Governor Address - 1996


Hon'ble Mr. Speaker and Hon'ble Members,

I have great pleasure in welcoming you all to this fifth Session of the 6th Legislative Assembly of Manipur. As this is the first Session in the current year, I take the privilege of wishing you all, and the people of Manipur, a very happy and a very prosperous year.

2. Hon'ble Members would recall that while addressing the first Session last year, I had mentioned about my Government's commitment to peace and harmony and to protecting the territorial integrity of Manipur and our country. My Government has since been making all out efforts to fulfil this commitment. Also, in its first year in office, my Government had embarked upon various programmes in the social and economic spheres directed towards development of infrastructure, conservation of environment, providing gainful employment to unemployed youth and streamlining public distribution system, etc. The thrust during this period was towards consolidation and the efforts of my government in this direction have yielded positive results.

3. My Government believes in peaceful approach to the resolution of the law and order problems. I am glad to mention that all sections of the society have joined hands in this endeavour of my Government and helped restoration of traditional peace and harmony among the various communities. The families affected by the ethnic disturbances are being rehabilitated. Barring sporadic incidents, the general law and order situation in the State has remained under control. My Government will continue its efforts to instil, in the common man, a sense of security by strengthening and modernising the law and order machinery. To improve the accommodation facilities available to the police personnel in the State, my Government has already allocated a sum of Rs. 3.54 crores for construction of a Police Housing complex at Imphal.

4. Hon'ble Members are already aware of my Government's preparedness for peaceful dialogues as means for resolution of the problems of insurgency which has imperilled the State and impeded its development effort. I would sincerely reiterate my Government's appeal to the misguided youth to lay down arms and to join the national mainstream. The people of the State should come forward and strengthen the hands of the Government in weaning the extremists away from violence. My Government has formulated a liberal scheme for rehabilitation of the misguided youths. Under the new scheme, the youths can now surrender to the Ministers as also to senior Civil and Police officers. In the case of surrender with arms, cash rewards upto Rs. 1,00,000 (one lakh) will be given. Those who surrender will be kept in protective camps and provided financial assistance and self-employment. In order to protect the lives and properties of the people, my Government has also taken steps towards setting up of a State Human Rights Commission.

5. My Government has strengthened and modernised the Fire Services Department. The feasibility of establishing a Fire Service Training School is also under consideration. It is proposed to open three Fire Sub-stations at Chandel, Senapati and Lamphelpat during the coming financial year. Attempts will also be made to provide better facilities for the jail inmates. It is also proposed to arrange vocational training for the drug addicts, in order to motivate them into leading a meaningful life.

6. I am happy to mention that the economic measures and financial discipline enforced by my Government during the current financial year have stabilised the ways and means position of the State. Internal resource generation, as compared to previous year, has also shown improvement. My Government has been liberal in granting benefits to its employees in the form of interim relief, sanction of additional instalments of DA, increased gratuity and the retirement benefits. With a view to drawing maximum benefits from the growing economic inter-dependence of the States and of common market for goods and services in the country, my Government will take steps towards converting the existing Sales Tax System into Value Added Tax system. The motto of my Government is to generate more resource through innovative measures and to step up savings for investment in priority areas. My Government has been bringing pressure upon the Planning commission, seeking an increase in our State's Plan Outlay. As a result, the outlay for the State Annual Plan for 1995-96 had been increased to Rs. 300 crores against Rs. 240 crores in 1994-95. With the objective of achieving greater efficiency in administration, my Government has decided to bifurcate Imphal district into two districts, viz. Imphal East and Imphal West.

7. As mentioned earlier, in order to accelerate the pace of economic development, my Government has brought into sharper focus the need for infrastructure development. Steps are hence being taken to –

- set up a Naphtha Based Gas Plant of 40 MW capacity at Jiribam, as a short term measure;

- launching Loktak down-stream Hydro Electric Project of 90 MW capacity as a long term measures;

- strengthening the power transmission and distribution system by commissioning one 132/33 KV sub-station at Karong, Senapati District and 4 (four) 33/11 KV sub-stations at Khoupum, Wangjing, Moirangkhunou and Karong during 1995-96;

- providing electricity to all villages by the early part of the 9th Plan;

- converting National Highway No. 53, the second life-line of Manipur, into double lane for which an allocation of a sum of Rs. 5 (five) crores has already been made during 1995-96.

- Improving and strengthening the State highways, major district roads and other roads.

8. I am happy to state that my Government has achieved good progress in the construction of important administrative buildings such as the second Manipur Bhavan at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi and Directorate complex at Lamphelpat. My Government is also trying to increase the rental housing facilities for its employees. The bus terminuses constructed at Moreh and Churachandpur with Central assistance have been commissioned. Construction of bus terminus at Jiribam and Mao is also in progress.

9. My Government has fulfilled its commitment to complete the Singda Dam. The project, which is to provide irrigation to 4,000 hectares and four million gallons of drinking water per day, was dedicated to the people of Manipur in June, 1995. Additional irrigation potential of 2,600 hectares has been created under Thoubal Multipurpose Project. The Khuga Multipurpose Project, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of the 8th Plan, is now ready and would be able to provide two million gallons of raw water per day to Churachandpur town and nearby areas. My Government has decided to raise a loan of Rs. 229 lakhs from NABARD for creation of additional irrigation potential of 10,940 hectares through on-going minor irrigation schemes by the end of the 8th Plan. The Command Area Development Authority (CADA) Manipur will launch a project during the current financial year to ensure utilisation and judicious sharing of 4000 hectares of irrigation potential created through Thoubal Barrage. On-farm development schemes are also being taken up in the command areas of Singda Project where 4000 (four thousand) hectare irrigation potential has recently been created. The objective of these exercises would be to achieve self-sufficiency in food grains production. The average fertilizer consumption of 95 kgs. per hectare is a positive indicator in this direction. At the same time, my Government would be providing a sharper focus to popularisation of environment friendly bio-fertilizers. The present level of production of rice estimated at 2048 kg. per hectare, surpasses the national average of 1770 kg. per hectare. We also propose to set up a Tea factory at Jiribam Tea Estate with an annual production capacity of 3 (three) lakh kgs. of processed tea. Construction work on this project, which will cost approximately Rs.206 (two hundred and six) lakhs, will start during the current year. Also, a Cold Storage with 1000 (one thousand) metric tonnes capacity at Mantripukhri, is ready for commissioning.

10. I am happy to inform the Hon'ble Members that the State has achieved a yield of 111.25 MTs of fruits and 36.60 MTs of vegetables during the period from April 1995 to February 1996 against a target of 111.00 MT of fruits and 36.25 MT vegetables respectively. During the same period, 22.50 lakhs of fruit plants were raised which will greatly boost the horticultural yield in the State. In order to dispense with the pernicious practice of jhumming, my Government has taken up 24 (twenty four) centrally assisted micro-watershed development projects. These efforts will continue in the coming years.

11. Manipur has earned a place of pride on the international sports map. Kunjarani Devi, Anita Devi and their peers have won laurels for the country in various disciplines. It is in recognition of this outstanding record of our young sportsmen and women that the Indian Olympic Association has awarded the 5th National Games to Manipur. You will be happy to note that my Government has responded to this challenge with a sense of pride and commitment. In spite of severe constraints of time and funds, we are going ahead with the construction of the requisite infrastructure, i.e Cycle velodrome, Astroturf Hockey ground, mini-stadia, synthetic track, and swimming pool with diving facilities, indoor stadium, practice grounds and 100-bedded sports hostel. In addition, construction of the main stadium with a seating capacity of 18,500 and a VIP gallery with a seating capacity of 3,500 at Khuman Lampak is also nearing completion. My Government has attempted to tap pool together all possible resources, both from within and outside the State to mobilise a sum of Rs. 56.04 crores which will be required for this purpose. It is my sincere appeal to you, and through you to the people of Manipur, to rise up to the occasion and to join hands in this endeavour so that the 5th National Games can be held as scheduled in 1997.

12. In the sphere of primary education, we continue to focus on its universalisation. Under the “National Programme of Nutritional Support to the Primary Education” launched in Manipur on October 2, 1995, each and every child in the Primary Schools located in the hill districts is being supplied with 3 (three) kg. of rice per month. The scheme will be continued in the coming year, i.e. 1996-97. This would help in attracting higher enrolment. My Government intends to encourage education to the girl child in the districts, with a literacy percentage below 40 (forty). In order to meet the demand for increased enrolment of students at the plus two stage, ten High Schools would be upgraded to the status of Higher Secondary Schools in a phased manner. Vocational courses would be introduced in 19 Higher Secondary Schools and Model Schools would be set up under a pilot project in all the 60 Assembly Constituencies in the State.

13. Keeping in view the needs of the students seeking higher education, my Government has started post-graduate classes in Anthropology, Mathematics, Zoology and Botany streams in the D.M. College of Science. One Government Degree College was established during 1995-96 at Tamenglong. Another Government college is being set up at Chandel, Meritorious student who qualify for all India Civil Services Main Examination are being provided financial assistance as a token of encouragement.

14. The Industrial Policy enunciated in 1990 is under revision and would be replaced by a new policy giving, inter alia, due protection to the interests of trade and small scale industries and to entrepreneurs belonging to weaker sections. Under the Central Government Scheme for Handloom Development Centre and Quality Dyeing Unit, we have received a grant of Rs. 721.26 lakhs which would benefit 33,500 weavers located at 137 centres. With the Central assistance of Rs. 40 (forty) lakhs received during 1995-96, it is proposed to provide work sheds to 1000 weavers. Central grant of Rs. 20.25 lakhs has been obtained for 2 (two) Integrated Handloom Village Development Projects which will be located in the districts of Thoubal and Churachandpur. Six thousand five hundred and forty eight weavers within the co-operative sector are being provided assistance under the Health package Scheme for which the Government of India has sanctioned Rs. 38.08 lakhs. Another one thousand four hundred and twenty five weavers will get benefit under the Contribution Thrift Fund Scheme. During 1995-96, more than one lakh kgs of quality yarn will be distributed to the weavers through the Raw material Bank and Manipur Development Society. Under the Prime Minister's Rojgar Yojana (PMRY), 4000 unemployed youths will receive assistance during 1995-96. In addition, more than five thousand families will be given employment under oak, tasar, mulberry and eri plantation programmes and four thousand two hundred and thirty five hectares is being brought under plantation of oak tasar, mulberry and eri during the current financial year.

15. Hon'ble Members will be happy to know that my Government has launched a Special Employment Scheme for the educated unemployed youth during the current financial year by making a provision of a sum of Rs. 832.50 lakhs. The scheme will benefit 2800 educated unemployed youth. Employment Assurance Scheme has been implemented in twenty two Blocks in the hill districts. In order to benefit the valley people, my Government is taking steps to extend the implementation of the scheme to nine Blocks in the three valley districts. Two new T.D. Blocks have already been opened at Machi and Purul. In our endeavour to accelerate the pace of development in the more sensitive regions of the State, the Eastern Border Areas Development Authority and the Barak River Valley Development Board have been set up under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister. Under the Watershed Development Project programme, the Central Govt. has accorded technical approval for sixty micro-watersheds in the jhum areas of the State at a total cost of Rs. 322 lakhs during the current financial year.

16. Hon'ble members would be happy to note that my Government has created Special Development Funds for the rehabilitation of sick units, public sector undertakings and corporations within the State. High Power Committees have been set up for formulating comprehensive revival packages for sick units. Rehabilitation packages in respect of MSRTC and Manipur Spinning Mills Corporation have also been finalised.

17. With a view to popularise and to make application of Science and Technology purposeful, improved chullas, solar lanterns, domestic solar heaters and solar cookers are being distributed by the Govt. For creating scientific temper amongst student, model Science laboratories are being set up in seven academic institutions during the current financial year. Remote Sensing Centre has commenced providing useful data to the departments concerned. Computerised Structural Analysis & Design technology has been successfully introduced by the Computer Centre set up in the Public Works Department. We have also set up one environmental Monitoring Laboratory at the Manipur University .

18. My Government has accorded high priority to strengthening the existing hospitals and Community Health Centres. Hon'ble members would recall that in my address to the Assembly in March, 1995, I had made a mention of dialysis machine and C.T. Scanner. I am glad to announce that these sophisticated equipments have been procured and would be installed at the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital , Porompat. We have also expanded the capacity of this hospital by adding another one hundred beds during the current year. In addition, with a view to up grading the existing medical infrastructure in these hospitals, equipment worth Rupees one hundred and eighty lakhs has been procured from sources outside the State Budget and has been installed. With liberal assistance from the Centre, ten lakh people were covered under the malaria control programme. The Government of India has accorded approval to a World Bank Project for control of TB, to be implemented in Imphal district, w.e.f. April, 1996. With support enlisted from the NGOs, youth clubs and local authorities, the one-day Pulse Polio Immunization Programme was implemented in the State recently with 145% achievement against the target. We also propose to launch a Mobile Family Welfare Clinic on an experimental basis from the next year.

19. With a view to improving the child development services, seven ICDS projects and three district implementation cells of ICDS were launched during the current year and three more projects are proposed to be launched during 1996-97. In addition to the 2356 old-aged citizens who were being given old-age pension of Rs. 100/- p.m. another 8092 beneficiaries have been covered under the three components of the National Social Assistance programmes viz. the National Old Age pension Scheme, the National Family Benefit Scheme and the National Maternity Benefit Scheme. Vocational training is being imparted to destitute women and handicapped persons. Manipur Women's Development Corporation has been set up for facilitating implementation of welfare programmes for the womenfolk. Along term Action Plan for survival, protection and development of child has been formulated for implementation with UNICEF'S financial assistance. As a part of welfare measures, 50% concession is being provided on bus fares, to the freedom fighters and cancer patients, travelling by MSRT buses.

20. With a view to improving the socio-economic conditions of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes in the State, my Government has launched various family oriented and welfare schemes. The target for 1995-96 is to provide assistance to 5256 families living below the poverty line. Short term loans financed by the National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation and the National Minority Development and Finance Corporation are being channelised through the Manipur Tribal Development Corporation, for creating self-employment opportunities for backward classes and minorities. More than 18,000 ST and SC students have been awarded post-Matric scholarship during 1995-96. Financial assistance is also being provided for medical treatment and for appearing in the Civil Services examinations.

21. My Government conducted elections to all the urban local bodies during July, 1995. By providing reservations to women, SCs & STs in these elected bodies, my Government would ensure active participation of women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled tribes, in the process of decision-making and implementation of Government programmes. My Government has also constituted a State Finance Commission for recommending sharing of funds between the State and the local bodies. Elections to the rural local bodies will also be held soon. Towards democratic decentralisation, a comprehensive policy aimed at devolving powers and functions to Panchayati Raj institutions is being worked out.

22. My Government attaches great importance to the eradication of poverty in both urban and rural areas. I would like to inform the honourable members that as a result of persuasive efforts made by my Government, the Central Government has agreed to relax the norms and to extend the Prime Minister's Integrated Urban Poverty Eradication programme to five towns, viz. Thoubal, Bishnupur, Churachandpur, Moreh and Lilong with effect from the current year. During 1995-96, 5261 families living below poverty line will receive assistance under IRDP and another 35.57 lakh man-days of employment will be generated under Jawahar Rojgar Yojna and employment Assurance Scheme.

23. With a view to improving the housing conditions of the low-income group and the economically weaker sections of the society, my Government sanctioned Rs. 140 lakhs during the current financial year. It is proposed to provide a further sum of Rs. 138 lakhs for social housing during the coming financial year. Under the cash loan housing scheme, 710 beneficiaries, from the service sector, will be covered during the current financial year. Under Indira Awaas Yojana, dwelling houses were constructed during the current year for 1022 Scheduled Cast and Scheduled tribe families.

24. The problem of continuous degradation of forests and resultant soil erosion, flash floods, siltation, depletion of timber and fuel wood stocks, etc., are matters of serious concern before my Government. The need of the hour is to arrest further precipitation of damages by evolving a multi-pronged, integrated and collective approach. Towards this objective, economic plantations have been taken up to cover 2460 hectares and afforestation work has been completed over another 1200 hectares in the catchment areas of major rivers. A 20-year perspective State Forestry Action Plan for sustainable development of forest resources of Manipur is on the anvil.

25. In our country, livestock continues to play a major role. My Government has launched various schemes for the introduction of improved breed of animals and birds, improved animal health coverage and creation of self-employment through livestock and poultry activities. The Government of India has declared Manipur provisionally as ‘Rinderpest' free zone- a deadly disease of the bovines. My Government is making all out efforts to bridge the gap of 8000 MTs between the demand and supply of fish. For the upliftment of the socio-economic conditions of the fishermen, special employment generation schemes have been introduced with 2129 fishermen being provided insurance coverage and 55 (fifty-five) low cost house have been constructed for them during the current financial year.

26. My Government is sensitive to the problem of availability of safe drinking water in villages and towns. To tide over the situation, within shortest possible time, it has been decided to augment the previous year's production capacity of 11 million gallons per day to 16 million gallons per day for the Imphal Water Supply Grid. During the current financial year, augmentation schemes have been taken up in 6 more towns. Under the minimum Needs programme (MNP), 112 (one hundred and twelve) habitations in the rural areas are being covered.

27. Within the cooperative sector, my Government has taken steps to strengthen the share capital base of 185 primary handloom cooperative societies with assistance of Rs. 69.76 lakhs from the NCDC. Financial assistance of Rs. 58.62 lakhs will be extended to ten poultry cooperative societies. For expanding rural storage facilities, my Government is constructing godowns with central assistance.

28. With a view to rationalising the Public Distribution System (PDS), my Government has decided to make ration cards available to every family within the State. Construction of 25 godowns of 200 MTs capacity each with assistance from the Government of India is expected to be completed by the middle of 1996. With this, my Government would have ensured the availability of essential commodities, i.e. rice and levy sugar- in the remote and hill areas. With the purchase of 10 (ten) trucks during 1995-96, transportation of rice and sugar is being done in a more efficient manner. 1330 public vigilance committees have been set up for monitoring the performance of the fair price shops. For protecting the consumer interests, one State Commission and eight District Fora have been set up.

29. My Government has taken steps to strengthen and modernise the information services. For the welfare of journalists, a pension scheme is being introduced. Moreover, 50% concession in bus fare has been provided to the accredited journalists while travelling in MSRTC buses. Accredited journalists will be charged at concessional rent in Manipur Bhavans. The opening of DD2 Metro channel of the Doordarshan Kendra, Imphal on 23rd December, 1995 has helped in creating more avenues for recreation, entertainment and education. A new high power 50 KW Short Wave transmitter was inaugurated at AIR Imphal complex on 20th February, 1996. The transmitter is providing radio coverage to the entire State of Manipur and adjoining areas of Myanmar.

30. In respect of tourism, the emphasis is on the creation and development of infrastructural facilities and corresponding promotional measures. During 1995-96, my Government took steps, with financial assistance from the Centre, for strengthening and providing better facilities at the existing tourist homes.

31. Hon'ble Members are aware of my Government's deep sense of commitment towards protecting and preserving the cultural heritage of Manipur. In view of the Central Government's commitment for shifting Assam Rifles Battalion from Kangla to a new site, a comprehensive Master plan for ‘Kangla' is being formulated. My Government is considering an Enactment for the protection and preservation of the Kangla. Construction of an open-air theatre at Palace compound has been completed. In order to promote and develop Manipuri language, a Language Development Cell has been set up in the Education Department. Development of Khongjom War Memorial and Nupi Lal Memorial sites is under way. Manipur Sahitrya Parishad will be given financial assistance for promotion of literary activities during 1995-96. Teaching of ‘Meitei Mayek' will be introduced in schools. Steps are being taken to strengthen the Library services.

32. Hon'ble members, I have presented before you, in brief, some areas of concern and the policy perspectives and programmes that my Government has implemented and will be implementing in the course of the current and the following year for the progress of Manipur. I once again reiterate that my Government is committed to maintaining peace and social harmony in the State. I am sure that my Government will receive unequivocal co-operation of all Hon'ble members and the people of Manipur it its efforts aimed at solving the problems confronting our State and in its socio-economic development.

33. I convey my best wishes to all of you for successful deliberations which, I am sure, will be in the best interests of our State and the people of Manipur.

Mayam Pumnamakpu Thagatchari.





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