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State Budget passed, Highways Security Planned, Ex-Governor Mourned, and Moreh Hospital Reopens for Non-Covid Patients

The State Budget for the current financial year has been pegged at Rs. 28,824, while there are security plans afoot from the state government to make the highways free from miscreants collecting illegal taxes, even as the Moreh hospital took the lead in reopening all hospital services for non-Covid patients. The passing away of former Manipur Governor Ashwani Kumar and four MLAs was also mourned in the State Assembly.

 

Manipur Budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22 Presented

Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar, who is also Finance Minister, on February 5, presented the State Budget for the financial year 2021-22.

Reports said for the year 2021-22, the deputy chief minister proposed a total expenditure of Rs. 28,824 crore out of the consolidated funds of the state. He stated that the total revenue expenditure for 2021-22 is estimated at Rs. 19,970 crore and capital outlay is estimated at Rs. 5,526 crore.

Highlighting the likely fiscal position in the next year, Joykumar said that the fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs. 3,976 crore which is 9.22 per cent of the GSDP and the total outstanding debt is projected at 32 per cent of the GSDP during 2021-22 against the revised estimates figure of 33 per cent.

 

Deployment of Mobile Security Forces on Highways

The Manipur government is making efforts to deploy mobile security forces along the two national highways of the state to prevent the collecting of illegal taxes from truck drivers by unidentified armed gangs.

This was said by Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren replying to a calling attention motion raised by MLA Kh Joykishan on February 5, the third day of the 12th Session of Manipur Legislative Assembly regarding the frequent collection of illegal taxes by anti-social elements on the National Highway-37.

Reports said the chief minister stated that the state government has appointed a ADGP to command and look into the security measures taken up along the highways of the state, to ensure safety of truck drivers from any anti-social elements.

Regarding the recent incident of attack on a cement-loaded truck along Imphal-Jiribam road by armed militants, Biren said that the state government condemned the act in the strongest terms. Police have taken up massive operations by joining hands with the Central forces in suspected areas to catch the culprits, stating that the government has deployed commando teams led by an additional SP in the NH-37 to prevent any unwanted activities.

 

NH-2 Bandh Called-off

The Thadou Youth Association Joint Headquarters, Sadar Hills on February 5 decided to call off the bandh imposed on public transport and passenger buses along National Highway-2 after a joint meeting in Kangpokpi.

Reports said the Thadou Youth Association had imposed bandh on public transport-passenger buses along NH-2 since midnight of February 4, citing unjustified fare hike and non-implementation of the orders of Directorate of Transport for reduction of public transport fares.

TYA Joint Headquarters Sadar Hills said that public transport fares have been agreed on and the amounts charged will be, for Imphal to Motbung – Rs.40; Imphal to Saparmeina – Rs.50; Imphal to Kalapahar – Rs.60 and Imphal to Kangpokpi – Rs.70.

 

Sanajaoba Moves for Kangla as World Heritage Site

Rajya Sabha MP Maharaja Sanajaoba Leishemba has moved a special motion on the 7th day of the ongoing Parliament session to declare Kangla, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Manipur as a World Heritage Site.

Reports said, Leishemba Sanajaoba moving the special motion, said Kangla has been the seat of Manipuri civilisation since time immemorial and more than 70 kings had ruled the kingdom of Manipur before it was conquered by the British in April 27, 1891.

 

Hospital Reopens for Non-COVID Patients

After almost five months of being an exclusive COVID-19 care centre, the lone hospital in Indo-Myanmar border town, Moreh Hospital reopens from February 4 for non-COVID services after suitable arrangements were put in place.

Reports said, ready with bins, brooms, masks and gloves, the staff of Moreh Hospital under the leadership of dental surgeon, Dr. Kapan and MO in-charge of SDH Moreh, Dr. Manoranjan carried out cleaning activities in and around the campus of the hospital.

 

Rape Accused Sent to Judicial Custody

The accused person in the rape case of a four-year-old girl has been remanded to judicial custody by the court of District and Session Judge, Thoubal on February 5.

Reports said the accused, Md Fayajuddin, 51, son of Tamij Ali of Sangaiyumpham Part II, Langkhong-pat, was in police custody for five days after he was arrested by Thoubal police on February 1.

 

Rapist Pleads for Bail

Absconder Timothy L Changsang, administrator of a children home in Churachanpur district, who was sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment for raping 14 minor girls under POCSO Act applied for bail in the Manipur High Court.

Reports said Timothy, administrator of North Eastern Children Home, Rengkai village Churachandpur, was sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment in May 2018, under Section 6 and 10 of the POCSO Act and under 506 IPC. The convict also filed a condonation petition in the high court, citing several issues.

 

Tangkhul Leaders Meet on Indo-Naga Talks

A consultative meeting of Tangkhul Leaders on Indo-Naga Political Talks was held at Tangkhul Naga Long ground in Ukhrul on February 4.

Reports said Ningkhan Shimray, chief of Naga Army NSCN-IM speaking in the meeting reassured that the long overdue final political solution of the Naga peace talks, which has spanned more than six decades, is approaching.

Shimray said that the peace talk is nearing solution with most of the major competencies having been finalised and urged the Naga people to stand united.

 

Rickshaw Drivers Unhappy with Parking Space

The All Manipur Rickshaw Drivers and Pullers Welfare Association on February 4 voiced their grievances over most of their parking areas being taken over by diesel autos in the state.

Report quoting president of the association Thokchom Basanta while briefing the media at Manipur Press Club, Imphal said the transport department in 2002 and 2010 allotted different parking areas for rickshaws in Imphal areas. However, all the parking spots are now taken over by diesel autos and these parking spaces have been converted into parking areas for diesel autos.

When the association approached the Manipur Information Commission to find out whether the permit for the rickshaw parking areas had been cancelled, it was learned that the parking spaces of rickshaws in Imphal West district is still in force, he added.

 

Contractual Staff Storm Health Directorate

Contractual staff of the Manipur Health Department under the banner of All Manipur District Covid Contractual Health Workers (AMDCCHW) on February 4 afternoon stormed the office of the health directorate demanding service protection.

Reports said, decrying the government, the staff alleged that they were terminated while they were performing their duties and when the contract is yet to be expired.

As many as 171 nurses and 177 multi-tasking staff (MTS) were engaged on contract basis by the government for COVID-19 duty in 16 districts of the state.

AMDCCHW secretary Yumnam Bidyarani said that the staff were utilised for duties regarding sampling in districts, mobile sampling, dead body sampling, Covid Care Centres, rapid response team, ambulance pick up team, home isolation, surveillance, among others.

She said that they had not even raised complaints even when their salaries had not been given for four and half months.

 

House Mourns Former Governor, Four MLAs

Manipur Legislative Assembly on February 4 observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed souls of a former governor and four other MLAs on the second day of the 12th session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly.

Reports said the observation was moved by speaker Y Khemchand as an obituary reference. The mark of respect was paid to the departed souls of former governor of Manipur Ashwani Kumar and four former members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly namely Laishram Nandakumar Singh of 10-Uripok assembly constituency; Salam Jayentakumar Singh of Thanga assembly constituency; Heshamuddin MD of 27-Moirang assembly constituency and Laishom Ibomcha 12-Keishamthong assembly constituency.

 

Govt Persuading Centre to Withdraw AFSPA

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on February 4 said the government has been persuading the Central government to withdraw the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) from the state as law and order of the state has been far better when compared to recent years.

A report said that this was mentioned in the Chief Minister’s reply to Congress MLA K Ranjit who said that AFSPA can be removed from beyond greater Imphal areas as the law and order situation in the state has considerably improved, while seeking clarification on the Governor’s statement concerning the matter. However, in response the CM said the matter can be further discussed during demand discussions.

Congress MLA Alfred S Kangam Arthur, said the issues concerning Suspension of Operation (SoO) needs to be addressed. To this, Biren said the government is trying to settle the issues confronting the SoO.

 

1,02,000 Covishield Doses in State

Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla on February 3 said that a total of 1,02,000 doses of Covidshield vaccine have reached Manipur following the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine after it was declared safe, immunogenic and efficacious by the Drug Controller General of India.

It was said while the Governor was addressing the House on the first day of the 12th session of the 11th Manipur Assembly which started on February 3.

Meanwhile, as per latest information, 6874 healthcare workers have been vaccinated till February 5, which is about 57.08 percent of the target, said the Government report.

 

Teachers to Intensify Agitation

Agitations will be intensified if the state government continues to remain as a silent spectator and does not issue the order of the 7th UGC Pay for college teachers, the Federation of Government College Teachers’ Association, Manipur (FEGOCTA) warned on February 3.

Reports said college teachers in both the hills and valley have entered the 5th day of their sit-in protests on February 5 under the banner of FEGOCTA at their respective colleges.

Almost all the employees of the state government are enjoying the 7th Pay while the college teachers of the state are financially suffering due to unavailability of the 7th Pay benefits, college teachers said.

 

Puya Anniversary Observed

The 292nd year of the burning of Puya (burning of ancient scriptures) was observed on February 5 at Uttra Mang, located inside the Kangla.

Reports said the commemoration programme was organised by the International Observation Committee on Puya Mei Thaba (ICOP) under the theme “Remember, Review and Revive for Love, Peace and Integrity.”

 

Govt to Preserve Remnants of Nongpok Thong

Brick structures discovered at the banks of Imphal River on the eastern side of Kangla and believed to be remnants of the erstwhile Nongpok Thong (Eastern Bridge) will be preserved and protected.

This was expressed by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren while inspecting the ongoing construction of fencing and Nongpok Thong at the Imphal River banks of eastern side of Kangla.

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