Governor Address - 1995
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF MANIPUR, SHRI OUDH NARAYAN SHRIVASTAVA, TO THE MANIPUR LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ON 22-03-1995
Hon'ble Mr. Speaker and Hon'ble Members,
I have great pleasure in welcoming you all to this 1st Session of the 6th Manipur Legislative Assembly of Manipur. May I, on this occasion, take the privilege of wishing you and the people of Manipur a happy and prosperous year.
2. As Hon'ble Members are aware, the 6th Manipur Legislative Assembly was constituted on 25th February, 1995 and the new ministry headed by Shri Rishang Keishing entered office the same day. The members are aware of the insurgency and the ethnic problems afflicting the State. My Government is seized of these problems. Keeping this in view, my Government will accord first and foremost priority to the restoration of peace and public confidence in the State Administration. It shall try to instil, in the common man, a sense of security by strengthening and modernising the law and order machinery, protecting the territorial integrity of Manipur and the country, bringing the misguided youths back to the mainstreams, accelerating balanced economic development, providing gainful employment to the unemployed youth and streamlining public distribution system to ensure availability of essential commodities at reasonable price to the public. The Government will also address itself to certain key issues of the State's economy such as development of infrastructure and conservation of environment, with greater sense of urgency and concern. Hon'ble Members are aware that other States have made significant strides on various developmental fronts. I am sure, all of us will join hands in the common endeavour to keep pace with other States and regions. and make our State self-sufficient in all respects.
3. The State has suffered enormously due to the ethnic disturbance which has interfered with the development process and the financial and industrial growth would become possible only if we succeeded in attracting investments which is not possible in an atmosphere of uncertainty and insecurity. My Government is committed to maintaining peace and also wishes to assure that it will not allow the traditional peace between the communities and the harmony and amity between them to be jeopardised under any circumstances. My Government will continue its efforts to rehabilitate all the families affected by the ethnic disturbances.
4. While the general law and order situation has remained under control, sporadic incidents will remain to be contained. My Government believes in solving the problem of insurgency through peaceful negotiations within the ambit of the Constitution of India. I sincerely appeal to the insurgents to come forward, lay down arms, and share democratic approach to resolution of their problems. I also appeal to the people of the State to extend all possible co-operations to the Government in resolving the problem in the interest of the people.
5. In order to improve the Jail Administration, 3 double storied prisoners barracks will be constructed at Sajiwa Jail at an estimated cost of Rs. 37.43 lakh during 1995-96. To strengthen and modernise the Fire Services Department, the Government will procure modern fire fighting equipments with an assistance of Rs. 25 lakh from the General Insurance Corporation during 1995-96.
6. Severe financial constraints have compelled the State Government to maintain strict control over unproductive and wasteful expenditure and to put our temporary restrictions on new recruitments. Economy measures and enforcement of financial discipline have made the State's financial position during the year stable. I am happy to mention that though the State was required to make additional expenditure on elections and security related activities, this has not been allowed to interfere with the development work in the State. There has been no shortfall in the expenditure on Plan. However, in the face of fast changing economic thinking and policies across the country, much remains to be done in terms of mobilising resources and consolidating the State's economy. Keeping this challenge in view, my Government will endeavour to obtain 20% increase in the allocation under Annual Plan 1995-96 above the 1994-95 outlay, although the Budget proposals envisage only 10% increase.
7. I mentioned earlier about the emphasis my Government is giving to certain key sectors of the economy of which infrastructure development is the first and foremost. My Government, therefore, will take steps to –
- Improve the road transport system and connect all administrative headquarters with all weather roads;
- Increase the road density from the present 26.05 kms to 27.33 kms during the 8th Plan;
- Strengthen and widen the National Highways 39 and 53 within the State.
- Construct administrative buildings in all the districts of the State, a second Manipur Bhavan in Delhi and State Library building at Imphal;
- Provide electrification to 1923 villages during 1994-95 and all villages by 1997-98;
- Strengthen the power transmission system by setting up four 33/11 KV sub-stations during 1995-96 and implement Loktak Down Stream Project with a generating capacity of 90 MW, and
- Improve the quality and longevity of roads with the introduction of mechanisation in surface pavements.
8. Hon'ble Members are aware of the linkage of production and productivity in the agricultural sector to supportive measures like irrigation, soil conservation and supply of modern inputs. The Government will endeavour to increase the present annual irrigation potential of 59,100 hectares to 79,700 hectares by the end of 8th Plan. The Government is trying, in right earnest, to complete the Singda Dam before the onset of Monsoons with a capability of supplying 4 mgd (Million Gallons per day) of drinking water and with 4000 hectares of annual irrigation potential during 1995. The 1st stage of Water Supply Scheme for supplying 2 mgd of water under Khuga Multipurpose Project is being completed, and partial irrigation potential of 2000 hectares would be created during 1995-96. My Government also proposes to launch a Regional Inter-State Jiri Irrigation Project with a target of 3415 hectares of annual irrigation in Manipur. Funds from the NEC would be sought for this project. The objective would be to achieve self-sufficiency in food grains production and income generation by maximising self-employment opportunities in rural areas. The per hectare production in the State is 2119 kgs of rice which is above the National average of 1870 kgs/hectare and is the highest in the North East. To achieve self-sufficiency in food grain production by the end of the 8th Plan period, the Government will endeavour to increase the productivity to 2500 kgs rice per hectare during 1995-96 by intensifying the use of modern technologies and other scientific and productive inputs. Based on the existing level of fertiliser consumption – 95 kgs/hectare -,the State's total consumption during 1994-95 was estimated at 18,370 MTs. My Government will set a consumption target of 20,000 MTs during 1995-96 to achieve a production target of 5,10,000 tonnes of rice. During 1994-95, the State could bring about 22,000 hectares under first crop and achieve production of 55,000 tonnes of first crop paddy in spite of deficit rainfall. The target for 1995-96 is 25,000 hectares. On the agricultural research and education front, the Government has been able to release four indigenous high yielding varieties of rice—Phouoibi, Punshi, Akut Phou and Leima Phou. Towards achieving a target of 285 hectares by the end of 1997-98, tea plantation is being taken up in another 20 hectares during 1995-96. The harvesting target for 1995-96 is 3.00 lakh kgs of green leaf. The Government will set up a Tea Factory with an annual capacity of 1 lakh kgs processed tea at Jiribam Tea Estate at an estimated cost of Rs. 2 crore. It is expected that the factory will go on steam during1995-96.
9. My Government is aiming at production of 1,10,085 tonnes of fruit and 35,000 M.Ts. of vegetables. I am happy to place on record that the Regional Potato Farm at Mao could achieve a record production of 330.225 M.Ts. of seed. In order to augment horticultural production, my Government has set a target of production of 25,00,000 quality plants of lime, lemon, orange, mango, lichi, banana, papaya, pear, peach, plum etc. An integrated programme of large scale fruit plantation would be launched. Emphasis will be laid on control and substitution of jhuming cultivation and rehabilitation of jhumias.
10. As all Hon'ble Members are aware, our young sportsmen and women have done Manipur proud by winning laurels both at the National and International levels. My Government is committed to giving full opportunities to our sportsmen and sportswomen by creating necessary infrastructure. The Sports Complex at Khuman Lampak will be completed at the earliest. Construction of a main stadium having facilities of a football field and a VIP gallery with a seating capacity of 3500, is nearing completion. Construction of an astro-turf Hockey field with technical assistance of a foreign firm is underway. Mini-stadia constructed at Ukhrul and Bishnupur under the programme of extension of better sports facilities to the district and sub-division have become operational. The Government also proposes to start construction of cycle velodrome at Khuman Lampak and 35 playgrounds at different locations during 1995-96. With the objective of physical fitness and health awareness amongst the students, the Government is implementing compulsory physical education programme in all the schools. Prominent sportsmen and sportswomen would be given preference in matters of employment. The Government will also promote indigenous games of Manipur.
11. In the realm of education, my Government proposes to take steps toward upgrading infrastructure and rationalising the whole system. With this end in view, teacher training programmes and facilities are being strengthened; text books for classes I to VIII reviewed and made more relevant; and science education system upgraded. Under technical education, computer application will be introduced during 1995-96. In order to improve the quality of higher education, the Government will take steps to strengthen the Manipur University by providing more funds. My Government will also accord priority to popularisation of Meitei Mayek and promotion and development of Manipuri language.
12. My Government attaches high importance to industrial development: development of small scale and village industries, handloom and handicrafts, in particular, which offer opportunities for extensive employment in the rural areas. We would continue to provide quality yarn at reasonable prices through the Raw Material Bank to the weavers of the State. Under the Prime Minister's Rojgar Yozana (PMRY), 2000 unemployed youths will be given assistance during the current year. To achieve wider coverage and impact of the programme, we have requested the Government of India to provide more funds for providing self-employment to 4000 youths during 1995-96. Under the Handloom Development Centre Scheme, 71 handloom centres are being set up during the current year and 69 centres and 9 dyeing units next year i.e. 1995-96, with Central assistance of Rs. 284 lakh. The Government is trying to extend the benefits of the Government of India assisted Integrated Handloom Village Development Project through 2 new societies to 475 handloom weavers during 1995-96. Under the Workshed Subsidy Scheme, my Government proposes to cover 1790 weavers with Rs. 71 lakh assistance from the Centre during 1995-96. As Hon'ble Members are aware, the Government of India and the Government of Myanmar have signed an agreement at Imphal to operationalise Boarder Trade with effect from April, 1995. We are going to establish two trade centres – one at Imphal and another at Moreh – with the assistance of Rupees two crores from the Government of India. Exploration of serpentinite and idocrase in Chandel district has already begun.
13. Popularisation of Science and Technology towards meaningful applications in various community development programmes ranks high in Government's socio-economic priorities. Towards this objective, my Government is implementing non-conventional energy programmes and Integrated Rural Energy Planning (IREP) programmes. We will continue the schemes of Model Science Laboratories and Science Awards for students. One full-fledged Food Testing Laboratory is being set up during the current year. Low cost manual irrigation pumps are being introduced during 1995. Under ecology and environment programmes, one Ecological park is being developed in Senapati District. During next year, my Government plans to construct 150 bio-gas plants and install 10,000 improved chullahs under the Non-Conventional Energy programme. The Integrated Rural Energy programme will be extended to two more Blocks during 1995-96.
14. Manipur has earned a place of pride in the cultural map of our country as also the world. The State has reached a stage in its development when the artistic and aesthetic dimensions of life need to be strengthened and brought into sharper focus. Culture is also a crucial part of development and deserves careful attention and substantial investment commensurate with the broad social needs and its intrinsic value. With this objective in view, my Government is considering to formulate a Cultural Policy for Manipur. Construction of an open-air theatre at Palace compound is at an advanced stage of completion. Construction of 1500 capacity Cinema Hall-cum-Auditorium at Palace Compound will start during 1995-96. My Government will urge the Government of India to take concrete steps for shifting Assam Rifles Battalion from Kangla to the new site. Steps will be taken to preserve the historical monuments inside Kangla and to develop an ecological park within the complex without destroying its original form. Efforts will also be made to complete the INA Memorial building at Moirang during 1995-96.
15. Keeping in view the State's tourism potential, my Government will endeavour to develop adequate tourism infrastructure and remove avoidable constraints in attracting larger number of domestic and foreign tourists.
16. My Government has been striving to provide improved health and medical care facilities to all sections of the society, especially, in the rural and backward areas. All of us are aware of the magnitude of the problem of drug abuse and transmission of HIV infection in the Sate. Over and above the existing detoxification Centres at Imphal, Sajiwa Jail and Churachandpur Jail, the Government proposes to set up three de-addiction Centres under the Government at Churachandpur, Moreh and Ukhrul. These Centres will be in addition to the 26 de-addiction/detoxification Centres run by the NGOs. My Government would sincerely appeal to the voluntary organisations to come forward and participate at a larger scale. Under the Universal Immunisation Programme 75% of the target group of expectant mothers and infants have been immunised. We would endeavour to cover the rest of the targeted groups within this year. The Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital will be modernised and community health centres strengthened. It is proposed to provide dental X-Ray facilities at J.N.Hospital, Imphal and District Hospital , Churachandpur during the current year. To increase the intake capacity of Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital (Porompat), additional 100 beds will be provided during 1995-96. Dialysis machine and C.T. Scanner are proposed to be installed during the next year. Under the Equity Health Care policy, X-Ray units will be opened at the District Hospital (Ukhrul) and community Health Centres at Moreh, Parbung and Kangpokpi during 1995-96. The Government will take steps to provide buildings during 1995-96 to all Primary Health Centres located within rural and hill areas but had been without buildings. To prevent and control malaria, DDT spray and supply of drugs will be intensified.
17. Removal of poverty in the rural areas is receiving priority attention of the Government. During 1994-95, 8,982 families below poverty line will be given benefit under IRDP; 633 lakh man-days employment would be generated under Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY); 262 houses will be constructed; and 31.24 lakh man-days employment will be generated under Employment Assurance Scheme. The Government will aim to achieve higher targets under these programmes during 1995-96. Having realised the potential of women and their pivotal role in development, the Government has been implementing various income generating activities for women below poverty line under DWCRA. The programme also aims to improve women's access to basic services of health, education, child care, etc. My Government would make efforts to extend the Employment Assurance Scheme to the 9 valley blocks of the State in 1995-96. Efforts would be made to improve the quality of implementation of rural poverty alleviation and employment generation schemes in the State.
18. The Government will set up a Women's Development Corporation to provide self-employment opportunities and to implement various economic activities. It is also proposed to set up a State Council for the Handicapped for providing better services for the handicapped persons. Steps are also being taken to popularise rice mills, in the rural and hill areas with the objective of replacing the manual husking of paddy by women. My Government intends to provide the hostels for working women and girl students at the State and district headquarters.
19. Hon'ble Members are aware of the important role being played by the NGOs in different areas of socio-economic development in the State and the rest of the country. My Government will encourage and extend support to the voluntary organisations for greater and more meaningful participation in the socio-economic development of the State.
20. The Government will strengthen and modernise the information services in the State. To cater to the interests of media persons we will also aim to set up a Press Club in the State.
21. With the twin objectives of arresting excessive growth and pressure on the State capital, and creating satellite magnetic urban centres, the Government will continue to promote Integrated Development of Small & Medium Towns (IDSMT) scheme. My Government proposes to invest Rs. 30.00 lakh for development of Sekmai, Lamsang, Thoubal and Nambol town during 1995-96. To improve the housing condition of the people, my Government will make a provision of Rs. 125.00 lakh to give benefit to 250 families in the Low Income Group during 1995-96. The Cash Loan Housing Scheme is being continued to cover 700 beneficiaries in the Service Sector during this year.
22. It will be an important endeavour of the Government to conduct elections to the Panchayat and Municipal bodies and the Autonomous District Councils in the State. The Government is committed to extend Sixth Schedule to the hill areas of the State.
23. Degradation of forests has become a matter of serious concern for the Government as well as the people. Loktak Lake , which is the heart of Manipur and the key to its future, has been ageing at an accelerated pace, mainly due to environmental degradation and resultant soil erosion and siltation. To arrest its further degradation, the Government has taken up afforestation in the Loktak catchment areas and plantation over 1000 hectares during 1994-95. Steps are also being taken for plantation of trees in over 1200 hectares in the catchment areas of Khuga, Thoubal, Iril and Barak Rivers during 1995-96. Steps are also being taken to introduce economic plantation in over 1945 hectares, social forestry in over 3090 hectares and rubber plantation in over 25 hectares during 1995-96. Side by side, the Government will take measures, to control random devastation of forests and regulate export of timber. My Government will try to implement an integrated programme of development and rehabilitation of Loktak.
24. The Government has been trying to strengthen and streamline the Public Distribution System in the State, to cope with the difficult situation of shortage of food on the one hand and of inhospitable terrain in the hill on the other. The Government will create additional storage facility of 600 MTs at Tadubi, Saikul and Machi and purchase 10 (ten) additional trucks during the current year. During 1995-96, we propose to introduce ration card system in all the districts of Manipur, except Thoubal where this has already been done.
25. It will be my Government's endeavour to sustain and augment the supply of safe drinking water to all towns and villages in the State. You are aware that this is an uphill task. The present demand and supply gap in the case of Imphal alone is 5 Million Gallons per day (MGD). When the Porompat Phase-II (1.5 mgd), Singda (2.00 mgd) and Potsangbam (1.50 mgd) schemes become operational, we would be able to reduce the gap substantially. My Government would endeavour to complete them early. Under Rural Water Supply Programme, the Government has set a target of covering 250 villages during the current year. Under the Accelerated Urban Water Supply Programme, three towns namely, Yairipok, Heirok and Lilong will be covered with 50% Central grant. Augmentation of 1 (one) mgd plant for Churachandpur is in progress. Under Rural Sanitation, 3000 low cost latrines will be constructed during this year and similar number next year i.e. 1995-96.
26. Upliftment of the socio-economic condition of fishermen is another area of priority concern of my Government. It is estimated that not less than 60,000 families in the State live on fishing from Loktak Lake . Efforts will be made to develop new fish seed farms and hatcheries and incentives would be provided to encourage people's participation. Resettlement of 688 floating hut fishermen of Loktak Lake would be completed in 1995-96.
27. Under Animal Health and Dairy Development, the Government proposes to achieve the following targets during 1995-96.
- Construction of State Veterinary Hospital , Imphal.
- Construction of 10 (ten) Veterinary Dispensary buildings in respect of buildingless Dispensary.
- Procurement of modern medicines, vaccine, and sophisticated equipments like X-Ray within financial provision of Rs. 50 lakh.
- Provision of self-employment to 1070 beneficiaries.
- Modernisation of Central Dairy Farm at Porompat under Central Sector scheme viz. Integrated Dairy Development Project for which the Centre has sanctioned Rs. 224.10 lakh, for production of 3500 litres of milk daily which is an increase of 1500 litres daily. Under the said project 15 Dairy Co-operative Societies will be covered during 1994-95, and another 30 Dairy Co-operative Societies will be covered during 1995-96.
28. I hope Hon'ble Members would appreciate the policies and steps taken by my Government on various fronts concerning peace and progress of the State in spite of severe financial and other local constraints. While emphasising the importance of human resource development and of providing better quality of life to the younger generation, I also intend to mention about my Government's aim to create more self-employment opportunities because employment in the Government sector has already reached a saturation point. I would also like to reiterate my Government's commitment to maintenance of social harmony and peace and protection of the interests of the weaker sections, women and children.
29. The purpose for which I have summoned this Assembly Session is also to give an opportunity to the Chief Minister to prove his majority on the floor of the House. I convey my best wishes to all of you and now I leave you to your deliberations which, I am sure, will be in the best interests of the people of Manipur.