Governor Address - 1981
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF MANIPUR, SHRI LALLAN PRASAD SINGH, TO THE MANIPUR LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ON 18-02-1981
Mr. Speaker and Hon'ble Members,
I have great pleasure in welcoming you to this first Session of the third Legislative Assembly this year.
2. We have entered this year with renewed hope and confidence. Firm security measures taken by the Government have contained the activities of the extremists to a large extent and restored the confidence of the people in the Government.
3. You are already aware that violent activities of the extremists had occasionally disrupted normal life, especially in the valley areas in the year gone by. The situation deteriorated to such a degree that it was difficult to tackle it with the normal law enforcing agencies. As a result, the entire State had to be declared as Disturbed Area from the month of September, 1980 and the Army called in to assist the civil administration in counter insurgency measures. The Combined forces of police, army and para-military units have since launched vigorous drives with the help and co-operation of the people against the insurgents. As a result, a number of extremists including some hardcore leaders have been apprehended and unauthorised arms and ammunitions seized from them. A number of them had also surrendered with arms and ammunitions and they are being suitably rehabilitated.
4. The law and order situation was further complicated due to wide spread students' unrest in the North East specially Assam . However, with the establishment of the Manipur University , one of their major grievances had been removed. It is also heartening that examination of the Regional Medical College , Imphal could be held under the Manipur University . Other University and Board examinations are now being held. The people of Manipur are grateful to the Prime Minister for her assurance to initiate action to include the Manipuri language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. The Government is constantly engaged in finding out the best possible method to solve the foreigners' issue in consultation with the Central Government.
5. It is a matter of satisfaction that the people of this State re-affirmed their full faith in the policies and programmes of the Congress under the National Leadership of Shrimati Indira Gandhi by having a full-fledged Congress (I) Ministry in this State. This, I believe, will make the task of the Government easier in fulfilling its commitments enunciated in the 20 Point Programme of the Prime Minister meant to bring in an era of prosperity in the State, to ensure security and a place of honour to this hitherto neglected part of the country. This will, also, promote the economic and social upliftement of the weaker sections of the society so long deprived of their due share in the process of economic development. The Government has also initiated actions to vest the Autonomous District Councils and the Panchayats with more powers not only to ensure participation of the people in the administration at the grass-root level but also in keeping with the policy of decentralisation.
6. I would like to make a reference to the special attention the Central Government have been paying to Manipur. This is evident from the recent visits by the Union Finance Minister in November, 1980, the Minister of State for Home Affairs in January, 1981, Communication Minister and the Minister of State for Home Affairs again in February, 1981 closely followed by the visits of Union Home Secretary and the Adviser (State Plans) in the Planning Commission.
7. As insurgency in Manipur is directly linked with the problems of the educated unemployed youths, channelising their energies by creating employment opportunities will go a long way in weaning them away from the path of violence. In order to create immediate prospects for self-employment, the Planning Commission have allotted a sum of Rs. 86 lakhs during the current Financial Year. With this, we have made a good beginning by way of taking up schemes like opening of departmental stores for supply of consumer goods, poultry farming, mushroom cultivation, production of electronic components/equipments, assembly of watches, training under village and small scale industries and handicrafts etc. This amount is over and above the normal plan allocation and will provide job opportunities to about 3000 unemployed people.
8. The vagaries of nature had very badly affected our economy during the past three years. Two years of successive droughts followed by an unprecedented flood in 1980 had almost thrown our economy out of gear. The impact would have been far more severe had it not been for the developmental infrastructure already built up. The State Government had to carry out large scale relief operations and repairs on damaged roads and bridges. This has also been partially responsible for causing the trend of spiralling prices and the consequent build up of heavy inflationary pressures about which the Government is seriously concerned. Transport bottlenecks and our near total dependence for supply of essential commodities from outside the State have further aggravated the situation. Wage increase is invariably followed by price increase and does not really help in bringing about the desired benefits. On the other hand, the people in general who have no regular income suffer more than regular wage earners when there is further rise in prices. The remedy lies in making essential commodities available at reasonable prices through good public distribution system, setting up an efficient procurement agency and increasing production of such items. In pursuance of this policy, more fair price shops have been set up at important centres in the State. The Food and Civil Supply Corporation expected to start functioning shortly should bring about further improvements.
9. To strengthen the State Police, a new Battalion, the Seventh Manipur Rifles Battalion, has been raised. This will also help in providing employment opportunities to the local youths. Social security measures like Group Accident insurance and ex-gratia grant (of Rs. 10,000/-) on death on duty have been introduced in addition to the existing Group term insurance to keep the morale high. The Government is also introducing special family pension for those killed on duty. Further, in addition to the normal housing programme for all Government employees, the Government had taken up a separate scheme of housing for the police from funds provided by the Seventh Finance Commission. The work is being executed through the B.R.T.F., and a sum of Rs. 113 lakhs had been sanctioned by the Government of India for this year.
10. The Jail administration had been strengthened. Two District jails are being established at Ukhrul and Churachandpur for which Central Government has allotted Rs. 25 lakhs this year out of the grant recommended by the Seventh Finance Commission.
11. The judicial Department has been strengthened by opening of four Chief Judicial Magistrates' Courts in the hills and one Munsiff Magistrate's Court in Imphal. The construction of five Court buildings is also being taken up.
12. For effective implementation of any Government's policy, it is essential to have efficient administrative machinery. With this end in view, the Government had initiated various measures to streamline the administration which, amongst others, includes steps taken for dispersal of staff to the fields where they are actually required. As a measure of toning up the administration, regular review of the performance and evaluation of the functioning and achievement of targets is carried out at the highest level. This is also being re-enforced by exercising greater supervisory control and intensifying inspection of lower formations and creating monitoring cells in all the major departments.
13. During the course of this session, the Budget for the year 1981-82 will be presented. I need not go into the details of the proposal as the same will be dealt with by the Hon'ble Minister of Finance.
14. The finalisation of the State's Sixth Five year Plan had been another happy development. After discussion between the Chief Minister and the Union Planning Minister, the State Plan outlay originally fixed at Rs. 163 crores had been raised to Rs. 240 crores. The outlay for the year 1981-82 had also been fixed at Rs. 43.00 crores as against Rs. 41.85 crores of the current year. This enhancement, despite the dismal resource position of the State, is another shining example of the Centre's abundant goodwill to the State.
15. The programmes under the Welfare for Tribals and Backward Classes are special ones in addition to the General Sector to quickly promote the educational, social and economic standards of the weaker community of the State. Allocation of funds in the State normal plan for the Sixth Five Year Plan is Rs. 250 lakhs of which a sum of Rs. 45 lakhs has been provided for the year 1981-82 against the current year's allocation of Rs. 41 lakhs. Besides, a Tribal Development Corporation had been established for promoting the development of the Scheduled Tribes. A pilot project for poultry farming at Kangchup and demonstration farms for paddy and vegetable in other hill areas are being taken up. A programme for extensive housing schemes in the Hill Areas with the assistance from Housing and Urban Development Corporation is also being taken up.
Under the Special Central Assistance, a sum of Rs. 130 lakhs has been provided for the current year which will benefit to the Scheduled Tribes, specially in the sphere of Education, Agriculture, Housing, Water Supply and Medical care, etc. The Government of India has also taken up a new scheme for the specially backward Tribes of Manipur such as Chiru, Tarao, Maram and Mayons.
16. The Government of India has recently introduced the Integrated Rural Development Programme covering all the Development Blocks in the Country by merging all the existing Special Programmes. Though allotment per Block is Rs. 5 lakhs, a higher overall outlay of Rs. 155 lakhs for the current year had been fixed which will be shared equally between the Centre and the State. A Rural Development Agency for each District is being set up which will be responsible for execution of the programme.
The outlay for 1981-82 is fixed at Rs. 180 lakhs while the Physical target is to bring 15,600 poor families above the poverty line at the rate of 600 families per Block.
17. The Government continues to give high priority to the implementation pf programme for Development of agriculture. Emphasis continues to be laid on programmes for training at Block, District and State levels to popularise high yielding varieties of paddy; to bring more areas under double cropping; to distribute fertilisers to the farmers at subsidised rate; to intensify plant protection measures and to further popularise mechanisation under agriculture by introducing improved implements. An Agro Industries corporation has been set up for providing greater facilities. To achieve these objectives, short course training of farmers and other workers apart from two years' integrated course of Gram Sevikas has been taken up. As a result of the research carried out by the Agriculture Department, two new high yielding varieties of paddy known as ‘Punshi' and ‘Phouoibi' more suitable to the soil conditions of Manipur have been introduced. Inspite of the vagaries of nature and diesel scarcity, 2000 hectares of paddy were brought under double cropping programme. The N.E.C. has approved the setting up pf a seed farm at Ningthoukhong. A Plantation Corporation for promoting tea and coffee plantation has been established.
The Government has taken up various schemes for horticulture development through Progeny Orchard-cum-Nursery, Fruit Processing Demonstration, Wal-Nut, Cashewnut and Citrus Development and establishment of Horticulture Research Station. The State is at present, surplus in fruits like Pears, Oranges and pine-apples.
18. I am happy to know that the Government has made good progress toward Development of irrigation facilities. Of the seven projects on major and medium irrigation sectors, two projects namely Loktak Lift Irrigation Project and Khoupum have started giving benefits. Imphal and Sekmai barrages are expected to be completed during the current year for providing irrigation facilities to about 9,000 hectares. Investigation on Chakpi, Iril and Upper Barak rivers are also in progress for taking up irrigation projects.
The Singda Project will be commissioned in 1981-82 which will bring under irrigation about 4,000 hectares of land in addition to providing drinking water to Imphal town to the extent of four million gallons per day. The formal clearance of the Government of India for the Khuga Project has been received and works have already started for its implementation.
19. To bring out a white revolution and diversify agricultural practices so as to supplement income of the farmers and workers, the Government is laying great stress on live-stock and dairy development programmes. Health cover for cattle is being improved by opening a State level Veterinary hospital at Imphal and more dispensaries in the Districts. A number of dispensaries are being upgraded into hospitals. Expansion of the Cattle Development Project with extensive cross breeding programme has been taken up to increase production of milk in the State during the year 1980-81.
20. In order to increase fish production up to the level of attaining self sufficiency, the Fishery Department has taken up different schemes like production of fish seeds of improved variety, development of derelict water areas for pisciculture, creation of more employment by encouraging fishery co-operative societies including the areas inhabited by Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes. Two commercial fish farms at Takmu and Waithou have started producing table fish. Under Agriculture Refinance Development Corporation Schemes, individuals as well as co-operative societies have been encouraged to take up fish culture with bank finance. Under the N.E.C. schemes, survey of Bheels, Aqua-culture and Regional Grass Carp Farms have been taken up.
21. In Forestry, the Government lays great emphasis on economic plantation, Departmental logging, intensification of Forest Management, Social Forestry and training of staff. During 1981-82, economic species like teak, uningthou, heijuga (wal-nut) and pine will be planted over an area of about 1200 hectares to meet the future demand of timber for commercial and industrial use. Social Forestry and Development of Keibul Lamjao National Park are two Centrally Sponsored Schemes taken up during the year with the object of developing the existing forest resources through economic and scientific harvesting of timber and other forest resources. The Government also proposes to set up Forest Development Corporation.
22. As the honourable members are well aware, the problems of shifting cultivation (Jhuming) in the Hill areas is chronic. With a view to controlling this system of cultivation and stopping further soil erosion, works for planting trees on 1,500 hectares of terrain and denuded hillocks are being taken up. For the economic upliftment of Jhuming, Tongiya Planation over an area of 300 hectares will be carried out under Soil Conservation programme. The Khuga Water-shed Protection Scheme is one very important scheme being taken up in the current year. The main object is to take up the soil conservation measures like afforestation in the catchment areas of the rivers to check siltation and to increase the life span of the dam. So far 10,364 hectares under bench terrace have been converted into wet terraced field.
23. I am glad to inform you that in the field of industry, the Government has made good progress for setting up industries as a result of the sympathy shown by the Prime Minister of India. The Spinning Mill Project with 25,000 Spindless capacity has started production last year. The foundation stone for 50 tonnes per day capacity mini-cement plant has been laid at Hungdung in Manipur East district. This will be set up with the help of the North Eastern Council in collaboration with the North Eastern Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation. A foundation stone has also been laid for 60 tonnes per day capacity Starch and Glucose Factory at Nilakuthi in the Central District which will give direct benefit to the maize growers of the State. A 1,250 tonnes per day crushing capacity Sugar Factory and Distillery Plant is also being set up at Kabowakching in Central District. The Government of India has sanctioned Rs.58 lakhs for a mechanised Dye-House for giving support to the handloom development programme of the State. All these projects will give direct employment to about 1,000 persons and indirect employment to 30,000 persons and help the State greatly in attaining economic prosperity. The Government has been pursuing vigorously the case for establishment of a bamboo based paper mill at Jiribam.
24. In order to promote handicrafts development, a cash reward of Rs. 1,000/- has been instituted by the State on the line of the National Award of Mastercraftsmen. To carry out the programme of development of village and small industries including handloom, handicrafts and small scale industries, the Directorate of Industries have been adequately strengthened, and a crash programme for training and employment of educated youth has been launched. So far about 500 youths have undergone training of four to five months' duration.
25. In the field of sericulture which is one of the mainstay of cottage industries in the State, opening of 10 Tasar Extension Centres and 10 Tasar Seed Grainages (Seed production Centres), imparting training to 155 persons including science graduates, production of silk yarn of all varieties of the order of 25,000 kgs and giving direct employment to 4,000 families in the rural areas will be undertaken during 1981-82. The total outlay for Industry Sector available in 1981-82 will be of the order of Rs. 260 lakhs.
26. Power is the main infrastructure for any economic development of a State. Sustained efforts are continued for power generation from the available sources and to complete four on-going micro hydel projects at Lokchao in Tengnoupal District, Nungshangkhong in East District, Booning in West District and Leimakhong Stage II and III in the North District. Due to delay in the commissioning of the Loktak Hydro Electric Project, the State continues to suffer from serious power scarcity. The Central Government has assured that this important Hydro Electric Project would be commissioned by December, 1982. To augment power supply in Manipur, a scheme for installation of 10 MW Gas Turbine Power House has been prepared and has been submitted to the Government of India for clearance. In the meanwhile, a scheme for installation of diesel generating sets at Churachandpur and Thoubal for an additional capacity of 4 MW has been submitted to the Planning Commission for taking up during 1981-82. To supplement the existing supply, action has also been taken to import 3 MW of power from Assam . Action for plugging the high percentage of losses in the distribution and transmission system has been taken up. Due to the extreme shortage of power, the rural electrification programme has suffered a setback, and only 322 villages have so far been covered. The NEC have approved investigation of three major Hydro Electric Projects on Makru, Irang and Barak rivers with a total generating capacity of about 200 MW power, when commissioned. Investigations would also be taken up on other rivers of the State for exploration of further potential for hydro electric development.
27. The State Government has steadily built up the requisite infrastructure for providing extensive health coverage throughout the State. Under the Rural Health Services Programme, the setting up of one Primary Health Centre for every 5000 population in the valley and 2000 population in the areas is aimed at. A chain of referral services from peripheral services of the District and State Hospitals built for optimising the facilities is already established and more will be established during the Sixth Five Year Plan. Government will be establishing the much needed Mental Hospital for the care of psychiatric and mental patients in the State. More emphasis is given to the control of communicable diseases like T.B., Leprosy, Malaria which have alarming incidence in the State. Such Epidemiological Units, one at the State Headquarter and the other six at the District Headquarters, will play a great role in control and eradication of communicable diseases.
28. The Government of India is giving due attention to the problem of rural and urban water supply and sanitation. Out of 1949 villages in the State, there are 1200 problem villages. The aim is to cover these problem villages during the Sixth Five Year Plan by providing potable drinking water supply. Special attention is being given for water supply to weaker sections of the community. Almost all the scheduled caste villages will be covered during the Sixth Five Year Plan period. An Expert Committee has been constituted to advise the Government on the adequacy and augmentation of Greater Imphal water supply and also to advise on the preparation of project report for sewerage and drainage systems for Greater Imphal. Preliminary report has been submitted by the Expert Committee which is now under examination of the Government. As a participant to International Decade for Water Supply and Sanitation (1981-1991) sponsored by the United Nations, the Government of Manipur has collected the necessary data and submitted to the Government of India for cent per cent (100%) coverage in water supply to both urban and rural areas and 80% coverage for urban and rural sanitation respectively.
29. Under Urban Development Programme during the Sixth Plan, the Government proposes to construct 1100 houses in Greater Imphal area and 1100 houses in the Hill District Headquarters to be given to individuals including government employees, ex-servicemen and the weaker sections of society on hire-purchase basis. A provision has also been made for Rs. 40 lakhs for integrated urban development of small and medium towns with the setting up of a Housing Corporation.
30. Road communication being the life line of the economy of the State, utmost priority is continued to be given to the programmes of road construction. The allotment during1981-82 is Rs. 620 lakhs. It is proposed to construct 137 km of metalled roads and 110 km of new roads during the year. Emphasis will also be given to black-topping of roads connecting the District and Sub-Divisional Headquarters with the State capital. A Master Plan for connecting villages is being prepared under the Rural Re-construction programme. Under the N.E.C. programme, in addition to the five important roads already under construction, one more road project from Ukhrul-Sansak-Tengnoupal had been approved. Two other roads, namely Maram to Dhansiri and Singhat to Thanlon, are further proposed to be taken up.
Construction of office and residential buildings all over the State has been taken up in a big way. This has been possible because of the substantial funds being made available under the award of the 7th Finance Commission in addition to the normal State Plan.
It is heartening to note that considerable progress has been made in the construction of Manipur House in Delhi . The completion of this House by 1981-82 will solve accommodation problem for people of Manipur visiting Delhi . Work for the construction of the Manipur House at Calcutta will also be taken up shortly.
31. The State has a great potential for development of tourism. The direct daily air link between Delhi and Imphal now is expected to attract more tourists to the State. To meet the growing needs, the ITDC has agreed to build a “Three Star Hotel” in Imphal. A Youth Hostel will also be built in Imphal.
32. In the field of establishment, Manipur University is a landmark in the history of Manipur fulfilling the long-felt need of the people. In spite of the agitations from some section of the students' the Law Degree and Bachelor of Teaching Examinations have been conducted. The L.M.S. Law College will be taken over by Government from 1st April, 81 . Other examinations are also being conducted. The Planning Commission has allotted a sum of Rs. 250 lakhs for the Manipur University during the Sixth Plan period. For providing better facilities to our students desirous of taking vocational training, a Board of Technical Education is being constituted. An All-India Civil Service Pre-Examination Training Centre has been opened at Imphal for the candidates appearing in various All-India Civil Service Examinations.
33. It is a matter of satisfaction that a separate Department has been set up for Sports and Physical Training and Arts & Culture. It is hoped that this will enable our youths to get more facilities for further development in the fields of sports and physical training and arts and culture. The construction of a Sports Complex Stadium at Khuman Lampak has begun. The Government has also taken up construction of a cluster of mini-stadia at the district headquarters and play grounds at the Sub-Divisional Headquarters.
34. Our efforts to mobilise resources have been, to a great degree, frustrated by the adverse law and order situation on the one hand and the successive natural calamities on the other. The Sale tax collection may register a marginal increase by the year end in view of greater efforts put in. However, the collection of land revenue is likely to be much below the expected level as the paying capacity of the farmers has been seriously eroded by successive droughts and flood during the past three years.
35. Hon'ble Members, I have placed before you the broad policy of the Government and the development programmes proposed to be taken up. With the concerted efforts of the people, your good will and the determination of the Government, we can look forward to a bright and prosperous future for Manipur.
I wish you all success in your deliberations.