Imphal: “The visit of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh to the Ukhrul district headquarters on Wednesday was a welcoming gesture and a blessing for the citizens of the district,” said MLA Ram Muivah.
Speaking to EastMojo on Thursday before departing for Imphal, Ukhrul AC MLA Ram Muivah stressed the importance of decentralisation of power in Manipur.
Presently, nearly all government infrastructure, including administration, education, business, and other sectors, is centralised solely in one place, which is Imphal. MLA Muivah feels that the time has come for meaningful decentralisation of power by making Ukhrul the summer capital of Manipur.
“By God’s grace, Ukhrul has one of the most salubrious climates, and we can also follow the example of states like Telangana, which has three capitals, and Jammu and Kashmir, which has two capitals. In the same spirit, Manipur should also have two capitals. The winter capital can be located in Imphal, and Ukhrul can be the summer capital,” he said.
MLA Muivah also emphasised that seamless connectivity is required from Imphal for Ukhrul to become the summer capital of Manipur. To achieve this, a four-lane highway connecting Imphal to Ukhrul along the Thoubal River can be constructed.
While reiterating the importance of road connectivity, MLA Muivah also said that surfacing (blacktopping) of Hundung and the Ukhrul district headquarters is needed, as the district headquarters (NH 102A) is a one-street town, and all houses are concentrated on this one street. Therefore, the roads should be expanded with two bypasses, namely the western bypass and the eastern bypass highway, he said.
He further informed that the Government of India has already approved the western bypass. However, he feels that the topography along the western bypass is very deep, and the whole stretch is dotted with terrace paddy fields, which will be difficult to expand.
MLA also mentioned that by constructing the eastern bypass from Naphang near Somsai (Hunphun) and connecting Lungshang Kong (NH 202A) via Mova cave (Hungpung), Ukhrul town can be expanded, and traffic jams can be decongested.
He also informed that in the Ukhrul district headquarters, there are around 56 localities (28 in Hunphun village and another 28 in Hungpung village), in which only a few localities have blacktopped roads, and the rest are in pathetic conditions. So, it should be blacktopped for better road connectivity, he maintained.
MLA Muivah further informed that since the Manipur state Public Works Department budget is very limited, the department has prepared a concept note amounting to Rs 162 crore for blacktopping of 56 localities in the district headquarters.
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The concept note has to be submitted to the North East Special Infrastructure Development (NESID) under Ministry of DoNER which is a 100 percent grant, he informed.
He also informed that the total allocation for eight northeast states is Rs 8,300 crore. And NESID has revised its guidelines last month and as per the revised guidelines, 50 percent of the fund should be invested only for roads. Out of this allocation, Manipur can expect at least Rs 1,000 crore . Out of Rs 8,000 crore, Rs 4,000 crore is only for roads, so we are asking for only Rs 162 crore from NESID and we request our chief minister to recommend to the Ministry of DoNER for blacktopping of Ukhrul roads, added MLA Muivah.
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