Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who is also in-charge of the finance ministry, presented an estimated budget of Rs 35022 crore for the year 2023-24.
Of the estimated budget, Rs 1,592 crore was allocated for water supply while for sewerage and sanitation, an amount of Rs 466 crore was allocated.
During the budget session, Biren mentioned that there are two major projects taken up by the state government for provision of piped water supply within the state. One of them is the Jal Jeevan Mission, a centrally sponsored scheme and the other is the New Development Bank funded ‘Manipur Water Supply Project’.
Despite various challenges, the implementation of these projects is underway in full swing, the CM said, adding that, for water supply, the state has allocated an amount of Rs 1592 crore in the budget.
With the growing demands of an increasing population and increasing urbanisation, it is essential to upgrade or develop our water sources, Biren said.
The government is working on a project as an add-on to the ‘Manipur Water Supply Project’ to ensure that the state has adequate sources of water from multiple sources to meet the present and future needs, he said.
Regarding sanitation, the Swachh Bharat Mission aims to provide Individual Household Toilets and interventions for safe management of solid and liquid waste in both urban and rural areas, he said, adding that the Imphal Sewerage Project Phase-I was taken up in the past to provide sewerage service to a few areas within Imphal city.
The CM informed that the project was commissioned in 2017, but the provision of household sewerage connection was not part of the project. In the past year, funds were provided under the scheme for capital investment to provide household sewerage connections under Phase-I.
The state government had also taken up maintenance and repairing of sewer lines, manholes and collection chambers constructed under the Phase-I project, Biren said.
He added that to provide sewerage services within the Imphal area, the Imphal Sewerage System Phase-II was approved as an Externally Aided Project. The works have now been awarded and the loan negotiation process with the funding multilateral bank is expected to begin shortly.
The state government is also preparing a project to take up Phase-III of the sewerage system to cover the greater Imphal and adjoining areas keeping in mind the increasing population and urbanisation. For sewerage and sanitation, the government is allocating an amount of Rs 466 crore, the CM said.
The chief minister also said that an amount of Rs 377 crore overall has been provided for the forest sector in the budget 2023-24. He said that the government is committed to protecting the forests and environment.
“Without our forests we have no future,” he said, adding, strong action has been taken for the first time to protect the boundaries of ‘reserved’ and ‘protected’ forests.
Joint surveys have been undertaken by the Forest and Revenue departments with follow up action, he said. Support and cooperation from the public is essential to make this exercise a success, he asserted.
To tackle the problem of degradation of forests, the state government is taking up plantation drives, providing alternative livelihoods etc. and also exploring the option of using drones for afforestation in heavily degraded areas, CM Biren said.
Regarding the Loktak Lake, he said it is an integral part of the history, culture and life in Manipur. It is important to restore and preserve the ecosystem of the lake.
An ‘empowered committee’ has been set up by the state government to demarcate the boundary of the Loktak Lake, which will aid in its preservation, he said.
“We are in discussion with the Asian Development Bank to take up a project for Sustainable Loktak Lake Ecosystem Restoration, Eco Tourism and Livelihood Improvement,” he stated.
Initially, a detailed study will be carried out to study the present issues from all angles which will be followed by interventions to tackle the challenges identified. An allocation of Rs 30 crore has been provided in the budget, he added.
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