Imphal-Silchar flight service to resume soon, says CM Biren

The state government has initiated process for resumption of flight services between Silchar and Imphal, CM N Biren informed the state assembly.

The CM was responding to a question raised by MLA Dr Chaltonlien Amo about the resumption of flight services between Imphal and Silchar during question hour of the 4th session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

Informing that the state government has sent a proposal to Civil Aviation Ministry for resumption of flight services, Biren said that the government is yet to finalise on an airline that will be operating the route. The airline service for the route was stopped in 2012 due to non-disbursement of funds by NEC, he added.

Conveying that the new government is trying its level best to resume the flight service, he further informed the house that talks were also initiated with the proprietor of Spice Jet for engagement of their service for the route during the recently concluded business summit held at Guwahati. The airline, in reply, had asked for a formal letter to be forwarded to them, the CM divulged.

CM Biren further stated that the government had also earlier deliberated on engaging Indian Airlines. For this, the state government had requested the Civil Aviation Ministry to resource the service, he added.

Highlighting the successful establishment of Imphal-Delhi direct flights for two-three times a week, he stated that talks are underway with Air Asia for making the Imphal-Delhi flight a daily service.

Further responding to another question raised by Dr Chaltonlien on Integrated Tourist Destination, the CM said that work orders for development of an Integrated Tourist Destination at Sipuikon village, Tipaimukh sub-division, Pherzawl district were given on January 31 of 2011, March 2 and April 24 of 2015 respectively.

The work agency is Manipur Development Society (MDS) and its contractors are LH Thanga Hmar, Lunkhapao Haokip and Vablal Eng, he added.

CM Biren further stated that 65per cent of the work has been completed so far, including 66per cent for the lodge, 70 per cent for Kitchen cum store room, 55 per cent for installation of steel gate and compound fencing and 50per cent for parking area and approach road.

Out of the total Rs 500 lakh that had been sanctioned by government of India, Rs 400 lakh had been released. The total amount deposited after deducting charges was Rs 358.15 lakh and the payment made to MDS contractor is about Rs 261.94 lakh, he informed.

The CM further conveyed that as MDS is under enquiry, the said funds cannot be moved. Nonetheless, detail estimates will be made for the completed works and the remaining amount will then be deposited with another agency so as to complete the unfinished portions. Although, timely completion of projects will bring about huge financial involvement, the government will endeavour to complete the projects with available funds, he assured.

On the question raised by opposition MLA D Korungthang regarding the development works undertaken by MsDP, CM N Biren responded that out of Rs 2798.648 lakh that was sanctioned by MsDP for 7 districts including Imphal East and Thoubal in 2015-2016, Rs 1026.48 lakh was allocated for Senapati district. Other sanctioned funds are still in different stages, but will be released soon, he added.

On a question jointly raised by MLAs Md Fajur Rahim and O Henry for increasing the honorarium of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers, Social Welfare Minister Nemcha Kipgen said that there is still no plan to increase the honorarium for Anganwadi workers of the state. The current honorarium rate is based on the rate determined by Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Further responding to opposition MLA Abdul Nasir’s query about welfare schemes for widows, Minister Nemcha said that widows of the state are given assistance under “Financial Assistance to Poor and Needy Widow” which is funded by the State Government. She also stated that Rs 30 lakh was allocated for 2017-18 and no fund has been released by the Central Government under the Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS) for January 2015 till date.

Pointing out that the state has 4661 IGNWPS beneficiaries, Nemcha Kipgen said that there is no district-wise segregation for Financial Assistance to Poor and Needy Widow scheme, and the scheme is awarded based on applications submitted to the department by the widows.

Agriculture Minister Hangkhanlian, responding to a question raised by MLA Surjakumar Okram regarding the volume and value of crop lost due to the recent floods in the state, said that about 79,159 hectares were affected during 2017 floods and the approximate value of losses was Rs 1265.39 lakh.

A report highlighting the agricultural damages caused by the floods had been submitted to Relief and Disaster Management, requesting for help but no reply has been received from the centre. Nevertheless, the department is trying its level best to help amend the damages, he added.

Later, the house unanimously passed the Manipur Appropriation (No 1) Bill, 2018 which was moved by Deputy Chief Minister (in-charge of Finance) Y Joykumar Singh.

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