Manipur Assembly session begins

Imphal (DIPR): Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla addressed the 12th Session of the 11th Manipur Assembly which began today.

The budget session will have thirteen sittings which will continue till February, 22. In her address on the first day of the session, the Governor highlighted the achievements and activities of the State government.

The State Government has been proactive efforts to prevent and combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor stated that shortly after the outbreak, all passengers were screened at Imphal Airport, at surface entry points of Mao & Jiribam and a 24×7 control room number was activated to combat the pandemic. Border gates were closed at Indo-Myanmar international borders at Moreh, Tusom, Nambisha & Behiang.

Concerted efforts were undertaken by the government with the setting up of Isolation Wards, Quarantine Centres, Covid Care Centres and Dedicated COVID-19 Treatment Blocks, Institutional (Government) Quarantine Centres, Community Quarantine Centres, Paid Quarantine Centres and Home Quarantine.

The Manipur Epidemic Diseases COVID-19 Regulations 2020 were notified. State Consultative Committee for COVID-19 headed by Hon’ble Chief was set up to regularly review the COVID-19 situation and provide policy guidance. COVID-19 Task Force headed by Chief Secretary was also set up to actively monitor and coordinate the management of the pandemic.

The Government made all out efforts to ensure that there was no shortage of essential supplies. Ministers were appointed as district in-charge to supervise various activities for combating COVID-19 and ensuring supplies of essential commodities among others. Under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, dal and additional rice were provided free of cost to beneficiaries under AAY and PHH households during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Medical Materials Management Committee was also set up to look into the requirements of medical supplies and oversee the procurement process. State Technical Committee was also set up to check the quality of medical supplies received and make recommendations of requirements. The Government adopted a stringent testing protocol over and beyond ICMR guidelines. 100% mandatory RT-PCR or TrueNat testing of all persons entering the state from outside were followed.

Altogether, about 4.77 lakh COVID tests were conducted and a total of about 5.23 lakh persons were screened. SoP for new variant of SARCOV-II has already been published. All individual arriving into the State were made to undergo mandatory quarantine. Massive IEC/Media campaign was taken up to disseminate relevant information on COVID-19 among the public. As on 25th January Manipur recorded a total of 28,997 positive cases, 28,442 recoveries & 369 deaths and recovery rate of 98.08%.

Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Relief Fund was also launched which received a total donation of over Rs. 24 crores. State Government employees donated one day’s salary to the Relief Fund. Rs. 25 Lakhs under MLA-LAD Scheme were earmarked for COVID-19 related activities in each Assembly Constituency.

Efforts were made through police to ensure effective implementation of the lockdown during the COVID pandemic by following social distancing norms at public places, monitoring entry and exit of goods at state borders and providing security cover on-route.

The Government evacuated over 23,000 stranded people through 24 Shramik Trains. Incentives at the rate of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 each and free ration were provided to Drivers and Handymen of trucks bringing various goods, oil tankers and LPG bullets. During Lockdown, 52,605 labour card holders were given financial assistance of Rs. 1000/- each through DBT. Over Rs. 9 crore was released from State Disaster Relief Fund to combat the situation in the wake of the pandemic.

To help out street vendors affected by the pandemic, under the Prime Minister’s Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi Scheme, loans were disbursed to 3,799 street vendors which have earned the State No. 1 ranking among Hilly Region and North Eastern States category for highest number of loans disbursed till date under the scheme. Corpus fund of Rs. 3 crore was created under “Market Intervention Scheme” for procuring surplus marketable produces to reduce distress sale during the pandemic. As necessitated by the School Lockdown due to COVID pandemic, digital and e-learning platforms were adopted. The e-content is now available in a newly developed App called “Lairik”.

COVID-19 vaccination for Manipur was taken up at 10 session sites, targeting over 9600 healthcare workers for the first day. This vaccine had undergone the required 3 levels of human trials and has been proven in terms of both its efficacy and immunogenicity. The vaccine has been declared safe, immunogenic and efficacious by the Drugs Controller General of India. A total of 1,02,000 doses of Covishield vaccine has reached the State. Manipur has already prepared 246 session sites spread out across all the 16 Districts for the COVID vaccination. All sites have been checked through Dry Runs and the facilities for online & offline submission of data has been made.

The Governor added that 14 Basic Life Support Ambulances were procured during the year 2020-21. Trauma Centre and Blood Bank at District Hospital, Senapati was completed. Establishment of a New Medical College at Churachandpur under Centrally Sponsored Scheme was approved at the cost of Rs. 325 Crores.

On Law and Order and Justice Delivery, the Governor said government has been constantly working to improve the overall security scenario of the State. The State was recently awarded as the most improved small state under the category for ‘overall’ and ‘law and order’ by a reputed media organization. The improvement in law & order has also enabled the State to focus on development. Manipur is the most innovative state amongst North Eastern States as per India Innovation Index, 2020, released by NITI Aayog. Nongpok Sekmai Police Station was awarded the “Best Police Station” by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Construction of a 100 bedded barrack at MPTC and Model Police Station Grade-III at Porompat were completed. Construction of a 40 bedded barrack each for Tengnoupal and Kakching District Police are in progress. New State Police Headquarter Building will be constructed at a cost of Rs. 50 crore. With State Budget, 15 Toyota Innova Crysta for patrol duties were procured. Under Nirbhaya Fund, a Control Room for Emergency Response Support System was established.

Under the Government’s initiative on “War against Drugs”, 258 drug-related cases were registered during the year and 357 persons arrested. Large quantities of drugs like heroin powder and WY tablets were seized and over 2,800 acres of poppy plantation destroyed. During the year, 184 sensitive cases against women and children and another 90 cases under POCSO Act were registered. 14 new Fire Sub-Stations are being established at an estimated cost of over Rs.279 Crore.

The Governor stated that although challenges posed by the Pandemic on Public Finances have been huge, the Government has made all possible efforts to reduce its negative impact. Adequate funds have been provided for critical and important areas while rationalising expenditure in others. Despite pandemic challenges, the Government has been able to increase Central grants through Centrally Sponsored Schemes. As on 31stDecember 2020, such grants received amounted to over Rs.2,900 cr as against about Rs.2,300 cr received as on 31st December 2019. Further, in spite of reduced receipts, the State has been in Overdraft for only 12 days as on 31stDecember, 2020.

The implementation of the e-Kuber payment system has enabled the State Government to have an effective cash management system. mPension was launched to replace the need for pensioners to visit the Treasury Offices frequently. The introduction of the e-GRAS (e-Government Receipt Accounting System) will make online payment of Government fees and taxes more citizen-friendly.

Various projects with funding from North Eastern Council are being taken up. Improvement of Bishnupur – Nungba Road and Inter-State Truck Terminus at Sekmai will be completed soon. Water supply projects at Laisoipat, Yennapat and Awangsoi have been completed. Construction of mini-stadium and indoor stadium at Thoubal District was completed. Two new projects for promotion of small holder value chain system for organic horticulture crops and improvement of road from Koirengei to Sangakpham were sanctioned for a total of over Rs 12 Crore. Construction of Tribal Chief Guest House at Palace Compound at a cost of over Rs 7 Crore is being taken up.

Under North East Special Infrastructure Development Schemes, 9 projects worth over Rs 203 crore were sanctioned. Out of these, Water Supply Distribution Network project for Churachandpur was completed. District Hospital, Imphal West at Mayang Imphal at an estimated cost of Rs.65 crore was approved for sanction during the current year. Out of six projects worth about Rs.125 crore sanctioned under Social and Infrastructure Development Fund to bridge infrastructure gaps in border areas, four projects, including construction of a bridge across Tuilak River, have been completed.

Speaking on education sector, Dr. Najma Heptulla said ever since the State started “School Faghathanshi Mission”, there has been a marked increase in student enrolment in the selected schools, besides improvement in physical infrastructures. To encourage children to read, 153 stories were developed into comic text books, relatable to local culture and context. E-textbooks, prepared for the first time in the State, are made available in a Mobile app called “BOSEM e-Book”. In collaboration with All India Radio, dramas based on Educational Programme were produced to provide distance learning to students of Class VI to XII through radio broadcasting.

To motivate Government School Students, incentive awards were given to those who excelled in Class 10 and 12 examinations conducted by BOSEM and COHSEM. A “Task Force” had also been constituted to frame a realistic roadmap for implementation of National Education Policy, 2020. Under RUSA 2.0, construction of a 100 bedded Girl’s hostel in G.P Women’s College will be started. 5 Colleges are being upgraded to Model Degree Colleges. With the establishment of Dhanamanjuri University, 20 new post graduate courses have been opened.

Highlighting on the Power Sector, Governor said Government is committed to ensure 24×7 quality and reliable electric supply to all. With the charging of the 400kV Silchar-Imphal D/C transmission line, the Available Transmission Capacity of the interstate transmission line has been enhanced to cater to the power requirement of the State for the next 10 to 15 years.

In the past year, 5 (Five) 33/11kV sub-stations at Wangoi, Yairipok, Porompat, Tuliphai and Sanjenbam were completed. 143MVA of transformation capacity was also added under North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project with the augmentation of 21(Twenty-one) 33/11 kV sub-stations. At present, 29 (Twenty-Nine) new 33/11 kV sub-stations and 2 (Two) new 132/33 kV sub-stations are also being implemented. For safe and secure grid operation and real time power supply management, a 2,000 km wide network of Fiber Optics cable is being laid across the State.

As a step towards self-reliance in the generation sector, the State has been trying to implement the 66 MW Loktak Downstream Hydro Electric Project through joint venture mode with NHPC Ltd. Power Purchase Agreement of the project was signed. Twenty-nine small and medium range Hydro Power Projects having a total capacity of about 308 MW have been identified.

Out of 5.50 lakh consumers, around 3.5 lakh consumers are prepaid metered. Prepaid meter for the balance 2 lakh consumers is being procured through a loan of Rs. 200 Cr from Rural Electrification Corporation Limited. Rs. 54.70 Cr from Rural Electrification Corporation Limited is also being received for system strengthening.

516 Distribution Transformers, 335 Kms of High-tension Lines and 1,123 Kms of Low-Tension lines covering 1,573 habitations were added under SAUBHAGYA and DDUGJY. 11,000 LED solar street lighting systems were installed during the year. Installation of 9,000 more similar lights will be completed soon. State has decided to set up a 100 MW capacity solar power plant on 600 acres of land identified at Jiribam.

On Connectivity, she said 13 Road Works measuring a total length of over 583 Km at cost of about Rs.1063 Cr for National Highways were sanctioned. 4 (Four) major Works at a total cost of over Rs 1260 Cr and three restoration works at a cost of Rs. 287.00 Cr are being implemented. 13 road works for total length of over 145 Km at a cost of over Rs. 131 Cr under “Central Road Infrastructure Fund” were approved. Under “Inter State Connectivity Scheme” the work for construction of 32.31 Km road from Jiribam to Manipur and Mizoram Border Section via Tipaimukh under Phase-I was approved at a cost of over Rs. 114 Cr.

Under North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS), the work of upgradation of Moirang Sendra Road upto Sendra Hillock and road from Moirang Sendra Road to Omba Hillock and Keina bazar on Moirang Khunou to Thanga Keibul Road was sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 21.65 Cr during 2019-20 and is targeted for completion soon. The construction of two ADB assisted roads namely, Tupul to Bishnupur measuring 51 Kms and Thoubal to Kasom Khulen measuring 47 Kms at cost of Rs. 475.68 Cr was completed and opened to traffic. Imphal – Kangchup- Tamenglong Road of 103 Kms under implementation with assistance of ADB for the cost of Rs. 1400 Crore is targeted for completion in 2022.

Later in the session, a Motion of Thanks to the Governor’s address was moved by Shri P. Sharatchandra Singh MLA which was seconded by Sapam Ranjan Singh MLA. The Governor’s address will be discussed on February 4, 2021.

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