‘No fix timeline for Jiribam-Imphal railways completion’
STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 2nd Feb:
Union minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain has said that the ministry has not been able to fix a timeline for completion of Jiribam-Imphal railway project due to frequent disturbances caused by bad law & order situation as well as security related issues.
In reply to queries raised by Rajya Sabha MP K Bhabananda in the Parliament on Friday, the minister told the upper house of the parliament that Jiribam-Imphal new line project (111 km) has been taken up at an anticipated cost of Rs 6571 crore to put Imphal on railway map of the country.
An expenditure of Rs 5278 crore has been incurred up to March, 2017 and an outlay of Rs 1400 crore has been provided for 2017-18 for this project. Jiribam-Vangaichungpao (12.5 km) section was commissioned in March, 2017. Earth work, bridges work and tunnel work have been taken up in Vangaichungpao-Tupul-Imphal section, he informed.
Regarding the delay in project, Rajen Gohain said that the project is delayed mainly due to law and order and security related problems in the project area. Further, economic blockade during 2016-17 drastically affected progress of the work.
He also informed that the state government has been requested to augment the number of security personnel deployed in the project area. Railway is also contemplating to ask Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for deployment of Territorial Army (TA) resources for improved security at the project sites.
Minister of state in-charge for communications, Manoj Sinha also informed the House that the Government has approved an investment plan of about Rs 10,000 Crore for improving the telecom connectivity in the North-East Region (NER).
The plan has provision for extending mobile services in uncovered villages and seamless mobile connectivity along National Highways; strengthening of transmission media network between state capitals to district HQs and DHQs to Block HQ; and provision of broadband connectivity in all GPs.
Keeping in view of certain basic challenges in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura, a comprehensive strategy has been adopted for providing broadband connectivity on satellite media, and to build up reliable high speed Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) network for the future, the minister said.
Accordingly, in these six states, 4240 GPs are being provided connectivity on satellite media at an estimated cost of Rs 733 crore. This strategy envisages expediting the completion of BharatNet phase-II by March, 2019, the minister said, while responding to queries raised by MP K Bhabananda.
Meanwhile, union minister of state for agriculture and farmers welfare Parshottam Rupala said that the Centre has been supporting various farm technologies to sustain growth of agriculture in the northeast region. He said that different schemes like National Mission on Agricultural Extension and Technology (NMAET) consisting four sub-missions, National Food Security Mission (NFSM), National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP), Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) are being implemented to ensure sustain growth of agriculture. Centre allocated Rs 4.562 crore for various schemes to Manipur for the fiscal 2017-18, the minister added.