House passes 5 demands for grants amounting to Rs 2473,53,63,000

STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 12th Feb: On the day seventh day of the 4th session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly on Monday, the House unanimously passed five Demands for Grants amounting to Rs 2473,53,63,000. The demands for Grants include Demand No 18 (Animal Husbandry and Veterinary including Dairy Farming) Rs 114,89,42,000; Demand No 20 (Community and Rural Development) Rs. 1787,77,53,000; Demand No 30 (Planning) Rs 442,98,54,000; Demand No 42 (State Academy of Training) Rs 6,83,80,000; and Demand No 47 (Minorities and Other Backward Classes and Scheduled Caste Department) Rs 121,04,34,000.

Replying to the observations made by opposition MLAs during the discussion on passing the demand for veterinary and animal husbandry, minister V Hangkhanlian informed the House that the government has earmarked Rs 2 crore for developing Heingang Marjing Pony Complex. The department is providing Rs 15,000 grant in-aid to 20 polo clubs of the state towards buying and cultivation of fodder. Besides, the department is planning to provide fodder seeds to pony farmers. Due to low share in the budget allocation, the department has not been able to take up different schemes and projects. However, the department is putting efforts towards increasing number of livestock and poultry while pushing for prevention of emergent and genetic diseases.

He further informed the House that there are 55 veterinary hospitals, 108 dispensaries and 34 veterinary aids in the state and the department knows the deplorable states of these institutions some of which are functioning from rented buildings.

Acknowledging that staffers of many of these institutions are irregular in attendance, the minister assured to look into the matter and address the issue.

Under income generation programme, the department has completed selection of 670 beneficiaries for dairy scheme at the unit cost of Rs 1.89 lakh; 500 beneficiaries for piggery at the unit cost of Rs 9.8 lakh; 400 beneficiaries for scheme on goat at the unit cost of Rs 74,600; and 600 beneficiaries of poultry at the unit cost of Rs 27,500. The 2017 selected beneficiaries will contribute in increasing livestock and poultry products of the state, he contended.

On the other hand, MANIDCO has initiated a programme to produce chicks at a project cost of Rs 11.55 lakh under North Eastern Council of which Rs 6.22 lakh has already been released, the minister added.

Giving his observation during the discussion, opposition MLA Th Lokeshwar drew attention of the government towards improper functioning of veterinary hospitals and dispensaries. He also observed that the department has ceased to organise awareness programme at the grassroots level for vaccination and prevention of livestock diseases and urged the government to address the matter.

MLA K Meghachandra also drew attention of the government towards the condition of veterinary hospital at Yairipok while urging the government to take up initiatives to facilitate proper functioning of these hospitals and dispensaries.

MLA Surjakumar Okram also urged the government to develop grazing ground for pony in order to protect and conserve pony. Expressing the need for collective roles from local clubs towards pony conservation, he drew attention of the government for taking up steps to prevent letting ponies to roam free in the streets. He also suggested a short term grant to Manipur Horse Riding & Polo Association and Manipur Pony Society to develop a sanctuary for pony in their 30 acres land before the rainy season.

Furthermore, he urged the chief minister to take the lead role in fast tracking the development of the proposed pony sanctuary at Heingang.

Ruling MLA K Leishiyo, while highlighting the impact of jhum cultivation on the environment, drew attention of the government for taking up an initiative to promote and support Mithun rearing among the tribal population. He also stressed on the need to develop meat processing units stating that such units would see grand success under the Act East Policy once the Trans Asian Highway is completed and become functional.

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