Manipur Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla addressing a press conference at Raj Bhavan, Imphal on July 15.
Newmai News Network
Imphal | July 15
Manipur Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla today said that at the recent plenary of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in Shillong her focus was on the issues of development “because the State has suffered a lot due to blockades and bandhs”.
The Governor added that she took the responsibility of representing the State since both the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary were unable to attend due to the prevailing situation in Manipur.
The NEC plenary chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh discussed some of the major issues such as transformation of several districts in the region, strengthening livelihood programmes, water resources management, catchment area treatment through afforestation, doubling farmers’ income by 2022, road connectivity.
Dr. Heptulla informed the media that she was very vocal about the issues of the state and as a result NEC which was on the point of abandoning some projects of the State, decided to improve the infrastructures by approving 29 projects. She further stated that the Union Home Minister chairing the meeting was very significant “because the North East region has border and security issues, and NEC was always under the Home Ministry and now it has become much stronger.”
According to Dr. Heptulla, Manipur was not given a good share of money and she asked for more within the NEC. “Among the eight states in the NE region, seven are small and face similar problems. The money distribution should not be based on the size and population of the states because we cannot match Assam. The parameter for the distribution of the money should be based on developmental index. They have taken to extent but not to my satisfaction. More or less we got what we wanted,” she added.
During the briefing, the Governor also brought up the issue of a dying Loktak Lake, which is a thing to be concerned about as tourism of the State is dependent on Loktak. “And more focus should be given on infrastructures and roads because the State is landlocked,” the Governor said. She added she is “going to pursue on more and more issues” related to Manipur. She then said that without proper availability of petroleum products, black marketing would flourish. “The Central government should focus more on the NE region,” Dr. Heptulla asserted.
About the plans of any upcoming projects in the State, the Governor said, “We should first finish the projects here because leaving them incomplete will not be useful and further projects will come up as per the priority given by the state government.”
Dr. Heptulla then stated that the vendors of Ima Markets in the State are not aware of central schemes like pension, insurance and health which were announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the first year of his tenure. She urged that all the Central government schemes be translated into local dialects so that all the people in the State can be aware about the schemes meant for them.