Imphal, September 22, 2017 (DIPR): Dr. Rajiv Kumar, the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog visited Manipur on September 22nd and had a high level meeting with Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh.

Ministers of the Cabinet, Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board, Chief Secretary, other high ranking officials and heads of different Central Government institutes attended the meeting. This was Dr Kumar’s first visit to any State since he assumed charge as the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog on September 1, 2017.

During the meeting, the State Government sought attention and intervention from NITI Aayog for speedy socio-economic development of the State.

Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh said that the new Government is trying hard to accelerate development in the State in order to match with the progress of other States. He expressed hope that NITI Aayog would extend all possible assistance to the State Government.

The developmental challenges, opportunities and several proposals of the State were presented to the visiting Vice-Chairman through a PowerPoint presentation.

The State Government highlighted the urgency of provision of piped Water Supply to people in rural and urban areas, road connectivity to districts and block headquarters. With 4% coverage of State population in term of household Water Supply, the NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman agreed to support State Government’s proposal for a major project in this area for external funding.

Other proposals mentioned were introduction of ropeway from Ukhrul to Shirui, from Marjing Hill to Langol and Chaoba Ching to Sendra, upgradation of National Highways, construction of flyover and underpasses for Imphal city and surrounding areas, circular railways for connecting district headquarters and development programme in hill areas.

The State Government drew Dr. Rajiv Kumar’s attention to the poor condition of NH-37 and NH-2 and urged him to request the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to grant adequate maintenance funds in time.

The State Government also proposed that the Barauni-Guwahati gas pipeline be extended up to Imphal along the main axis or its spur. An alternative pipeline to transport surplus natural gas from Tripura to Imphal may also be considered, the State Government suggested.

Introduction of air ambulance service in the State was a felt need and urgent steps in this regard were requested.

Speaking at the meeting, the Vice-Chairman emphasised on formulating a better accountability mechanism regarding usage of funds.

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