IMPHAL, Jan 24: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has urged the Central government to fence the undisputed stretch of India-Myanmar border to curb cross-border crimes like drug trafficking, human trafficking, arms smuggling, and illegal influx.
Speaking at the 69th Plenary Meeting of North Eastern Council (NEC) in Shillong, Biren Singh urged the Centre to approve the Ordinance on psychotropic substances, which had already been referred to the President by the Governor of Manipur. He also requested the Union Home Minister to introduce a special scheme for poppy growers to provide them alternative sources of livelihood.
The Chief Minister sought assistance from the Centre in developing the INA Memorial Complex at Moirang as a world-class memorial on the land acquired for expansion of the existing complex. He also pressed for early completion of the Jiribam-Tupul railway project and development of the main station in Imphal.
Singh began his speech by expressing heartfelt gratitude to the Union Home Minister on behalf of the Manipur Government for the prompt assistance in controlling the wildfire at Dzukou Valley.
He stated that the amount allocated under 10 percent Gross Budgetary Support for NEC is not sufficient, and reiterated his earlier suggestion to allow access to unutilised resources from the 10 percent Gross Budgetary Support of Central Ministries.
Stating that infrastructure development for promotion of tourism has not been included in the North East Special lnfrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS) guidelines, the Chief Minister said the NEC might consider including the same for comprehensive development of the tourism sector.
He also requested for extending the Hill Area Development Programme (HADP) to the remaining eight hill districts of the State. He also requested for intervention to facilitate necessary clearance for the World Bank for funding the Integrated Sewerage System, Loktak Lake Eco-Tourism and Rejuvenation of Lamphelpat Water Body.
He also urged the Union Agriculture Ministry to conduct a fresh survey in Jiribam and Tengnoupal districts for Oil Palm Mission Manipur. He also sought approval of the proposal for expanding the potential areas under horticulture submitted to the DoNER Ministry for development of value chain systems and integrated farming in shifting cultivation areas. He also requested for approval of a Rs 126-crore proposal submitted for development of bamboo in Manipur.
Singh later visited the ancient royal property at Rajbari and made a first-hand assessment of various issues related to it. He also visited the Ibudhou Pakhangba Shanglen located on the property. He was moved by the dilapidated condition of the old buildings and Meitei script inscribed on the bricks.
He appealed to the tenants to come to a settlement so that the land could be reverted back to the State government for its upkeep and development.