Governor Address - 2001
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF MANIPUR, SHRI VED PRAKASH MARWAH TO THE MANIPUR LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ON 19-03-2001
Hon'ble Speaker and Hon'ble Members,
I have great pleasure in welcoming you all to this 4th Session of the 7th Manipur Legislative Assembly. 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 prosperous year. The priority of my Government is improving the law and order situation, the financial position, providing good and responsive governance to the people and to preserve the territorial integrity of the State.
My Government has taken the bold initiative to declare a unilateral ceasefire against all insurgent groups and has appealed to them to come for talks for resolving their grievances. The ceasefire, which is effective for one month from 1st March, 2001 , has been announced as a good will gesture towards the insurgent groups. We are hopeful that they will carefully consider the generous offer of my Government and respond positively. While offensive operations will not be taken up by the Police and Security Forces, normal policing will continue with the objective of providing security to the public and maintenance of law and order.
My Government has clearly spelt out the ground rules which should be strictly observed during the ceasefire period. The following acts of insurgents will be treated as violation of the ground rules for the ceasefire:-
1. Extortion, kidnapping and killing.
2. Movement of insurgents with arms and/or in combat uniforms.
3. Attacks on Police/Security Forces.
In case of any breach of the ground rules, the Police and the Security Forces will be at liberty to take appropriate action to deal with the situation. The State Police and Security Forces have also been advised to keep a constant vigil and remain alert during the period of the ceasefire.
My Government recognises that it will not be easy for the insurgent groups to respond immediately to the declaration of unilateral ceasefire and appeal for talks. It is, therefore, proposed to constitute a Contact Group comprising eminent persons from different walks of life to establish contact with the insurgent groups before formal talks can commence. Steps have been taken to involve all Political parties in the State in the process of ushering in peace and development in the State. It will be the endeavour of my Government to mobilise public opinion and build up lobbies in favour of peace and development. The people have suffered for too long. My Government is committed to break the impasse and strive unitedly for restoration of peace and normalcy. My Government is confident that the people of Manipur will respond favourably and extend their unstinted support and cooperation in its endeavours.
Simultaneously, my Government will strive for greater financial discipline and mobilise additional resources for taking up development and welfare programmes and schemes. My Government has already initiated steps for downsizing and for reducing non-Plan expenditure wherever possible. Efforts will also be made to identify areas and means for mobilisation of additional resources. Steps are being taken for effective recovery of outstanding public debts. My Government is confident that by implementing these decisions in a time bound manner, greater fiscal discipline can be enforced and additional resources mobilised for meeting the requirements for the rapid development of the State. We propose to take up various expenditure reform measures with the help of professional experts and to complete within a time frame.
My Government is committed to introduction and widespread use of Information Technology in all spheres, particularly in the Government. To overcome the constraints of geographical distance and time, we will formulate in consultation with the Ministry of Information Technology, an Action Plan to promote IT education and to gradually introduce e-governance with the ultimate objective of bringing the fruits of latest technological development at the doorstep of our people. We propose to establish a Software Technology Park which will offer the Computer Professionals opportunities for development and export of software for earning valuable foreign exchange. We also propose to work closely with the Ministry of Information Technology for setting up Community Information Centres at all Block headquarters in Manipur to provide Internet Connectivity. I am pleased to inform the Hon'ble members that two Community Information Centres have been made operational at Sawombung and Keirao Bitra Block Headquarters. We propose to extend similar facilities at all the other Block headquarters in phases. Further, I am pleased to inform the Hon'ble Members that the Government of India has agreed to establish the National Institute of Bio-Resource and Sustainable Development at Imphal.
My Government also proposes to introduce transparency in its functioning and take up time bound measures for manpower planning. Punctuality and regular attendance in all Government offices will be enforced. There will be greater accountability and concerted efforts will be made to rightsize the Government. Simultaneously, my Government will take steps for creation of employment opportunity outside the State Government sector. Assistance of the Central Government is being sought for holding recruitment rallies at Imphal and some of the outlying district headquarters for recruitment of young boys and girls from Manipur into the Army and Central para Military forces. We have requested the Central Government to consider our proposal for constituting and raising a Manipur regiment in the Army. With a view to promoting tourism, which has the potential to provide employment to a large number of people, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India has been requested to relax the restrictions on the entry of foreigners into Manipur. The Ministry of Commerce, Government of India is also being requested to expedite setting up of the infrastructure for boosting border trade with Myanmar through Moreh. We will continue to pursue proposals for the Trans-Asian Highway and the Trans-Asian Railway to pass through Manipur and thus provide a reliable surface communication with the fast growing south-East Asian Countries. These are some of the areas which have tremendous potential for providing employment to a large number of people from Manipur and catalyzing economic development of Manipur and, perhaps, the entire North East Region. The road from Tamu to Kalemyo in neighbouring Myanmar , which was inaugurated recently on 13th February, 2001by Shri Jaswant Singh, Hon'ble External Affairs Minister, is an important breakthrough in Indo-Myanmar bilateral relations. This development offers new opportunities for the people of the State. My Government will adopt a pro-active approach to exploit these opportunities to the maximum.
My Government will endeavour to revive industrialisation in the State through planned economic development programmes for generating self-employment opportunities and alleviation of poverty. The Handloom and Handicraft sectors, which sustain a significant proportion of our population particularly in the rural areas, together with the PMRY Schemes, will continue to receive the focused and sustained attention of my Government.
Another area which will receive additional attention of my Government is the tapping of external aid to supplement the Central Plan Assistance being received from the Government of India. The continuing externally aided projects like the Manipur Sericulture Project, which is being funded by the Government of Japan, will be given full support and co-operation by my Government for their timely implementation. The implementation of the State Highways Project, with funding from the World Bank, will also be expedited. Bilateral assistance from other foreign countries will continue to be mobilized to supplement our resources and for the rapid development of infrastructure and creation of employment opportunities.
Hon'ble Members are aware of the successful hosting of the 5th National Games during February, 1999 and creation of excellent International standard infrastructure for various games and sports disciplines at Imphal. The performance of our athletes and sports persons is a matter of pride. Besides bagging the largest number of medals during the 5th National Games the Manipur Contingent has once again won the over-all championship in the 15th North East Sports Festival held at Itanagar and Zeso from 16th to 20th February, 2001 . The infrastructure created for the 5th National Games is being gainfully utilized for coaching and holding of tournaments. The 12th District Level and the 4th State Level Coaching Camps were organized during the year 2000. During the School Athletics, more than 600 students from all over the State participated. Thawai High School , Ukhrul,, which was selected to represent the State, stood third in the Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament for sub-junior boys held at New Delhi . We are confident that our athletes and sportspersons will continue to perform as well, or even better than they have done in the past. In the recently concluded National Rugby Tournament, Manipur boys and girls, were the champions.
My Government is fully aware of the need for construction, improvement and maintenance of roads. At the end of March, 2000 the total road length was 7667 kms and road density was 34.339 kms per 100 sq.kms. By the end of 9th Five Year Plan, the road density is targeted to be 41.98 kms per 100 sq.kms. Within the limited resources improvement of low grade section, strengthening of weak and narrow stretches and widening of pavement in the traffic congested section in respect of State Highways and MDR were taken up by the State PWD. Under ODR and IVR priority has been given to provide connectivity with all weather roads and fair weather roads to the unconnected villages having population of 200 and above as per 1991 Census. Out of the total 2180 villages in the State, 1088 villages have been connected up to March, 2000. The State PWD expects to cover 1180 villages by the end of March, 2001. The total length of road expected to be completed during 2000-2001 is 400 kms out of which 150 kms will be surfaced and 250 kms. will be unsurfaced.
The total length of National Highway -39 in Manipur is 219.40 kms., i.e., from Mao to Moreh, which is being maintained by the State PWD and the BRO. The PWD has given priority to the double-laning from Maram to Moreh section of NH-39. The work for double-laning from Maram to Pallel has already been completed and it is continuing for the balance portion from Pallel to Moreh. The NEC has also funded construction and upgradation of the Thanlon –Sinzawl-Khazawl road, Jiri-Tipaimukh road, Tamei-Tenning road and the Saitual-Vuivai-Bukpi road. Two other roads funded by the NEC, namely, the Tamenglong-Tousem-Haflong road and the Mahadev-Tolloi-Pfutsero road have been transferred from the State PWD to the BRO. The Kohima-Jessami-Ukhrul-Imphal-Tipaimukh-Aizawl road has been declared as NH-150.
My Government is committed to improving generation and distribution of power by resolving outstanding disputes and extending the required support to the Central Agencies for implementation of the 90 MW Loktak Downstream Hydro Electric Project and the Tipaimukh Multipurpose Project which will open up some of the most Interior areas of the State and help in supplementing the power requirements of the State. While implementing the projects, my Government will give active attention to the genuine concerns of the people affected by the submergence of their lands and will ensure timely implementation of a comprehensive rehabilitation package. Hon'ble Members are aware that with assistance from the Central Non Lapsable Pool of Resources, my Government had made significant progress in the implementation of 36 MW Heavy Fuel Power Project. This Project is aimed primarily for meeting the additional power requirement during peak hours. Assistance from the NEC is also received for taking up survey and investigation works for smaller Hydro Electric Projects to be implemented by the State Power Department. My Government recognizes that implementation of major projects will, in the long run, provide revenues to the State Government for taking up additional welfare and development Projects and Schemes. Assistance from the Central Government, NEC and external source will be mobilised towards this objective. My Government recognises that power sector reforms are urgently needed. Appropriate initiatives will be taken by my Government during the course of this year. Meters will be installed at all connections by the end of the year 2001-02 as a means towards energy accounting.
Hon'ble Members are aware that the State PHE Department has successfully mobilised external aid from France for implementation of several Water Supply Projects which include the Kangchup Water Supply Scheme with capacity to supply 9 million litres of potable water per day and rehabilitation of the old Kangchup Water Supply Plant with the capacity of 14.5 million litres per day. The augmentation scheme has been completed and commissioned in November, 2000. The rehabilitation of old Kangchup Plant is targeted to be completed by April, 2001. My Government is aware of the urgent need to augment water supply for Imphal and Greater Imphal area. It is, therefore, proposed to take up a new scheme at Irilbung for tapping 6.8 million litres of water per day during 2001-2002. The schemes for augmentation of drinking water supply for Bishnupur, Ningthoukhong and Kumbi are also proposed to be taken up during 2001-2002 under the Centrally Funded Accelerated Urban Water Supply Programme. The work of ground water exploration of North West areas of Imphal, Potsangbam area to augment further the Imphal Water Supply is also in good progress.
My Government will continue to address important issues such as Irrigation, Soil Conservation, Water Shed Management, Agriculture Credit, promotion of Horticulture and Floriculture and Mechanised Farming with greater focus. An action plan for implementation of irrigation projects in a time bound manner will be implemented with Central Assistance under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Project and Rural Infrastructural Development Programme. Flood control schemes for the Imphal, Thoubal, Sekmai, Iril, Nambul, Naga, Kongba, Merakhong and Waisel rivers continue to be implemented by the Irrigation and Flood Control Department. Construction of the Thoubal and Khuga Multipurpose Projects and Dolaithabi Project will be reviewed and the pace of implementation improved.
The Forest and Environment Department is implementing 24 Plan Schemes with an outlay of Rs. 240 lakhs during the current financial year. Some of the major schemes are Plantation of Commercial and Industrial Wood, Social Forestry, Forest Education & Training, Wild Life Conservation, Soil Conservation and Joint Forest Management Scheme. Against the target of Rs. 102.75 lakhs, the Department also collected revenues amounting to Rs. 84 lakhs upto January, 2001.
The State Health Department is committed to providing total healthcare. During the current financial year, construction of 11 Primary Health Sub- Centres and 1 Primary Health Centre have been completed. Construction of 1 Primary Health Sub-Centre, 21 Primary Health Centres and 5 Community Health Centres are in progress. In order to meet healthcare requirements in the border areas, the Health Department has acquired and deployed, with funds from the Border Area Development Programme, three Mobile Dispensaries in Chandel, Ukhrul and Churachandpur Districts. The Revised National TB Control Programme is being implemented in all the Districts of the State from the current financial year. The AIDS Control Programme is being implemented by the Manipur AIDS Control Society. Upto the end of January, 2001, 11,271 HIV positive cases have been detected in the State. 100% screening has been achieved in all the Blood Banks in Manipur. AIDS education has been introduced in the School curriculum from Class VI to X. 17 targeted intervention Projects are in operation in the six high prevalence Districts of the State.
Steps have been taken for establishment of administrative set up of Imphal East District. Steps would be taken for establishment of Manipur Medical Council, Manipur Nursing Council and Manipur Pharmacy Council.
The main objectives of the Family Welfare Programme are to improve the health of mothers, infants and young children and stabilize the population of the country at the level consistent with the need of National Development. The initiatives include promotion of voluntary choice of contraceptives, providing felt need community based services and integrated services for mother and child under the Reproductive and Child Health Programme.
My Government also proposes to review the Public Distribution System and make it more transparent and people friendly. It also proposes to implement the ANTYODYA ANNA YOJANA recently announced by the Prime Minister. 25,000 families in the State's nine Districts have been identified as per guidelines of the Scheme and implementation is expected to begin during March, 2001. Under the scheme, 25 kgs per month of food-grains at a highly subsidized rate of Rs. 2 per kg for wheat and Rs. 3 per kg for rice will be made available to the poorest of the poor from amongst the families under BPL. The State Food and Civil Supplies Department has also taken up construction of a 2000 MT capacity godown at Moreh for storage of food-grains being imported from Myanmar .
The State Social Welfare Department continues to implement welfare schemes for Women and Child Development, the Supplementary Nutrition Programme for Children, Welfare of Disabled Persons, Correctional Services, National Social Assistance Programme, Manipur Old Age Pension Scheme etc. The Department has undertaken Programme for issue of Identity Cards to Disabled Persons and has opened 240 Anganwadi centres during the year 2000 besides training 35 Anganwadi Workers.
My Government is committed to taking special care of the Minorities. The Directorate of Minorities and Other Backward Classes, which was established a couple of years back, proposes to undertake multisectoral programmes for the economic upliftment of Muslim women under bilateral funding. The Department also proposes to fund NGOs actively engaged in the welfare and training of minorities with Central Assistance. Similarly the Department proposes to take up construction of hostels for OBC boys and girls, provide pre-matric and post-matric scholarship and stipend for pre-examination coaching to help the OBC students.
The Department for Development of Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes continue to take up welfare and development schemes with a view to improving socio-economic condition of the ST and SC communities in the State. The primary focus is on implementation of family oriented schemes, welfare schemes and infrastructure development programmes. One of the major programmes is extension of post-matric scholarship to the students. The Department has also received external aid from the UNDP through the Ministry of Forest and Environment, Government of India for implementation of the “Biodiversity Conservation and Tribal Peoples Development Project” in Tamenglong District which is being implemented by Manipur Tribal Development Corporation. Immediate steps will be taken to streamline the functioning of the District Councils in the State.
My Government has, with the objective of making the Panchayati Raj Institutions vibrant, issued appropriate orders devolving powers and responsibilities to the Panchayati Raj Institutions in respect of 22 Departments. The Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department continues to implement poverty alleviation, employment generation and Rural Housing Programmes through several Centrally Sponsored Schemes including the SGSY, JGSY, IAY, EAS. The Manipur Panchayati Raj Training Institute has been upgraded to the State Institute of Panchayati Raj and Rural Development for training of Panchayati Raj functionaries and field officers of the DRDAs. Funds received under the Eleventh Finance Commission Award are proposed to be utilised for undertaking small locally relevant schemes for drinking water, sanitation, communication, street lighting and for conservation of traditional water sources.
My Government is aware that our Urban areas also require urgent attention. During the current financial year two Nagar Panchayats, namely, Mayang Imphal and Ningthoukhong have been upgraded to the Municipal Councils. Election to all Urban local bodies, except the Imphal Municipal Council have been held recently. The Department of Municipal Administration, Housing and Urban Development continues to implement various Urban Development Schemes including the Integrated Development of Small and Medium Towns, Environmental Improvement of Urban Slums, Low Cost Sanitation, Improvement of District Headquarters and other Towns and Swama Jayanti Shahari, Rozgar Yojna through the Municipal Councils, Nagar Panchayats, Small Town Committee, PDA and MUDA. The Department is also implementing Housing Schemes under the Manipur Social Housing Schemes (Hire Purchase) Rules 1998 through the Deputy Commissioner and PDA.
During the year 2000-2001 the milk production in the State increased to 69 thousand tonnes, meat production increased to 21 thousand tonnes and egg production to 800 lakhs. The Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department has taken up the Centrally Sponsored Schemes for cattle cross-breeding. All existing Veterinary institutions in the Hill Districts are being provided artificial insemination facilities by induction of essential equipment under the Cattle Cross-Breeding programme. The Department is also implementing the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Backyard Poultry Rearing to increase production of poultry meat and eggs.
The Fishery Department is implementing the artificial breeding of Clarias batrachus (ngakra), cultured possibilities of Macrobrachiurn resenberii (giant fresh water prawn), artificial breeding of Anabas Testudineus (ukabi) on a commercial scale, composite culture of IMC, exotic carp along with two indigenous species and culture of common carp along with Scripus (Kouna) with the goal of making adequate quantity of fish available.
Co-operative societies will be strengthened to improve the weaker/poor persons in the State.
My Government will pay special attention to the improvement of education in the State. To achieve the objective the Schools Department has already received Rs. 7.42 crores out of the Rs. 13.60 crores required for extension of two rooms for 172 High Schools, 43 Higher Secondary Schools and 205 primary Schools. Funds received under the Eleventh Finance Commission Award are proposed to be utilised for construction of buildings for Junior High Schools. The Department is also implementing the Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojna. Alternative and Innovative Education and the Education Guarantee Scheme are being implemented in all the Districts to achieve the target of free and compulsory education for children in the age group of 6-11 years by 2007 AD and for the children in the age group of 11-14 years by 2010 AD. While Tamenglong and Chandel Districts are being covered during the current financial year, the other 7 districts will be covered during 2001-2002 under the Sarva Shikshya Abhiyan. Adult Education will continue to receive sustained attention of the Government.
Higher and Technical Education are other areas which will receive additional attention of my Government for imparting quality education. The financial problem being faced by the Manipur University will be appropriately addressed. Under the Faculty Development programme, in-service teachers have been awarded Teachers Fellowship for participation in Refresher/Orientation Programme, Workshops and Seminars. Students Welfare programme also continued to be implemented. The Government College of Technology, which has started functioning within the Government Polytechnic premises at Takyel, is proposed to be strengthened. Construction of an administrative building Workshop, hostel buildings, additional class rooms etc. is being taken up. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has already given approval for introduction of three streams of Engineering with an annual intake of 150 students (30 in Civil Engineering, 60 in Electronics and Communication Engineering and 60 in Computer Science Engineering).
The Transport Department has established a smoke testing centre for checking pollution. The passengers reservation system office operated by it also gives valuable revenue of four percent of the sale proceeds. Under the National Highways patrolling Scheme, a 16 tonne crane and an ambulance will be purchased. There are 83,061 registered vehicles and the Department has collected revenue of Rs. 2.64 crores till January, 2001 against the target of Rs. 2.90 crores. The revenue collection is expected to touch Rs. 3.15 crores by March 2001. Indian Railways has agreed to give a Toy Train to Manipur. It has been decided to install the Toy Train around the Water body of the Khuman Lampak Sports Complex. The work for laying the track with financial assistance from NF Railways is expected to start during the next financial year.
My Government has taken up steps for establishment of five ITIs in Imphal East, Bishnupur, Thoubal, Chandel and Tamenglong Districts with 100% Central Assistance for which Rs. 1,100.8 lakhs has been earmarked under the Prime Minister's package for North Eastern States. Modernisation of the four existing ITIs is proposed to be taken up.
My Government believes that rural prosperity and employment generation in an agrarian society depends largely on the growth of the agricultural sector. It, therefore, proposes to give a special emphasis to the renovation and expansion of irrigation facilities, extensive use of fertilizers and high yielding seeds and appropriate use of plant protection chemicals. A greater degree of mechanisation in the agriculture sector is also proposed to be introduced. To contain the practice of Jhuming in the hills, my Government proposes to give a special thrust to implementation of the water shed development projects in all the hill districts. Additionally, micro watershed projects are also proposed to be implemented under the National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas. Steps have also been taken by the MID to provide irrigation facilities to the marginal farmers for first crops.
Hon'ble Members, while addressing the 1st session of the New Year, I have presented before you, in brief, the policy perspectives and programmes that my Government proposes to implement and highlighted some of the activities undertaken during the last year. While concluding, I would like to reiterate that my Government is duty bound and committed not only to the maintenance of peace, social harmony and better fiscal discipline but also to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur, I am confident that my Government will receive unqualified co-operation of all the Hon'ble members and people of Manipur in its efforts aimed at solving the problems confronting our State and in its rapid socio-economic development. I now, with all my best wishes, leave you to your deliberations.