Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
03-December-2011 11:33 IST
PM's speech at public meeting at Imphal

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, addressed a public meeting in Imphal on Dec 03, 2011. Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s speech:


“It is both a pleasure and a privilege for me to have this opportunity to visit Manipur once again. Manipur and the other North Eastern States have a special place in my heart and I consider myself fortunate that I have always received great love and affection from the people here.

I have always held that Manipur is a State with a lot of potential and promise. It is a State of breathtaking natural beauty, a very rich cultural heritage, and a long and glorious tradition of peace and harmony amongst the many communities that live here. The rivers and valleys of Manipur, its flora and fauna and its songs and dances make it a tourist's delight.

It is no surprise that the brave people of Manipur excel in sports. Despite being smaller than many other States, in both area and population, Manipur was the top performer among States in the National Games this year. I congratulate the sportspersons of the State for this wonderful achievement.

It has been the endeavor of our UPA government at the Centre, under the guidance of Smt Sonia Gandhi, to make every possible effort for the rapid progress of Manipur and the other North Eastern States. We want that the people of the State get opportunities for their talents and abilities to flourish. Over the last five years we have worked very closely with the Congress government of Manipur to make this happen. The devolution under the 13th Finance Commission from the Centre to the State for the period 2010-2015 is expected to be about Rs. 13,600 crore, which is more than double the amount given in the period 2005-2010. Manipur's Plan outlay for the current year is Rs. 3210 crore which is more than three times the Plan outlay in the year 2005-06.

In his speech the honourable Chief Minister Ibobi Singh ji has referred to the need for a special package of 6000 crore rupees for Manipur. I can assure him that in the 12th Five Year Plan that is now under formulation the special needs and concerns of Manipur will be duly taken care of. Peace and tranquility is a must to prosper and concentrate on the development of the state. I therefore welcome all efforts to promote the cause of peace and tranquility among all the communities who have lived and lived for centuries in harmony in this beautiful state.

Shri Ibobi Singh ji talked of some talk in some quarters about a supra national authority. I can assure you that there is no such proposal under consideration of the central government. And the central government is committed to the territorial integrity of Manipur as a very important part of the Union.

I am very happy that many of the projects that were announced during my visits to Manipur in 2004 and 2006 have been completed. Earlier today, Sonia ji and I inaugurated the New Assembly Secretariat Complex and the High Court Complex. These are parts of the State Capital Project whose foundation stone I had laid in 2004. Work on the third component of the Project, the New Secretariat Complex has also commenced and is likely to be completed by March 2014.

We have also inaugurated the Auditorium of the Manipur Film Development Corporation (MFDC) today. We hope that this auditorium will contribute to further promoting the Manipuri Film Industry, which has seen many of its directors and other film personalities winning national and international awards in recent years.

We recognize that the creation of good infrastructure is critical for Manipur's economic development. We have therefore made sincere efforts in this direction. The Imphal airport has now been provided with night landing facilities. The State government has made available 640 acres of land and the Airports Authority of India has drawn up a plan for upgrading the infrastructure to international standards. Work on the 125 km railway line from Jiribam to Imphal via Tupul is under progress and is likely to be completed by March 2016, with the Jiribum-Tupul portion getting constructed by March 2014. Double laning of the Maram-Peren road is likely to be completed by March 2012. Works on NH-53 are also going on and are expected to finish by December 2013. Construction of the old Cachar road has been approved in principle. The State government has requested for Central assistance to improve road connectivity in hill areas. I urge the State government to prepare detailed proposals in this regard so that they may be suitably considered.

The project for augmentation of water supply for Imphal city with raw water from Thoubal dam is being actively considered for funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

I am happy to announce that an oil depot at Malom will be taken up for construction. Till the work of railway line up to Imphal is completed, it will work as a road-fed depot. I am also happy to announce that the capacity of the LPG bottling plant at Sekmai will be doubled from 600 MT to 1200 MT. This will help in maintaining a regular supply of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG to the people of Manipur.

In the power sector, I have been informed that the 1500 MW Tipaimukh Hydro Electric Project will be executed by a joint venture company of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, Satlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited and the Government of Manipur. Environmental clearance for this project has been granted and forest clearance is under process. I understand that a project for expansion and up-gradation of power transmission, sub-transmission and distribution networks in the North-Eastern States has been posed to the World Bank for funding. I am asking the concerned Central government Ministries to pursue the matter actively with the World Bank.

We have taken up a number of projects to improve the educational facilities in Manipur so that the development potential of the State can be fully realized and its people can get more opportunities for productive employment. Sonia ji and I have just unveiled the foundation stone for the building and campus of the new National Institute of Technology. The Institute has already started functioning from the year 2010-11. In recognition of the special needs of Manipur, we have decided to set up Kasturba Gandhi residential schools in all the 9 districts of the State, covering even those districts that do not meet the normal eligibility conditions. Similarly, we have recently sanctioned two new Navodaya Vidyalaya for Ukhrul and Senapati districts. The proposal for upgradation of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) has been approved and work is likely to begin in December 2011. The proposal for up-gradation of the Jawahar Lal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences is under consideration.

To address the requirements of the minority community, the Ministry of Minority Affairs has funded the ITI at Lilong in Thoubal District under the Multi-Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP). With a total intake capacity of 164 students we hope that it will provide a major boost to skill up-gradation and vocational education in that area. I am asking the Ministry of Minority Affairs to work with the State government for preparing a special package for minority concentration areas which will cover education, health and skill development.

During my last visit, we had also announced the setting up of 50-bed hospitals in four Hill Districts and at Jiribam. I am informed that my colleague Shri. P. Chidambaram, the Union Home Minister, inaugurated the 50-bed Hospital at Senapati on 2nd November. I also understand that the construction of the other four hospitals will be completed within the year 2013. These hospitals will address a long felt need for better medical care in the tribal Hill Areas.

The state government has requested for increased Central assistance to support modernization of the State police. I am asking the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide Rs. 50 crore annually for this purpose in the 12th Plan period. The state government has also requested for introduction of an international bus service between Imphal and Mandalay. As part of our look east policy, we will suitably take up this request with the Government of Myanmar.

The enormous capabilities and talents of the people of Manipur need to be encouraged and channelized into productive and creative pursuits. We need to build an enabling environment so that the tremendous developmental potential of the State is fully realized. All this can happen only when there is peace and harmony in the State. While there may be varied view of points on many issues facing Manipur, our democratic set-up gives ample space for all of them to be heard and given due consideration. It is in this context that I urge the people of Manipur to shun violence and let their demands be articulated through Constitutional means. Though the State has been witness to bouts of violent incidents in the past, I am happy to note that they have declined considerably in the last few years. I am hopeful that we will continue to move ahead with eliminating violence and strengthening the roots of democracy, which are so very essential for unhindered economic growth of the State.

Here I would like to congratulate the State government for the bold step to hold elections to the six tribal Autonomous District Councils. I urge the state government to ensure adequate devolution of funds to these Councils and help them build their capacity for execution of various development programmes. I would urge all of you to support the elected District Councils and allow them to function from their respective headquarters. This is a historic opportunity that should not be allowed to be dissipated.

We are aware that the recent road blockades by some groups caused immense hardships to the common people of Manipur. While the Central government did extend all possible support to the State government for meeting the crisis and making essential commodities available to the people, the blockades were painful for the people of the State and harmful to its economy. Though the economic blockades have now ended, it is incumbent upon all of us to deliberate about the efficacy of such acts. To my mind, there are no winners in such disruptive activities, there are only losers. It is my hope that we will not see a repeat of such actions in the future. Despite their diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, the people of Manipur have lived peacefully in the past and it should be our collective endeavour to see that this legacy is carried forward.

It is my hope that Manipur will emerge as one of the best States of the country. Our government at the Centre, in partnership with the State government, will do everything possible to make this happen. I would like to end by wishing all of you and the State of Manipur all the very best for the future. May God bless your path.