PM negates Supra State body report, remains mum on AFSPA promise
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 03 2011: Addressing a mammoth public gathering at Kangla this afternoon, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh categorically stated that there was no proposal for any Supra State body under consideration of the Government of India.

He also declared that the Central Government is committed to the territorial integrity of Manipur which he described as a very important part of the Union of India.

He described Manipur as a land of breathtaking natural beauty with rich cultural heritage, and long and glorious tradition of peace and harmony among different communities of the State.

Highlighting the potential for tourism industry in the State, he stated that the salubrious climate, varied flora and fauna, enchanting dance and music would make Manipur a delightful tourist spot.

The Prime Minister also congratulated sports persons of the State for their excellence in sports competitions.

He noted that Manipur was at the top of all other States in the last National Games despite being smaller than most other States in terms of both territory and population.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and AICC chief Sonia Gandhi the inauguration of various projects and people attending the public meeting at Kangla
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and AICC chief Sonia Gandhi the inauguration of various projects and people attending the public meeting at Kangla

He stated that the UPA Government has been endeavouring incessantly to bring rapid progress in Manipur and other Northeastern States and also to ensure that the State get opportunities for their talents and abilities to flourish.

Stating that the UPA Government has been working closely with the Government of Manipur for the last five years, Dr Manmohan informed the gathering that the devolution under the 13th Finance Commission to Manipur for 2010-2015 is expected to be about Rs 13,600 crores which is more than double the amount sanctioned for 2005-2010 .

The plan outlay of Manipur for the current fiscal is Rs 3210 crores which is triple times larger than the plan outlay of 2005-06 .

Responding to Chief Minister O Ibobi's proposal for a special package of Rs 6000 crores, the Prime Minister assured that the special needs and concerns of Manipur would be duly taken care of.

Underscoring the need for peace and tranquillity in Manipur for prosperity and concentration on development, the Prime Minister welcomed all efforts to restore peace and harmony in Manipur where different communities are and were living together in peace for centuries.

Observing that the projects he announced during his visit to the State in 2004 and 2006 have been completed, the Prime Minister exuded that the New Secretariat complex which is another component of the Capital Project would be completed by March 2014 .

He stated that the new auditorium of the Manipur Film Development Corporation which was inaugurated today would help in promoting Manipuri film industry.

Emphasising on the crucial importance of setting up good infrastructure for economic development of Manipur, the Prime Minister informed that the Airports Authority of India has drawn up a plan to upgrade Tulihal Airport to the level of an international airport.

The Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal railway work is under progress and is expected to be completed by March 2016 .

Jiribam-Tupul section is expected to be completed by March 2014 .

Double-laning of Maram-Peren road would be completed by March 2012.Development work of NH 53 is expected to be completed by December 2013 .

The State Government's proposal for construction of the Old Cachar Road project has also been improved by the Centre in principle, Dr Manmohan stated.

Again responding to the State Government's request for Central assistance for improvement of road connectivity in hill areas of Manipur, the Prime Minister asked the State Government to prepare detailed proposals so that the same can be suitably considered.

The project for augmentation of water supply to Imphal city by drawing raw water from Thoubal Dam is being actively considered for funding by the Japan International Corporation Agency.

Declaring that oil depot would be constructed at Malom, the Prime Minister stated that it would work as road-fed depot till the work of railway line up to Imphal is completed.

Capacity of the Sekmai LPG bottling plant would be doubled from 600 metric tonnes to 1200 metric tonnes.

He exuded that this would help in maintaining regular supply of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG to the people of Manipur.

Talking about the power scenario, the Prime Minister stated that environmental clearance for Tipaimukh Hydro Electric project has been granted while forest clearance is under process.

Stating that a project for expansion and upgradation of power transmission, sub-transmission and distribution networks has been put forward to the World Bank, the Prime Minister asked concerned Central Government Ministries to purse the matter actively with the World Bank.

The Central Government has also decided to set up Kasturba Gandhi residential schools in all nine districts of Manipur.

The proposal for upgradation of RIMS has been approved and work is likely to begin from the current month while the similar proposal for upgradation of JNIMS is under consideration, Dr Manmohan stated.

Noting that Union Home Minister P Chidambaram inaugurated a 50-bed hospital at Senapati on November 2, the Prime Minister asserted that construction of similar hospitals in four other hill districts would be completed within 2013 .

These hospitals would address a long felt need for better medical care in the tribal hill areas.

With regard to the State Government's request for increased Central assistance to support of modernization of the State Police, the Prime Minister asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide Rs 50 crore annually for this purpose in the 12th Plan period.

The proposal for introduction of an international bus service between Imphal and Mandalay would be taken up with the Government of Myanmar as a part of the Look East Policy.

"We need to build an enabling environment so that the tremendous development potential of the State is fully realized.

All this can happen only when there is peace and harmony in the State", Dr Manmohan stated.

He also urged the people of Manipur to shun violence and articulate their demands through Constitutional means.

He noted that the violent incidents have declined considerably in Manipur in the last few years.

Congratulating the State Government for the bold step to hold elections to the six tribal Autonomous District Councils, Manmohan urged the State Government to ensure adequate devolution of funds to the ADCs and help them build their capacity for execution of various development programmes as well as to allow them function from their respective headquarters.

Noting that the recent road blockades imposed by some groups caused immense hardships to the common people of Manipur, the Prime Minister maintained that the Central Government did extend all possible support to the State Government for meeting the crisis and making essential commodities available to the people.

Categorically stating that there are no winners in such disruptive activities, he called upon all deliberate on the efficacy of such acts.

"Despite their diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, the people of Manipur have lived peacefully in the past and it should be our collective endeavour to see that this legacy is carried forward", the Prime Minister exhorted.

Earlier, AICC chief Sonia Gandhi applauded exploits by the Manipur sportspersons in bringing international laurel to the country.

She reasserted the Centre's commitment to extend all possible in restoring peace in the State and urged the people's cooperation to both the Central and State Government in their endeavour to ensure all-round development of Manipur.

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