Governor underscores peace efforts, development
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, February 28 2024: Governor Anusuiya Uikey addressed the 5th session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly, highlighting the government's efforts in addressing the complex law and order issues stemming from the violence in the state that erupted in May 3, last year.

In her speech, the Governor said that immediate measures were taken up including evacuation of stranded individuals, deployment of security forces, and imposition of curfew to ensure public safety.

Government's commitment to relief operations could be comprehended from distribution of essential supplies, accommodation of displaced students in nearby schools, and exemption of admission fees for displaced college students.

Notable initiatives include the Chief Minister's College Students Rehabilitation Scheme providing free admission, rehabilitation grants, and smartphones to affected students, she maintained.

Further informing that ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh had been disbursed to families of those killed in the violence, with Rs 200 crore spent on various relief operations along with proposal for reimbursement from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Governor also said that process is underway to compensate farmers for losses suffered due to disruption caused to agricultural activities.

Construction of pre-fabricated houses was taken up to provide temporary accommodation facilities, along with heightened security measures such as joint patrols, establishment of pickets, and strengthening of arms depots, she said and mentioned about initiatives like constitution of Peace Committee and Commission of Inquiry aimed at fostering harmony and investigating the root causes of the unrest.

Focus on vulnerable groups, including pregnant women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly, through welfare schemes and medical assistance were also taken up along with deployment of psychological support teams at relief camps, legal aid and financial assistance to victims of sexual violence.

Continued efforts in combating insurgency and drug trafficking, resulting in arrests, surrenders, and significant seizures of narcotics.

Government's decision to tighten border security through the construction of fences and the introduction of the ILP-Facial Recognition System to enhance surveillance.

Inauguration of the Manipur State Population Commission and the publication of a bilingual Constitution of India signify milestones in administrative and cultural spheres, were the other initiatives that the Governor mentioned in her address.

She also highlighted the peace agreement signed with the Pambei-led United National Liberation Front (UNLF) as a big achievement of the government that would usher in a new era of peace while also encouraging other armed groups to join the peace process.

In health sector, the Governor said, Manipur, with a population of only 3 million people, stands out as a leader in per capita healthcare professionals among the North Eastern States, boasting four medical institutions dedicated to serving its citizens.

She also spoke on the benefits extended to the people under different schemes like CMHT, PMJAY, and Chief Ministergi Mitki Layeng among others.

Approval has been secured for the construction and equipping of a 60-bedded State Mental Hospital at a cost of Rs 70.47 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Development Initiative for North Eastern Region (PM-DevINE) .

Furthermore, the inauguration of the Manipur State Eye Bank facilitated the state's first eye transplant surgery on January 18, 2024.The healthcare landscape witnessed significant achievements, including the successful completion of two operations for deceased renal organ retrieval at JNIMS, the first in the entire North East Region.

JNIMS also celebrated 37 successful renal transplants and conducted the state's first revision surgery for total knee replacement.

In terms of finance and planning, the Governor said, the fiscal year 2023-24 posed significant challenges for Manipur's economy due to ongoing unrest, resulting in an estimated loss of fiscal resources amounting to Rs 800 crore.

Despite this, the government remains committed to promoting the welfare of its people.

She assured.

Expenditure towards the social sector has seen a substantial increase, rising from Rs 2,468 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 5,793 crore in 2022-23, reflecting the government's dedication to improving social indicators and ensuring the well-being of its citizens.

Grants received from the Centre under Centrally Sponsored Schemes witnessed a notable increase from Rs 2,443 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 4,384 crore in 2022-23.Additionally, state's own resources recorded a healthy growth rate of 10 per cent annually, contributing to fiscal stability and development efforts, she said.

The lifting of the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act in certain areas aims to address issues related to spurious liquor consumption, unregulated sales, and revenue loss.

The establishment of Manipur State Beverages Corporation Limited will facilitate regulated retail and wholesale operations in the liquor sector.

Initiatives such as the Chief Ministers' Entrepreneurship Support Scheme aim to boost entrepreneurship by providing subsidies to small enterprises.

Additionally, families displaced and residing in relief canlps are offered financial assistance to support livelihoods, with 220 families already benefiting from this scheme.

In terms of tribal affairs, minorities, SC & OBC welfare, operational Eklavya Model Residential Schools and ongoing construction projects aim to provide quality education to tribal students, she said.

In power sector, the government is dedicated to ensuring 24x7 power supply in urban areas and approximately 23 hours per day in rural regions.

To minimize AT&C losses, around 4.85 lakh consumers have been equipped with prepaid energy meters, elaborated the Governor, adding that future plans include installing a 5 MW Floating Solar PV Power Plant at Thoubal Multipurpose Project Reservoir and two 50 MW Solar PV Power Projects near Power Sub-Stations.

In agriculture, allied activities, and natural resources development, the government distributed free Rabi seeds to compensate for 11,594 hectares of paddy land affected by water scarcity.

She also mentioned schemes like PM-KISAN, RKVY-RAFTAAR, PMKSY-Per Drop More Crop, and PMFBY among others.

Notably, the fisheries sector witnessed improvements with new ice plants, hatcheries, and ornamental fish units.

Lastly, the Forest Department's revenue collection hit record highs, demonstrating the sector's economic significance and ongoing development efforts.

For water resources development, significant strides have been made with the completion of 7 out of 8 major and medium irrigation projects aimed at enhancing irrigation facilities, water supply poten tial, and power generation.

Additionally, rehabilitation and improvement efforts under the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project are underway, with 5 projects targeted for completion by 2030.Furthermore, rehabilitation and upgrade works on roads such as Kamjong to Konkan Thana have been successfully executed, with improvements on the Henglep-Thinkhew-Tipaimukh Road underway.

Additionally, construction projects like the Imphal-Kangchup Tamenglong Road and the Imphal Ring Road, supported by the Asian Development Bank, are progressing towards completion, she informed the House.

The state's tourism potential was evident when it hosted prestigious events like Miss Femina India and B20 sessions, attracting international attention and boosting its image as a tourist destination.

Meanwhile, in sports, Manipur s stellar performance in national games and initiatives like "One Village One Playground" reflect its commitment to nurturing sporting talent and promoting healthy lifestyles, she added.

The Governor also highlighted achievements in sever al key areas like food security, water supply & sanitation, transport including introduction of new helicopter service with new routes, GAD, relief and disaster management, administrative reforms, information and technology, sericulture, land resources including digitisation of land records and online payment of land tax, cooperation, vigilance & anti-corruption, forthcoming Lok Sabha election and its preparedness among others.

Concluding her speech, the Governor called upon the members of the House towards a collective and shared vision of Manipur, where people cohabit in harmony and solidarity with mutual respect and dignity for one another.

Asserting that people of the state are very resilient and she has full faith on them, the Governor said that Manipur has always been and will continue to be a multi cultural state which respects the diverse identities.

The government believes in taking everyone along, in its path of development, she said while urging all for their support, so that peace and harmony is restored soon and that the state moves forward on the path of prosperity.

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