Governor Address - 1978
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF MANIPUR, SHRI LALLAN PRASAD SINGH TO THE MANIPUR LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ON 23.3.1978
Mr. Speaker and Hon'ble Members,
It gives me a great pleasure to welcome you to this Budget Session.
2. This is the first time I am addressing you, after the assumption of office by the Janata Party Ministry in Manipur. The wind of change that swept the country has also taken the State of Manipur in its sweep. The recent bye-elections to Ukhrul Assembly Constituency, as well as the elections of Imphal Municipality , have confirmed people's faith in the policies, programmes and performance of the present Government.
3. Despite isolated underground activities, the law and order situation generally remained satisfactory during the year 1977-78. There were some reports of forcible collection of taxes by the underground in the South. Reports about movement of the underground were also received from the North and East Districts. The Police and the Security Forces, however, continued to be alert to the situation and took effective steps to counter the activities of the insurgents.
4. The Government continued to give financial assistance for the rehabilitation of the ex-underground. During 1977-78, it incurred an expenditure of Rs. 10 lakhs and gave rehabilitation assistance to 445 ex-underground persons, including members of ex-revolutionary Government of Manipur. Two peace camps are also being maintained at a cost of about Rs. 1.15 lakhs per year. Both these programmes will be continued during the coming year also. The Government has also made a start by giving financial assistance, for the first time, to the loyal citizens, who suffered at the hands of the underground.
5. During the current year, the Government has strengthened the Police Administration by establishing 2 additional outposts. Orders have been issued for raising a new battalion of Manipur Rifles. At least 3 companies of the battalion will be raised in the near future.
6. To improve the Jail Administration, one post of Superintendent of Jails has been created. On the occasion of the Republic Day Celebration, 1978, the Government released 2 short-term convicts and granted remission of sentence to another 36 long and short-term convicts.
7. We have been given to understand that the Government of India have allotted funds for the construction of alternative accommodation for the 4th Assam Rifles during the coming year. On completion of these buildings, the 4th Assam Rifles battalion will be shifted to the new site, thereby making the area of KANGLA available to the State Government. This has been a long outstanding demand of the people. I look forward to the area being utilised for beautification of the town.
8. The Government is taking keen interest in improving the administration of justice in the State. Six new courts were established during 1977-78. A Tribal Law committee has been set up to examine the prevailing laws applicable to the tribal communities in the hill areas and to suggest measures for giving them greater autonomy and participation in their economic development. To enable greater participation by the people in the process of governance, elections for the Municipality and for the Small Town Committees have already been completed and elections for the Panchayats are due to be completed in the near future.
9. Several steps have been taken by the Government for toning up the administration. The process of redress of grievances has been streamlined. The Secretary of each Department has been declared as Public grievances Officer. Officers both in the Secretariat and in the Districts have been directed to have more frequent meetings with the people and to try to redress their grievances at the earliest possible. To improve the Office Management and financial administration, comprehensive manuals have been prepared. For speeding up the implementation of the development works and the administrative activities, the Government have delegated additional financial powers to the officers. This would help in issue of early sanctions and timely implementation of development programmes.
10. In keeping with the declared policy of the Central Government, we are determined to achieve total prohibition in the State within four years. A Committee has been constituted to submit specific recommendations for introduction of prohibition in a phased manner. The Committee has met twice already and is likely to submit its report soon.
11. As you know the Government attaches the highest priority to the development of agriculture, as it is the mainstay of more than 90 percent of the population. Several steps have been taken during 1977-78 to increase agricultural production. High yielding varieties of paddies covered 45,000 hectares during the current year. This year, 70,000 hectares of cultivable land have been covered by Plant Protection measures, including aerial spray. Aerial spray will be extended to 16,000 hectares in 19978-79, against 14,000 hectares in the current year. The total area, proposed to be covered by Plant Protection measures, next year is 80,000 hectares. The per-hectare use of fertilizers in Manipur is the highest in the entire North Eastern Region. Over 5,000 tonnes of different kinds of fertilizers have been distributed in the current year, and during 1978-79, 7,000 tonnes of fertilizers are proposed to be distributed. Manipur is also ahead of other North Eastern States in mechanisation of farming. Demand for tractors, power-tillers and pumping sets has shown progressive increase. In 1978-79, Departmental Customs Service Centre will be opened in selected areas. Special programmes have also been introduced to increase yields of pulses and oil seeds.
12. Manipur hills have a vast potential for Horticulture. A separate Directorate of Horticulture and Soil Conservation has been set up to harness this potential and to bring about quick development of hill areas. The existing Progeny Orchard-cum-Nursery at Maram has been expanded and converted into Regional Progeny Orchard-cum-Nursery under the programme of the North Eastern Council. Rejuvenation programmes have resulted in marked improvement of orange orchards. As against rejuvenation of 80 hectares of orange orchards in 1977-78, 150 hectares are proposed to be rejuvenated next year. Programme for cultivation of mushrooms will also be taken up during the coming year. The Government has undertaken the task of Soil conservation in hill areas in a big way. The Programme will be taken up on water-shed basis and village-wise approach will be adopted for the purpose.
13. For a better co-ordination, Minor Irrigation Department has been merged with Agriculture Department and an additional Minor Irrigation Division has been set up for speedier implementation of the schemes.
14. A Farmers' Training Centre has been sanctioned by the Government of India for Manipur and action has been initiated for setting up the Centre at Iroisemba.
15. To meet the requirement of the State, the Government has initiated action for strengthening the Fisheries Department, and a post of Director of Fisheries has been created. Ten million fingerlings are to be distributed during 1978-79, against 6 million distributed during the current year. The area under paddy-cum-pisciculture will be extended to 300 hectares, next year, from the existing 200 hectares. A programme has been chalked out for making use of the lake or beel areas for fish rearing. The Agricultural Re-finance and Development Corporation has agreed to finance the programme to the extent of Rs. 50 lakhs.
16. There is a great deal of work to be done in respect of development of Animal husbandry in our State. I am glad to see that considerable importance is being given to the improvement of cattle by means of artificial insemination, and 2,500 cows are reported to have been inseminated during 1977-78. One more Regional Artificial Insemination Centre has been set up to improve the coverage. Development of piggery and poultry is also receiving due attention. More District Piggery Farms and Poultry Farms will be opened in the next year. During the coming year, the Veterinary coverage will be extended further by opening 24 more Veterinary Aid Centres.
17. Overall food grain position in the State is satisfactory. A stock of 6,800 metric tonnes of paddy is available with the Food Corporation of India , Imphal. With a reasonably good prospects of food grain production during the year 1978-79, Manipur is not likely to experience any shortage of food. The public distribution system was strengthened by opening mobile Fair Price Shops during the lean period. As Manipur is largely dependent on imports, it becomes difficult at times to maintain the prices of pulses and edible oil at a steady level. With a view to ensuring better price control over such articles, the Government is examining the question of setting up a State Civil Supplies Corporation.
18. During 1977-78, the Forest Department increased the area of economic plantations and stepped up the volume of departmental operation. The schemes for rendering assistance to the tribals for extraction of timber and Social Forestry Afforestation were given special attention. During the year, the economic plantation were extended over 1,500 hectares. A similar area will be covered during the coming year. Under the scheme of Social Forestry Afforestation, an area of 1040 hectares will be covered during 19778-79. Forest Department has been able to step up the departmental extraction operations and is now meeting the entire requirement of firewood of the Police Department. A seasoning kiln has been procured and is under installation. The Department has also distributed over 2.5 lakhs seedlings to the public, educational institutions and government organisations. During 1977-78, 80 hectares have been brought under rubber cultivation while coffee plantations have covered 70 hectares. Next year, rubber and coffee plantation are expected to cover 200 and 300 hectares respectively.
19. Forest Training School established last year has started training forest Guards. The small Zoological Garden is flourishing and arrangements are being made to get more animals for this Garden on an exchange basis from other zoological gardens of the country.
20. The Government is giving due attention to programme of Irrigation. The Khoupum Dam Project is likely to be commissioned by July, 1978, and will benefit about 600 hectares of land. The Imphal Barrage is expected to be completed by the end of 1978, creating irrigation potential for another 4,000 hectares. The Civil work on the Loktak Lift Irrigation Project first Phase is also likely to be completed about the same time. It would provide irrigation facilities for 10,000 hectares as soon as the required power is made available. Works relating to Sekmai Barrage, Thoubal Multipurpose Project, and Khuga Irrigation Project are proposed to be taken up during 1978-79. A perspective plan embracing both the irrigation and flood control is under preparation.
21. Due to delay in commissioning of the Loktak Hydro Electric Project, the State continues to be short of power. Needless to say, this has adversely affected the State's industrialisation programme. The matter has been taken up with the Government of India and we have been assured that the Project would be commissioned by 1981. In the meanwhile a scheme for establishing 10 Mega Watt Coal Based Thermal Power Station has been prepared and submitted to the Government of India for technical clearance. With a view to giving some relief to the public, efforts are being made to augment the generating capacity by installation of additional diesel sets at Ukhrul, Thoubal, Moirang, Churachandpur and Imphal. Further we hope to be able to take up the work on at least 2 Micro-Hydel Schemes during the coming year. The Rural Electrification Scheme, which has already covered 200 villages, will be extended to another 50 villages in the coming year. Action has also been initiated for improvement of the distribution and the transmission systems.
22. The Government is paying special attention to the development of handloom industries in the valley and hill districts. Five Training Centres in the Hill Districts have been recently opened for imparting training to selected artisans. Sericulture is making steady progress. During the year 1977-78, number of seeds farms has increased from 38 to 50. About 1,200 tribal families have taken to sericulture.
23. The Industrial Estate at Takyel is making steady progress and 20 sheds have so far been constructed and allotted to different industrial units. The work on the second Industrial Estate, which is to be set up at Jiribam, is likely to start in the coming year. Efforts are also being made to set up agro and forest based industries.
24. There has been considerable improvement in the transport operation of the Manipur State Road Transport Corporation. Last year a Super Express Deluxe Bus service was introduced between Imphal and Dimapur, to enable passengers to catch 4-Down Assam Mail the same day. A bus service has also lately been started between Churachandpur and Parbung in the South District. The percentage of road worthy vehicles, of the fleet of the Corporation, has increased for buses, from 46 to 49 percent and for trucks, from 51 to 63 per cent.
25. The Government has taken steps to improve the quality of university education. Three private colleges – two in the hills and one in the valley have been taken over. Seventynine additional lecturers, in various colleges, have been sanctioned to strengthen the teaching staff. In the field of physical education and sports, improvements continue to be made. One indoor stadium and one swimming pool are under construction at Khuman Lampak in Imphal. Three mini-stadia are under construction in 3 hill district headquarters. One hundred and eighty sport talent search scholarships have been instituted, to encourage talented sportsmen. The State Government has taken over 4 Family and Child Welfare Projects. Two Working Ladies Hostels have been established. The construction of Children Home at Takyel has been completed. The Ideal Blind School has been taken over by the Government. It is proposed to take over 683 L.P.Schools which are at present receiving grant-in-aid. This is being done to improve the standard of education in primary schools.
26. Under the technical guidance of Central building Research Institute, the Education Department has undertaken a Special School Building programme. Eighty primary school buildings have already been constructed. It is proposed to complete another 200 buildings by the end o f1978-79.
27. Substantial progress has been achieved in the field of medical coverage. Against a target of 9 Primary Health Centres for the Fifth Plan period, 5 were completed in the near future; the remaining 2 will be taken up during 1978-79. The Government has taken up the training of community health workers under the Rural Health Scheme and so far training programmes have been taken up by 13 Primary Health Centres. As the incidence of Malaria was on the increase, in the last few years, the State Government, in consultation with the Government of India, has modified its anti-malaria programme and the revised programme is now being implemented vigorously.
28. Our programme for providing a district hospital in each district has made considerable headway. Three such hospitals are already functioning and 2 district hospitals in the hills are also expected to be completed during 1978-79. In addition, the Planning Commission has agreed to the proposal for construction of a new hospital for the Central District. The Regional Medical College Hospital in Imphal is now functioning as a 500-bedded hospital with special equipments.
29. For the training of multipurpose para-medical workers and doctors, a Regional Health and Family Welfare Training Centre was established in November, 1977, and 149 multipurpose workers have been trained.
30. You will be glade to know that, during the current year, Tourist Lodges have started functioning at Imphal and at Kaina. Steps have been taken by the Government, for improvement of Sendra and Waithou Tourist Lodges, including the improvement of the road, leading to Waithou Tourist Lodge. A Janata Hotel is planned to be established at Jiribam during the coming year. An outlay of Rs. 7.8 lakhs has been provided for Tourism in the Annual Plan for 1978-79. With a view to giving better publicity coverage, the Government has decided to open Information Centres in the District Headquarters during the coming year.
31. Co-operatives in Manipur are being re-organised to make them effective instrument of economic development and social change. Fifty Large Agricultural multipurpose Co-operative Societies, in hill areas, and 100 Gram Panchayat Level Multipurpose Co-operative Societies, in the valley areas are planned to be organised by liquidating or amalgamating the existing weak and non-viable Primary Agricultural Co-operative Credit Societies within 1978-79.
32. It is the constant endeavour of the Government to promote the welfare of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. During 1978-79, allocation of funds in the State Plan for various Tribal developmental schemes has been stepped up. The special central assistance has also been increased from Rs. 124 lakhs in 1977-78 to Rs. 177 lakhs for the next year. This will provide additional benefits to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the sphere of education, agriculture, housing, water supply, cottage industries, medical care, etc. More attention will be paid to the proper functioning of the District Councils. Funds for running various institutes, construction of office buildings, councillor's hostel and staff quarters have been provided for, under the District Councils. Elections of the superseded Councils are due to be held this year.
33. The Government has initiated action for re-organising the Revenue Districts. It has also set up a committee to examine specific proposals for creation of additional circles and for location of sub-divisional headquarters. The task of surveying cultivable areas in the hills is receiving attention. It is expected that during the year 1978-79, about 5,000 hectares of cultivable land will be surveyed. The Government is taking action for implementation of land ceiling laws. About 1,083 acres of land are estimated to become surplus.
34. The Government has taken steps to augment water supply in Imphal and rural areas of the State. The present supply capacity of Imphal is 3.2 million gallons per day, as against the minimum need of 8.50 million gallons per day. Water Supply Schemes have already been taken up at Koirengei, Porompat, Canchipur and Chinga, in addition to the major scheme at Singda, costing about Rs. 5 crores. These schemes, when completed will enhance the supply of Imphal to 9.2 million gallons per day.
35. In the rural areas, 700 villages have been identified as problem villages, of these, 500 are in the hills and 200 in the valley. The Government is paying special attention to provide protected drinking water. Rs. 100 lakhs have been provided for the purpose under the State Plan and Rs. 75 lakhs have been provided as Special Assistance under the Centrally Sponsored Accelerated Water Supply Programme during the coming year. Sixty-six schemes covering 127 villages are making good progress and of these, 33 schemes, covering 60 villages are planned to be completed during 1978-79. Eighteen schemes, covering 22 villages will be taken up under the State and Central programmes during the next year. Water Supply Schemes for another 58 villages, in the hills are planned to be taken up under the Tribal Welfare programme during 1978-79. An outlay of Rs. 15.05 lakhs has been made for this purpose.
36. During the coming year Rs. 13 lakhs are proposed to be spent on improvement of roads within Imphal Municipal area. A sum of Rs. 2 lakhs has also been provided for beautification of Imphal Town . Master plans for development of Moirang and Senapati are under preparation. The scheme for setting up of a residential colony at Khuman Lampak to accommodate landless people is also being implemented.
37. During 1977-78, the programme of road construction, laid emphasis on State Highways, roads linking District Headquarters and road connecting sub-divisional Headquarters. By the end of current financial year, the state will have 1350 kilometres of surfaced and 1450 kilometres of unsurfaced roads. Besides, 5 major bridges, 10 minor bridges and a number of culverts have been completed. As against the outlay of Rs. 475 lakhs for roads and bridges during the current year, the outlay for the next year is likely to be Rs. 530 lakhs. Further a sum of Rs. 21.65 lakhs has been sanctioned for the current financial year for construction of 16 Rural Link Roads. This work is being supervised by the Revenue Department.
38. Construction of roads under the North Eastern Council Programme is progressing steadily. Jiri-Tipaimukh section of Tamenglong-Tipaimukh Road , Tamenglong-Khongsang section of Tamenglong-Tipaimukh Road , Tamenglong-Tousem-Haflong Road are at various stages of construction. A number of important buildings including those of the Regional Medical College , 3 students' hostels and 89 residential quarters will be completed during the current year. The problem of speedy construction of residential buildings in the far flung places is yet to be solved to our satisfaction. I am glad to note, however, that the Works Department is applying its mind to the problem. It is hoped that with the adoption of new technique of construction, a solution will be found in the near future.
39. It is gratifying to note that the Planning Commission have agreed to an outlay of Rs. 28.26 crores for the Annual Plan, 1978-79. This represents an increase of 22 percent over the previous year. The Government has prepared a balanced Plan, placing priorities on sectors which are of special significance to the State. Irrigation, Power and development of roads account for approximately 51 per cent of the total plan outlay.
40. An attempt has been made in the current year to change the procedure for the preparation of Plan in a manner to enable a closer association of the people at grass-root level. Unlike in the past, when funds were provided only on a sectoral basis, the plan for 1978-79 has been prepared district wise and the allocation for each district shown separately in respect of each sector. It is hoped that this re-orientation will result, not only in the formulation of better and more meaningful programme, but will enable more efficient implementation of the various development schemes.
41. The North Eastern Council is taking keen interest in the development of the State. Compared with the current year's outlay of Rs. 160.96 lakhs, the Council has so far recommended an outlay of Rs. 195.96 lakhs for 1978-79. This outlay, however, does not include the funds required for the Regional Medical College and investigations of Tipaimukh Dam for which an additional sum of Rs. 93.41 lakhs and Rs. 60 lakhs respectively are likely to be made available.
42. The Banking Industry have committed themselves to opening branches, by the 30th June, 1978 , in all the sub-divisions except Tousem and Henglep. They have also drawn up a credit plan for this State for the years 1977-80 and I am sure the state will derive considerable benefit from additional investments from the financial institutions.
43. The Government is making earnest efforts to tackle problem of unemployment both in the valley and in the hill areas. It is expected that accelerated development of sericulture and the introduction of rubber and coffee plantations will provide increasing employment to the hill people. Expansion of handloom industries will also go a long way in providing employment in the valley and in the hill areas.
44. Hon'ble Members, I have recounted some of the activities undertaken by the Government during the current year and have given you a brief outline of the action plan for the next year. You will appreciate that we have achieved considerable progress during the current year. We look forward to a still higher tempo of development, for which, I hope, co-operation of all Members of this august House will be forthcoming in full measure.
45. I wish you all success in your deliberations and in the discharge of your great responsibility.