In continuation of inspecting work sites and closely monitoring status reports of projects and schemes presently executing in the state, PHED Minister Losii Dikho stated that the target to assure drinking water facilities in all parts of Manipur state could be completed in time. This was announced in an inspection reaching out to Tumuyon Khullen today by PHED Minister.
Addressing the media persons, the minister stated that he was invited to see the water resources available at T/Khullen village. On visiting the catchment area of water resources, the minister informed that he was impressed to see the initiatives taken by the concerned village for water project by themselves. Losii Dikho, Minister, PHED, Printing & Stationery asserted that the department has been implementing various water projects in the state with the great support of the Prime Minister through the active involvement of the state chief minister. While the state chief minister N. Biren Singh is on self-isolation due to Covid-19, people of the state have been praying for his quick recovery. On being asked how far the project has begun, PHED Minister asserted that 20-30 percent of the project has been started with 2 important projects in the state to provide drinking water to every household by 2024. With the initiative of the state chief minister, the minister is hopeful to complete the mission by 2022.
Visiting the water catchment area of T/Khullen village, the minister lauded the villagers adding he was so encouraged by the initiative taken up by the villagers assuring the possibility of bringing water project to the village. While most of the hills are not preserving forest causing water scarcity in different places of the state, the minister lauded the T/Khullen villagers to have huge forest well preserved available with natural clean fresh water found on the hilltop of the village. Once the work is completed, the minister stated that it could benefit so many neighboring villages in the area. While lauding the villagers, PHED Minister stated that the initiative was taken up by the T/Khullen villagers alone without waiting for support from the Govt which made the minister so encouraged even though they had approached support from the Govt that could be beneficial to many including agriculture sector also.
The minister stated that the department is implementing with an externally aided project under New Development Bank (NDB) with 30% implemented where work order has been issued and work started in the valley and process to start in the hill is on full swing. Besides that, the state Govt is also implementing the JAL Jeevan Mission (JJM) including NDB project but fortunately, the region does not have to build big dams to bring long-distance drinking water and hopeful to provide water connection to every household under the project. Where water resources are available, the minister assured to give the best support to bring water resources everywhere at all means.
On being asked about technical problems while implementing the projects, the minister stated that the tender process takes some time but is hopeful for no delay. Under the able leadership of the chief minister, the minister is hopeful and assuring that everything is set where the chief minister also wants to expedite the process and the Govt is stated to be committed. With the arrival of the pandemic in the region, it is reported to have been delayed for some time in the past with restrictions to enter into villages. However, with the understanding reached between different villages as how to live with Covid-19, the minister stated that people have to take care of themselves and by following the given SOPs. Engineers and workers had reportedly been sent to the worksite to start the work. The minister mentioned that the project covers all villages in the state and not a single village to be left out where works already started both in the valley and hills. The JAL Jeevan which is only for the rural and implementing in the hills, the minister mentioned asserting there is no discrepancy between the hills and the valley adding the Govt is concerned for both.
A. Maraiba, Village chief of T/Khullen while extending a warm welcome to the visiting minister stated that the village is one that never gets Govt facilities with the scarcity of water since long past. With more than 2000 population and with 350 households, the village chief mentioned that the villagers decided to give a memorandum to PHED Minister where the minister readily agreed to visit the water catchment area of the village. The villagers reportedly preserved the forest since long in the past. Maraiba also mentioned that the village had restricted all kinds of marijuana and poppy cultivation in the area with an aim to preserve the forest for the availability of water in the region. The village chief also appeals to the state Govt to include their project in the work program under the drinking water project.
The visiting minister also assured to include the water project of T/Khullen villagers in the work program by any means while asking the villagers to preserve the forest to let water retain forever in the forest. The minister also called the initiative of the villagers as a role model who takes their responsibilities of conserving the forest and environment while the villagers themselves take up the work to make a dam by themselves through individual contributions which is a challenge for all and an eye opener to all people. While the Govt is also doing its best to help people, maximum community support is not ruled out, he asserted while adding thereby, it would succeed the mission.
The PHED Minister later visited the water catchment area of Mayangkhang Khunou village.