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PM assures pragmatic response on Manipur
Published on 27 Jul. 2010 12:09 AM IST
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Moved by Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh’s plea for urgent Central help, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has assured of effective and pragmatic response from the Centre.
Making his concluding remarks, the Prime Minister, who is also the chairman of the National Development Council (NDC), specifically referred to the Manipur Chief Minister.
“Our colleague from Manipur, Chief Minister Ibobi Singh made very impassionate plea and I have taken note of the issues that he has raised and it is my hope and expectation that we will find an effective and pragmatic response to the various suggestions that he has made,” the Prime Minister said, formally winding up the 55th session of the NDC meet.
The Chief Minister, who was in the eye of the storm following the over two months long economic blockade resorted to by the Naga agitators, listed out a number of problems being faced by the State. He suggested that Government of India should consider deploying Border Security Force (BSF) along the Indo-Myanmar border for effective surveillance and better border management, as reported Assam Tribune.
According to indications, the Centre too is in favour of shunting out Assam Rifles and handing over the responsibility to BSF, given the litany of complaints by the NE States. Most of the militant groups including ULFA have safe bases across the international border in Myanmar.
Manipur shares a long and porous international border with Myanmar. There is unrestricted cross-border movement of militants and smugglers. “This has fed and fuelled militancy in our State,” he claimed.
“We have proposed border fencing of the India-Myanmar border to the Ministry of Home Affairs. May I through this forum request serious consideration to our proposal so that effective border management is ensured to check militancy and restore normalcy in Manipur and other North Eastern States,” he pleaded.
Ibobi, was joined by Chief Minister of Nagaland, N Rio, who also called for construction of a highway along the Indo-Myanmar border to open the area for trade and checking illegal trafficking of drugs and arms.
Referring to the recent economic blockade, the Chief Minister of Manipur said that uncertainty and scarcities arose from the blockade of National Highways, the lifelines of Manipur. The problem needs to be addressed on top most priority by upgrading and improvement of NH 53 and NH 150 to all weather and double-lane highways.
Since road projects are capital intensive by nature, timely flow of funds to the implementing agencies should be ensured by the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, he pleaded.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Tripura, Manik Sarkar slammed the Minister of DoNER and North Eastern Council (NEC) stating that they have failed to live up to the expectation of the people of the region.
In his address, the Chief Minister said that determined efforts would be required to revamp their working to contribute significantly for development of the NE. The Ministry of DoNER and NEC should be provided with technical and managerial manpower and adequate allocations to enable them to address the infrastructure needs of the region, he suggested.

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