NE has potential to become India's growth engine: PM


Imphal, Jul 23, 2020, IANS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that peace has been established in the northeastern region, asserting that the region has the potential to become India's growth engine.

"Road blockades have become a history in Manipur, the decades old violence in Assam has ended. In Mizoram and Tripura, youths also have deserted the path of violence and the Bru-Reang refugees (belonging to Mizoram) are now heading for a better life," the Prime Minister said after laying the foundation stone of the Manipur water supply project via video link from Delhi.

He said that the government has been making constant efforts to further develop the region and connectivity and other infrastructure, including highways, railways and airports. "The laying of the foundation stone for the vital water supply project is an example of the fact that despite the abnormal situation triggered by the novel coronavirus, the government has not stopped working for the development and growth," Modi said.

An externally-funded Manipur Water Supply Project is designed to provide Freshwater Household Tap Connections (FHTCs) to remaining households in Greater Imphal planning area, 25 towns and to 1,731 rural habitations, covering 2,80,756 households in 16 districts.

The Prime Minister said: "Until a vaccine is developed to cure the COVID-19, we have to robustly fight against the infectious virus and the developmental works also to be carried forward vigorously."

Funded by the New Development Bank, the Rs 3054.58 crore Water Supply Project is part of the Centre's Jal Jeevan Mission to provide safe drinking water to every rural household by 2024. The Central Government has provided funds under "Jal Jeevan Mission" to Manipur for FHTCs to cover 1,185 habitations with 1,42,749 households. The Manipur government has planned to cover the remaining households through additional sources of funding, including funds from the Department for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).

"The Manipur Water Supply Project is an important component of the state government's efforts to achieve the goal of 'Har Ghar Jal' by 2024. The project outlay is about Rs 3,054.58 crore with a loan component funded by New Development Bank," said a government statement.

The "Jal Jeevan Mission" looks to create a 'Jan Andolan' for water, thereby making it everyone's priority. The official statement said that there are about 19 crore households in India out of which only 24 per cent have FHTCs. The Mission aims to provide 14,33,21,049 households with FHTC through partnership of all stakeholders including the state governments, Panchayati Raj institutions and local communities.

Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, and his cabinet colleagues, MPs, and MLAs joined the programme from the state capital Imphal.

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