Decommissioning of Loktak Project on Govt agenda
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 30 2022: Chief MinisterN Biren has categorically stated on the floor of the State Assembly that the Government has been examining the possibility of decommissioning Loktak Hydroelectric Project.

Responding to a policy cut motion raised by MLA K Ranjit in the course of discussing a demand for grant pertaining to Power Department, Biren stated that the State Government has already written to the Central Government regarding decommissioning of Loktak Hydroelectric Project.

However, it is essential to arrange an alternative power resource which can replace 12 per cent of the power generated from Loktak Hydroelectric Project and given to the State by the NHPC, he said.

Preparation of DPR has been completed for taking up 28 mini hydel power projects with installed capacity of 5 MW each.

Once these projects are completed and the power received from the Loktak Hydroelectric Project is replaced by the power generated by these mini projects, a review would be done, the Chief Minister said.

At the same time, the Government has been working to save Loktak Lake.

Recently, a team of experts and officials of Asian Development Bank (ADB) carried out an exclusive survey of Loktak Lake for 10 days.

It is expected that the team would prepare a comprehensive project which can effectively conserve Loktak Lake, Biren said.

Clarifying on policy cut motions raised by Opposition Members Th Lokeshwar and Okram Surjakumar regarding MOBC & Scheduled Caste, the Chief Minister informed the House that 24,966 students have been selected for 2021-22 for granting scholarship.

The amount required for payment of scholarship is Rs 17.32 crore.

However, the Central Government released only Rs 103 crore and this includes the costs of some other projects, Biren said.

He said that the matter would be raised to the Central Government when he goes to New Delhi to attend a meeting of Niti Aayog in the first week of August.

Due process has been initiated to launch an economic development programme under MoBC's Economic Development Programme.

Under this programme, training courses would be organised and tool kits would be distributed to trained individuals, he said.

Responding to a policy cut motion raised by K Meghachandra in the course of discussing a demand for grant pertaining to Community and Rural Development, RD&PR Minister Yumnam Khemchand said that a file has been sent to the State Finance Department for releasing the first tranche amounting to Rs 756.49 crore under MGNREGA's first instalment.

N Biren who is the leader of the House said that infrastructure development programmes were implemented in hill districts under MOBC & SC Department at the cost of around Rs 1043 crore during the past five years.

For releasing first instalment tied grant of Rs 16.46 crore and untied grant of Rs 10.97 crore to rural local bodies, relevant funds have been submitted to the Finance Department, he said.

Maintaining that there was no instance of misuse of MGNREGA fund in Thoubal district, the Chief Minister said that he would, nonetheless, collect detailed data on the matter and furnish it before the House on the day appropriation Bill is tabled.

Responding to a query raised by Th Lokeshwar, Y Khemchand said that there are three agencies to monitor the quality of road construction works done under PMGSY.

Roads constructed under PMGSY are first monitored by Programme Implementation Unit followed by State Quality Monitors and finally by the National Quality Monitors, Khemchand said.

Maintenance of PMGSY roads is done by the State.

In this connection, the State Government is set to release Rs 40 crore and another Rs 45 crore.

For 2021-22, Rs 20 crore has been released and maintenance works have started, Khemchand said.

Responding to different points raised by MLAs while discussing the demand pertaining to Power, Power Minister Th Biswajit maintained that there are many areas of Loktak Downstream Project which need to be reviewed even though the proposal is there since a long time back.

The State's share and the amount needed for payment of compensation to affected landowners was earlier estimated to be around Rs 15-20 crore but it has now risen to Rs 100 crore, Biswajit said.

There is also a need to review the mode of sharing power between NHPC and the State.

All these matters would be tabled before a Cabinet meeting at the earliest, he said.

Biswajit claimed that free power connection has been launched under the Central Government's scheme called Saubhagya but there is no arrangement as yet of giving prepaid power connection.

Clarifying to a policy cut motion raised by Th Lokeshwar, YAS Minister Govindas Konthoujam informed the House that the State Government has been working to revise the State Sports Policy as well as the Youth Policy.

The Government has also been working to set up a Khello India Centre in each and every district, he said.

Upgrading of district sports complexes is going on and some have been completed.

In the meantime, the Government has been working to upgrade the Khuman Lampak Sports Complex to international standard under PPP model.

Saying that most of the equipment installed in the sports complex were purchased during the 5th National Games held in 1999, Govindas said that the Government is planning to replace the old equipment with new ones.

MLAs Ram Muivah and M Rameshwar also took part-in discussing the demands.

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