Govt keen to restore Lamphelpat
IMPHAL, 4th Nov: While calling upon all sections of the society to strive for promoting social harmony and contribute their mite in the government’s initiative to accelerate development in the state, chief minister N Biren confided that a detailed project report for regeneration of Lamphelpat as a natural water body would be submitted to the Union government soon.
Addressing a gathering at Kwakeithel Moirangpurel Lampak on Sunday, he informed that the state cabinet has decided to expedite relevant process for restoration of Lamphelpat as a natural reservoir.
Though Lamphelpat presently spreads over only about 230 acres, the government has identified more areas for acquisition to preserve and expand the water body to 460 acres, Biren informed.
Recounting that he as the then minister in-charge of Irrigation and Flood Control submitted DPR to the ministry concerned for development of Lamphelpat, Biren regretted that the plan did not materialised as the proposal had no backing of the government.
Similarly, efforts to develop Waishel Maril and Naga Nullah did not take off as the then government side-lined him and the projects got seriously mired in controversies after the project fund was diverted to other agencies and squabbling ensued among contractors, Biren said, adding that the Waishel Maril and Naga Nullah projects were conceptualised when he was chairman of Manipur Pollution Control Board and IFC minister respectively. Though past endeavours to take up vital projects were not fruitful there is no question of the present government backing off from the plan to develop Lamphelpat as natural water body and to dually serve as reservoir to drain excess water during monsoons, he said.
Further informing that officials of departments concerned have been advised to undertake extensive survey of land and identify encroached pockets, he expressed confidence that the annual problem of flooding in Imphal and adjoining areas would become passé as and when the Lamphelpat project is realised.
While pledging that Waishel Maril development project would also be initiated soon, he sought cooperation of local clubs and organisations to officials deputed for land demarcation or acquisition to preserve the small but important drainage network.
Pointing out that the Central government has assured to endorse all genuine projects, the CM said that flood control is one of the priorities of the present government. The centre’s readiness to fund public utility and infrastructure projects could be comprehended from construction of women’s markets in the hill district headquarters, he mentioned, while adding that the markets were constructed at the cost of Rs 10-15 crore each.
With regard to leaving the Congress party, he conceded that even if changing political colours is nothing to gloat over, the urge to serve and save people of Manipur compelled shifting political allegiance.
Under the past government there was no value for human lives as was evident from frequent cases of killing and involuntary disappearance of innocent citizens, Biren said and expressed satisfaction that the present government has been able to maintain law and order.
The chief minister also stressed the need to have positive and optimistic approach so as to bring integrity, unity and development in the state.
He also strongly advocated that to root out corruption in the state, the change should begin with bureaucrats and politicians.
Reminding that it is the responsibility of the people’s representatives or MLAs to work for the welfare of the people, Biren expressed elation that the law and order situation has improved a lot in the state since formation of the present government.
While conveying that such remarkable charge in law and order is due to the support and cooperation of the people, the chief minister vowed to reciprocate love, support and hospitality of the people by bringing development in the state.
Continuing his speech at the reception function, Biren highlighted that in-spite of the chasm between the government and its people in the past, launch of ‘Go to Village’ has been successful in plugging the gap.
The initiative has also been able to deliver various government services at the doorsteps of the people as well as minimised communication gap, the CM maintained.
With the support of the people, the government has initiated ‘War on Drugs’ which resulted in destruction of thousands of acres of illegal poppy plantation in the state. Alternative livelihood arrangement has been made by the government for those farmers who were engaged in poppy cultivation earlier, he added.
While mentioning that around 600 people have been convicted so far who were involved in illegal drug activities in the past one year, he lamented that due to drug and alcohol abuse the percentage of the number of widows is very high in Manipur.
Stating that the present government has introduced many initiatives for the welfare of the people such as CMHT, CMST, Manipur Start-Up policy, the Chief Minister stated that the government is committed to work tirelessly for the welfare of the people.
He also reiterated that the government is providing a monthly stipend of Rs 1500 to those differently-abled people having disability of 80 per cent or more.
Various clubs and individuals felicitated the Chief Minister during the function. A song dedicated to the Chief Minister was also presented by renowned singers Hamom Berlin and Umoni.
The reception function was organised in connection with recent India Today polls declaring Biren as the third best chief minister and best among the BJP-ruled states.
Deputy chairman of Manipur State Planning Board S Rajen, MLAs Th Satyabrata and H Dingo Singh, representatives of various Clubs of Keishamthong AC and others were present at the function.