Imphal: Opposition Congress MLA Kangujam Ranjit on Monday reacted strongly to PHED Minister L Susindro’s claim of providing tap water to the residents of Imphal area thrice a week, charging the Minister of placing fabricated statements in the House.
Replying to a query raised by Opposition member K Ranjit Singh during the question hour of the ongoing 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly session, PHED Minister L.Susindro stated that it is true that tap water is being provided to 75 percent households in the State under Jal Jeevan Mission guidelines with the State Government taking the onus of laying pipelines.
The Minister replied that due to scarcity of water sources, his department is providing water to the people three times a week nowadays while water is being provided to certain areas 24 hours where there is abundant water sources.
He stated that despite the JJM guidelines prescribing 24-hour availability of water to the people, the department cannot do so due to shortage of water sources. Some completed water supply schemes are lying defunct due to scarcity of water, he added.
The Minister stated that water sources were abundant when construction of water supply schemes under JJM was initiated but now water sources have dried up due to certain factors such as deforestation and heavy siltation.
He stated that under Jal Jeevan Mission, village level committees constituted with local pradhans and councilors are monitoring the water supply scheme. A sum of Rs. 1000 is charged from the people for new connection, he added.
The Minister further claimed that almost areas in Imphal areas are getting tap water thrice a week but the department is unable to provide tap water to certain areas of Imphal after the water source of Singda Dam dried up.
The government is making effort to provide water to the residents in Imphal from Chingkhei Ching water supply that will draw water from Maphou Dam. Hectic work of pipeline connection is underway, the Minister stated.
Rebutting the Minister’s claim of providing water thrice a week, MLA K Ranjit charged the Minister of placing fabricated statements and
demanded the Minister to place the factual report on the floor of the House where several MLAs and Ministers of Imphal area are also sitting.
The Minister replied that he had earlier stated that certain areas of Imphal are not getting water properly but the residents along the Imphal River and Iril River banks are getting water.
Water is being provided to Singjamei area. Drying up of Singda Dam water source due
to factors like deforestation and heavy siltation has crippled the department in providing water to the people. The department cannot provide
water when water sources dry up. The PHED cannot make water, Susindro stated.
There is no question of placing wrong statements in the House, the Minister clarified, asking the areas where water is not provided.
When MLA Ranjit claimed that one village committee in his Assembly segment charged Rs. 4150 for new connection, questioning whether the amount is prescribed by JJM guidelines, Susindro clarified that the department never asked the village committees to charge hefty deposit for new connections and sought details of the committees and areas so that he can take action against them.
The PHED Minister while replying to another starred question raised by MLA K Ranjit Singh on the water requirement in Imphal area, informed the House that 133.52 MLD of water is required by the inhabitants of Imphal areas daily and 85 MLD of water is sourced from Chingkhei hill through Maphou Dam.
Works Minister Govindas Konthoujam while replying to a starred question raised by MLA Janghemlung Panmei during the zero hour said that there is a plan of the State Government to upgrade the historic Tongjei Maril (Old Cachar Road) to the status of National Highway.
He informed the House that the road is among the seven roads whose upgradation to NH status has been approved in principle.
On another starred question asked by MLA Janghemlung, the Works Minister highlighted the current status of the Asian Development Bank funded Imphal-Kangchup-Tamenglong Road before the House. The project is under progress with physical progress of 78 percent and financial progress of 72.60 percent as on January 31, 2023. The loan closing date of the project is scheduled on June 30, he conveyed.
On a Calling Attention put up by MLA Thangjam Arunkumar on the reported probable indefinite bandh on Imphal-Ukhrul road by women street vendors of Khuman Lampak area, MAHUD Minister Yumnam Khemchand Singh said that all stakeholders will be consulted for identifying alternate site for setting up permanent market sheds after the completion of this session.
On the Morning session, Chief Minister and Leader of the House Nongthombam Biren Singh moved discussion and voting on Demands for Grants, 2023-2024 for Demand No. 11 – Medical, Health & Family Welfare Services, Demand No. 12 – Municipal, Administration, Housing and Urban Development, Demand No. 15 – Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Demand No. 17 – Agriculture, Demand No. 18 – Animal Husbandry and Veterinary including Dairy Farming, Demand No. 20 – Community and Rural Development and Demand No. 30 – Planning for consideration.