TODAY -

House okays five demands
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 30 2022: Five different demands which amounted to Rs 5356,4259,000 were passed by the State Assembly today.

The demands passed today were demand no 20-Commu-nity & Rural Development (Rs 4046,34,14,000), demand no 23-Power (Rs 493,25,19,000), demand no 25-Youth Affairs & Sports (Rs 139,06,71,000), demand no 42-State Academy of Training (Rs 16,19,93,000) and demand no 47-Minorities & Other Backward Classes and Schedule Caste Department (Rs 663,56,62,000) .

Congress MLAs K Ranjit, K Meghachandra, Th Lokeshwar and O Surjakumar took part in discussing the demands by raising policy cut motions.

Asserting that only 12 per cent of the power generated by Loktak Hydroelectric Project is received by the State, K Ranjit asked the State Government if there is any problem for stalling the proposed Loktak Downstream Project, Nungleiband Project and Tipaimukh Project which were supposed to make up the State's power shortage.

The Loktak Hydroelectric Project was commissioned on June 1, 1983.Since the commissioning of the project, Ithai Barrage has been blocking the only lake's only outlet.

As such, the lake is becoming shallower every year because of continuous deposition of solid materials by rivers which drain into the lake.

As a result, it is feared that lake would disappear in the next 20 years.

If the lake disappears, the State's ecology and environment would suffer drastic changes, people who are dependent on the lake would be left without any source of livelihood and a large number of encroachers would emerge, Ranjit said.

NHPC never bothers to take these possibilities into consideration.

Their single-minded purpose is exploitation of the lake for maximum profit.

At the end, it is Manipur which would lose every thing, the Congress MLA asserted.

Reminding that Chief Minister N Biren once stated that the Loktak Hydroelectric Project would be decommissioned in the interest of the State, Ranjit said that NHPC has earned tons of profits out of the project while Manipur has suffered enormous losses.

He then asked the Government whether the Loktak Hydroelectric Project cannot be decommissioned in order to save Loktak lake, its ecology, flora and fauna and associated cultural heritage and traditions.

Meghachandra asked the State Government as to why funds sanctioned by the Central Government for MGNREGS are not released in time.

Asserting that the MGNREGS tied and untied funds for the months of May and July, 2021 were not released by the State Government, Meghachandra asked where were the funds diverted.

Further, huge amounts sanctioned as material component for Lilong block and Thoubal block were withdrawn in total defiance of the MGNREGS guidelines after separate orders were issued on January 10 this year.

Meghachandra went on to ask why punitive actions were initiated against some officials of Power Department while some others were spared even though Lokayukta recommended action against all of them on corruption charges.

Th Lokeshwar urged the Government to streamline the mode of releasing MGNREGS funds and raise the honorariums given to Pradhans and Members of Gram Panchayats.

Citing category 6 of MGNREGS schedule II, Surjakumar said that private assets can be developed with MGNREGS funds.

He said that 7 per cent to 10 per cent of MGNREGS funds can be used in constructing chicken coops, pigsty, cow pens etc.

In hill areas, household latrines, check dams etc can be constructed but none of these benefits have been availed because the people have not been informed in detail by the department concerned, Surjakumar said.

He claimed that 75 per cent of MGNREGS funds can be utilised in natural resource management and urged the Government to look into the matter.


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