STAFF REPORTER/DIPR IMPHAL, 10th Feb:
Even though there is no confirmation as yet on whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be present or not during the celebration of first anniversary of the BJP-led coalition government, the state government is keen to invite the Prime Minister for the celebration as well as inaugurate major projects during his visit.
Speaking to newspersons while assessing work progress of Dolaithabi barrage and Mapithel (Thoubal) multi-purpose projects on Saturday, chief minister N Biren informed that the state government is eager to see operationalization of the two major projects by the Prime Minister.
During the inspection of the on-going projects which was conducted ahead of the scheduled visit of Narendra Modi for the inauguration of the Indian Science Congress to be hosted by Manipur University in March, the CM confided that the government of Manipur has been closely monitoring progress of the two projects in order to complete and inaugurate the same in between March 1 to 15.
Further stating that the state government is keen to make the projects operational by the Prime Minister as he (Modi) has already given confirmation on taking part in the Indian Science Congress, Biren maintained that work agencies have been advised to keep the projects ready for launch by the PM.
Mention may be made that, among others, these projects could not be completed on time owing to technical problems, dispute over payment of compensation to the project affected people, non-submission of utilisation and shortage of funds.
He also informed that plans are afoot for the Prime Minister to lay the foundation stone of the National Sports University.
Expressing satisfaction over the progress of construction works of the two projects, Biren said that among many developmental works, the two mega projects are being planned for inauguration by the Prime Minister during his visit on March 16.
Though Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP national president Amit Shah had assured him personally to take part in the first anniversary celebration of the BJP-led state government which falls on March 15, a confirmation is yet to be received from the PMO on whether or not Narendra Modi would attend the celebration, he maintained.
Nevertheless, the prime minister expressed his willingness to attend the anniversary during a recent meeting at Guwahati, he added.
While stating that the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modiy at the opening ceremony of the Indian Science Congress on March 16 is almost confirmed, Biren conveyed that the state government is keen to take advantage of the PM’s presence in the state and inaugurate different projects, apart from laying the foundation stone of National Sports University.
The Chief Minister also informed that as part of the first anniversary celebration, several projects would be dedicated to the public from March 1 and 15.
“Dolaithabi project is ready for inauguration,” he told media persons at the Dolaithabi barrage site, adding that all the six sluice gates of the barrage would be made operational by March 10.
The CM also disclosed about the government’s plans to develop the project sites of Dolaithabi project in Imphal East district, Thoubal multi-purpose project and Khuga dam in Churachandpur district as tourist destinations so that the local economy is improved and the villagers directly reap the benefits.
On villagers’ request, the Chief Minister also assured to construct a market shed at Dolaithabi at an estimated cost of Rs 5-10 lakh.
Later, N Biren made physical assessment of the work progress of Thoubal Multipurpose Project, where he told the reporters that the project is 99.9 per cent complete and ready for inauguration at the earliest possible.
Water Resources Development minister Letpao Haokip, who accompanied the Chief Minister during the inspection visits, said that all pending issues relating to payment of compensation to affected villagers would be resolved as soon as possible. The matter was delayed due to bifurcation of Ukhrul district, he added.
In case the Thoubal multi-purpose project gets functional, it aims to provide irrigation facility to 7545 hectares of agricultural land. The project cost is Rs 1,998.99 crore while the total length of the dam of the project is 1074 metres.
On the other-hand, Dolaithabi project began in 1992 with an initial estimated cost of Rs 1886 lakh. However, the project cost was revised to Rs 9837 lakh in 2004, Rs 21,552 lakh in 2008 and further to Rs 36,005.01 in 2011 while the latest project revision in 2013 fixed the estimated cost at Rs 50847.88 lakh.
The project is expected to irrigate 35,160 hectares of agricultural land per year apart from supplying 10 million gallons of water each day.
Apart from minister Letpao Haokip, Forest and Environment Minister Th Shyamkumar, MLAs H Dingo, L Susindro, Th Satyabrata, L Rameshwar and K Leishiyo, chief secretary RR Rashmi, DGP LM Khaute and top civil and police officers also took part in the inspection visits.