Imphal: On the ninth day of the 2nd part of the ensuing 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly Session, the House unanimously passed six demands for grants amounting to Rupees 20,789,924,000. The demands for grants are (i) Demand No. 19: Environment and Forest (ii) Demand No. 38: Panchayat (iii) Demand No. 43: Horticulture and Soil Conservation (iv) Demand No. 45: Tourism (v) Demand No. 47: Minorities and Other Backward Classes and Scheduled Caste Department and (vi) Demand No. 48: Relief and Disaster Management.
For (i) Demand No. 19: Environment and Forest a sum of Rs 710,72,85,000 (ii) Demand No. 38: Panchayat a sum of Rs 156,80,42,000 (iii) ) Demand No. 43: Horticulture and Soil Conservation a sum of Rs 96,50,65,000 (iv) Demand No. 45: Tourism a sum of Rs 387,54,10,000 (v) Demand No. 47: Minorities and Other Backward Classes and Scheduled Caste Department a sum of Rs 641,64,84,000 and (vi) Demand No. 48: Relief and Disaster Management a sum of Rs 85,76,38,000 have been granted and passed in the House for the financial year ending 31st March 2024.
During the discussion on demands for grants, MLAs K. Ranjit Singh, K. Meghachandra Singh, Th. Lokeshwar Singh and Surjakumar Okram moved cut motions on demands No. 19, 38, 43, 45, 47 and 48, which were later withdrawn and passed in the House. MLAs Sapam Nishikant, Leishiyo Keishing and M. Rameshwar also joined in the demand discussion and expressed their observation and suggestions on the demands of Tourism, Environment & Forest and Relief & Disaster Management.
Replying to a cut motion by the MLAs, the Leader of the House N. Biren Singh informed the House that the future economy of the State lies in tourism. He stated that 57 sites have been identified and necessary construction works are taken up on a priority basis. Among the northeast states, Manipur tops in the tourism sector. He further informed that necessary steps will be taken up by the government to develop sites that have historical relevance. Tourist circuit needs to be set up to attract foreign tourists, he added.
N. Biren Singh also mentioned that during the last term, the government-sanctioned funds for the development of tourist spots in all the 60 Assembly Constituencies of the state in the respective areas of the elected representatives. The Government is giving importance to the tourism sector, he further added.
N. Biren Singh said that there has been confusion in providing benefits under MOBC and after identifying useful schemes that can be implemented in the state, the government made changes to some schemes in 2020-21. He said that benefits were provided to the beneficiaries after giving training for skill development.
Environment & Forest Minister, Th. Biswajit Singh informed the House that to check pollution in the state, two sites of the Pollution Control Board have been set up at Manipur University and Dhanamanjuri University. The government is trying to set up such sites in every suitable area of the state, he added.
Th. Biswajit Singh further informed the House that steps have been taken up by the government to conserve/preserve Protected and Reserved Forest areas. Recently the government has evicted residential sites at Protected and Reserved Forest areas. The Forest Department has also taken up steps for mass plantation of trees in Imphal City and other open spaces to curb pollution, he further added. Minister also appealed to all the stakeholders to take equal responsibility in conserving and preserving the forest areas.
Regarding the trading of timber, Biswajit said that timber trading has been done legally as far as possible in the state even though there might be some lapses. The department has auctioned timber at the government rate and transit passes were given to timber traders by the Forest department.
Relief & Disaster Management Minister, Awangbow Newmai informed the House that the government is trying to frame bye-laws for the construction of buildings in disaster-prone areas mainly the hills districts. Many buildings are constructed at the town areas of the hill districts due to population pressure and there is a need for monitoring such construction works.
He also informed that necessary arrangements to combat natural disasters are taken up by the department. Training is given to volunteers in each and every district of the state for immediate response. The department is trying to update to face any calamities that occur in the state, he added.