot Rs. 175 lakhs for the Regional programmes for the coming year. This is exclusive of the provision for the Regional Medical College .
9. Efforts will continue to be made to raise additional resources from various financial institutions such as Commercial Banks and the Agricultural Re-Finance Corporation.
10. During the year under review, the Banks have opened branches at Senapati, Tamenglong and Chandel.
11. In Agricultural Sector, improved varieties of paddy and wheat seeds, adequate to cover the targeted area of 40,000 and 10,000 hectares, respectively, and 1.5 thousand tonnes of fertilisers were distributed at subsidised rates. More than 65,000 hectares were covered under Plant protection programme and 55,000 hectares were brought under double cropping programme. Various schemes have also been taken up for development of horticulture and soil conservation.
12. In the field of training of farmers the Government of India have agreed to establish one Krishi Vidya Kendra during the year. It will impart training to the farmers in the scientific method of cultivation. The long-standing demand of the people for provision of facilities for higher education in agricultural science was considered by a team sent by the Government of India and, on their advice, a project report is now under preparation for inclusion in the next year's programme.
13. The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1975, came into force on 1st August 1976 lowering the ceiling of agricultural land holdings from 10 hectares to 5 hectares, and for bigger families from 20 hectares to 8 hectares. Land which become surplus will be distributed to the landless, belonging to the weaker sections. Under the 20-Point Economic Programme, about 11,500 hectares of cultivable lands have already been distributed to about 22,500 landless persons. House sites have been allotted to about 3oo persons. It has also been decided to give assistance in cash or kind up to Rs. 500/- each to the landless workers in the rural areas for construction of houses. With the passing of the Manipur Agricultural Indebtedness Relief Act, 1976, a general moratorium on debts of rural artisans, and small and marginal farmers has been imposed for a period of one year, extendable to 3 years.
14. In the field of Animal Husbandry, three veterinary dispensaries were opened and proposal for up-gradation of 6 dispensaries to hospitals is under way. Steps have been taken for the implementation of the intensive Cattle Development Project. One semen collection Centre, 2 regional Artificial Insemination Centres and 36 sub-centres are now functioning in the State. Proposals for opening one more centre and 5 sub-centres are under consideration. A District Poultry Farm at Churachandpur and chick rearing centre at Porompat have started functioning. A Regional exotic cattle breeding farm under the aegis of the NEC has been established.
15. As a result of the concerted efforts made in the past, it was possible to make sufficient quantities of fish available for sale to the public on important festivals like “NINGOL CHAKOUBA” etc. The revenue for the coming year is anticipated to be Rs. 1.6 lakhs. For the first time, a Training programme for farmers on scientific method of fish rearing has been organised and 20 trainees, including one girl, have been selected. They will be given stipends for the duration of the training.
16. The Co-operative has assumed an important role in the development of the State. The existing 670 Agricultural Credit Co-operative Societies in Manipur are being reorganised and amalgamated into 50 large Size Multipurpose Societies in the Hills and 100 Nyaya Panchayat Level Multipurpose Societies in the Valley during the 5th Five Year Plan. The target of 10 LAMPS and 25 Gram Panchayat Level Multipurpose Societies fixed for 1976-77 has been achieved. Another 20 LAMPS and 35 Gram Panchayat Level Multipurpose Co-operative Societies will be organised in the coming year.
17. For proper development of forestry and optimal exploitation of forest wealth to raise the State's resources, the Forest Administration has been re-organised. A Forest Policy on the lines of the National Forest Policy has been framed. Departmental working has also been taken up and a forest Training School has been established for training of the Guards. Over 2 lakh seedlings were distributed during this year and 11 lakhs will be distributed during the coming year. Rubber and coffee are being introduced on a fairly large scale.
18. A Zoological park was established on 2nd October 1976 , the Gandhi Jayanti Day, at Imphal. The Wild Life Sanctuary at Keibul Lamjao has also been declared as a National Park for the brow-antlered deer. A new scheme has been taken up to secure deeper involvement of the hill communities in the various programmes of forestry. Due to the various regulatory and developmental programmes, the revenue from forests is expected to rise sharply in the coming years.
19. The Hon'ble Members will be happy to know that various steps have been taken for the speedy implementation of irrigation projects. The works under Irrigation, Flood Control and Water Supply have been taken out of the Public Works Department and put under a separate Chief Engineer. Multipurpose project at Singda and the irrigation projects at Khoupum Dam and Imphal Barrage are expected to be completed ahead of schedule. Benefits of irrigation are likely to commence, in respect of the Khoupum Dam and Imphal Barrage, from July of this year. In case of Loktak Lift Irrigation Project, the first phase will be completed and irrigation for an area of 10,000 hectares will be started with Diesel Power by the end of this year. The fifth medium irrigation project on the Sekmai River with a potential of 8,000 hectares of annual irrigation will be taken up shortly. Detailed investigations for a multipurpose project on the Thoubal River are nearing completion, and a project report is under preparation. This project will be the largest in the State and after completion, it will provide irrigation facility to about 20,000 hectares; enable generation of hydel power to the tune of 10 Megawatts, and make available 20 million gallons per day of drinking water. Multipurpose projects on the Khuga and the Iril have also been planned and detailed investigations are in progress. Minor irrigation has received due importance. Out of 167 schemes taken up, 98, which will provide irrigation to about 12,000 hectares, will be completed during this year. The remaining schemes are expected to be completed during the coming year.
20. It is still in public memory that extensive areas in the valley were seriously affected by severe floods during the last monsoon season. As you all know, the Government rose to the occasion, and took prompt and effective measures to avoid serious damages and mitigate suffering and difficulties of those affected. The requisite protection works, both short term and long term are being planned for execution in a systematic manner for protecting property and lives. A Central Team visited the State during October, 1976 and Central assistance to the extent of Rs. 40.00 lakhs has been received recently.
21. The State has been experiencing great shortage of power due to the delay in commissioning of the Loktak Hydro Electric Project. The Government of India have been informed of the difficulties and I understand that vigorous efforts are being made to expedite the completion. In the meanwhile, my Government has taken steps to increase the generating capacity and 8 diesel-generating sets of 248 KW capacity each were commissioned recently. Two diesel generating sets of 1100 KVA capacity each, are being erected and these are expected to be commissioned by June this year. Another scheme for installation of two diesel generating sets, of 1450 KVA capacity each, has been finalised for supplying power to the Loktak Lift Irrigation Project and to meet the shortage in the Greater Imphal area. The scheme is expected to be operative by December 1977. Further, as a result of constant efforts, the revenue collection for supply of energy is expected to go up and the loss on supply of power is expected to be reduced by Rs. 40.00 lakhs during this year.
22. In the Industries sector, the construction of the Spinning Mill is making good progress and investment of Rs. 117 lakhs has already been made. A Geological Cell for investigation and exploration of industrial minerals has been opened. The Manipur Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation has been organised for Intensive Development Project. My Government is trying to set up a Rayon Grade Pulp factory at Jiribam with the help of a private party. A Project report for establishing a cement plant at Ukhrul, with a capacity of 150 tonnes per day, is under preparation. Efforts will be made to get it finalised quickly.
To encourage the tribal handicrafts, an emporium was opened by the Government in Imphal in September last. Similarly Manipur Small Industries Corporation opened emporia at Churachandpur and Ukhrul. More will be opened during the coming year in the District Headquarters under the sub-Plan.
23. The outlay on roads has been increased from Rs. 300 lakhs during this year, to Rs. 475 lakhs in the coming year. Special emphasis has been given to the improvement of highways and district and sub-divisional roads. About 70 Kms of new roads will be constructed during the coming year. The construction of NEC roads, such as Tamenglong-Khongsang and about 80 Kms of the Jiribam-Tipaimukh road up to the formation level is also expected to be completed during 1977-78.
Allotment for the administrative buildings has been increased to Rs. 80 lakhs for 1977-78. It will enable the Government to improve the living conditions of Government servants in the Hill Districts.
24. My Government has paid constant attention to improve the public transportation system. The Manipur State Road Transport Corporation has been re-organised and 5 additional daily passenger services have been introduced. With a view to facilitate transportation of goods, reciprocal agreements have been made with the States of Assam and Nagaland and with other States of the North Eastern Region.
25. Several steps have been taken to expand facilities as also to improve the quality of education. The expansion of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Centre for Post Graduate studies at Imphal is progressing as planned and efforts are being made to start Post Graduate Classes in science subjects. With a view to setting up a separate university for Manipur, a Working Group has been established to finalise the details and another one for drafting the proposed bill. A phased programme to improve and develop at least one college and one high school at each District and Sub-Divisional headquarters has been initiated. Government has taken over 24 aided Secondary schools, 3 ashram type schools are being established in three of the Hill districts.
Further, my Government have decided to provide at least one Science Teacher for every Government High School during the coming year. With a view to encouraging science, science kits are being provided to the Middle Schools. 50% of the Middle Schools have been covered. This programme is expected to be completed during the coming year. A start has been made to impart education to tribal children, at the primary school level, in their dialect. Curriculum for classes I to X have been prepared for the new 10 + 2 + 3 system of education. Book Banks have been opened in 12 degree colleges and over 250 schools. Action has been taken to provide buildings for schools with local contribution.
A Department of Social Welfare has been created and a school for the Blind has been taken over by the Government. A home for the destitute children is being established.
26. The Manipur Sangeet Mahavidyalaya has been taken over by the Government. One more District Library in Tengnoupal District has been opened. A Registration Officer has been appointed for the Archaeological Unit.
That apart, 150 rural sport centres have been organised. One composite stadium at Khuman Lampak, at an estimated cost of Rs. 15.00 lakhs is under construction. 1,000 additional college students have been enrolled under the National Service Scheme and 31 educational institutions have been given financial assistance for improvement of playgrounds. District Sports Councils for the 5 Hill Districts and Manipur Olympic Association have been organised. The State Level Sports Association was given assistance of Rs. 1.00 lakh to enable them to participate in the National Championship. You will all be glad to know that gliding training has already been introduced under the NCC programme and a separate hangar for the glider has been provided.
27. To beautify and properly develop Imphal town, various urban development schemes have been taken up. Encroachments on road sides were removed and schemes have been formulated for rehabilitation of the evicted persons. House sites and shops, or shop sites have been offered to those who had no other place to live in or carry on business. The need for setting up a Municipal Corporation in Imphal is being considered. A scheme to enable rickshaw pullers to become owners of the rickshaws is in the process of implementation. An amount of Rs. 15 lakhs will be given as loan to the low income group category for construction of houses.
28. By the end of this year, 8 Primary Health centres and 26 sub-centres will have been established. Two 50-bedded district hospitals have been set up in the East and West Districts during this year, and 4 dispensaries were established with the active participation of the people. The Family Planning programme received encouraging response from the public and against the target of 4,500 sterilisations for the whole year, over 6,000 cases were done by the middle of December 1976. Three Mobile dispensaries are being provided this year and two next year. The Service Rules for Manipur Health Service have been finalised.
29. Four schemes have been taken up to augment water supply in Imphal by 2 million gallons per day. One scheme to supply half-million gallons per day has already been commissioned and 3 are likely to be completed during the coming year. The Singda Water Supply Scheme will be taken up next year and will augment water supply in Imphal by 4 million gallons per day. Implementation of 28 rural water supply schemes to benefit a population of over one lakh is under progress. Of these, 16 schemes will be completed, during the current year.
30. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes constitute an important section of the population and it has been the constant endeavour of my Government to promote their welfare. To improve the administrative machinery for implementation of the schemes for welfare of tribals and other backward classes, a Directorate has been set up during the current year. The Manipur Reservation of Posts and Services (For Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Act has been enacted.
31. Apprenticeship Training Scheme has been operating since October 1976, and 37 apprentices have availed of this opportunity. 3 district Employment Exchanges have been set up, at Ukhrul, Senapati and Churachandpur. In the interest of improving relations between the management and the workers, the Government has decided to extend the scheme of Workers Participation in selected spheres. The Government is actively considering grant of relief benefits to the confirmed work charged employees.
32. The implementation of the schemes under Agricultural, Industrial and Irrigation sectors is likely to generate substantial employment for the educated unemployed and others.
33. Steps to discourage consumption of alcohol have been taken. With this end in view, Prohibition Committees have been formed at district and sub-divisional levels. Selling of liquor in public places is being stopped and the issue of new licences for liquor shops has been reduced.
34. Active steps have been taken to check the price rise. Arrangements have been made to supply sugar in the hill areas at subsidised rates. Transport subsidy has been extended for cement and food grains by the Government of India by accepting all District Headquarters as rail-heads. My Government took care to maintain constant supply of all essential commodities through the alternative route while communication between Dimapur and Imphal was disrupted for over a month, thereby maintaining the price level.
35. In order to inculcate among the people a sense of self-Government and appreciation of democratic principles, the Panchayati Raj structure in the State is being strengthened. The Manipur Panchayati Raj Act, 1975 has been enacted, and the Panchayat elections, under the new Act, will be held within the coming year.
Hon'ble Members, I have given you a broad account of the main activities and the achievements of my Government. You will appreciate that there has been considerable progress. The task ahead calls for clear vision, co-operation and hard work. We have to work determinedly to further accelerate the pace of progress and to consolidate the gains already achieved.
I now leave you to your deliberations and I wish you all success.