Guwahati: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while laying the foundation stone for the ambitious water supply project in Manipur through video conferencing, asserted that everyone is with the Northeast, as the region battles the dual challenge of floods and COVID-19.
Acknowledging the fact that the Northeast is battling twin challenges - Covid-19 and flood, PM Modi lamented that several people have had to leave their homes due to the floods. "I assure you that everyone is with you in this difficult time," said the prime minister.
PM Modi's acknowledgement of the grim scenario of floods in the Northeast region comes amid rising demand for the declaration of the Assam floods as a national calamity.
Making an address wearing the Manipuri traditional LeirumPhee, Modi said he is giving a "Raksha Bandhan gift" to women of Manipur as he laid the foundation stone for water supply project through video conferencing.
Modi said that the project will give clean drinking water to Greater Imphal and 1,700 villages in Manipur. Modi added that it will help women in as many as one lakh families in the state. Adding that the project is a "fine example of decentralization", the Prime Minister said that the project has been designed with the help of the local panchayats.
Highlighting the fact that world on the pipelines was continuing even during the COVID-19 lockdown, the PM stated that "The Manipur Water Supply project will also generate employment for thousands of people.
"The country did not stop due to Covid-19," the PM stated, going on to list the number of schemes implemented by the Centre to help Manipur and various states during the pandemic.
The fund for the project has been provided by the Centre under 'Jal Jeevan Mission' to provide freshwater household tap connections (FHTCs) to 1,185 habitations with 1,42,749 households.
The Manipur Water Supply project, an externally funded project, was designed to provide FHTCs to remaining households in the Greater Imphal Planning area, 25 towns, and for 1,731 rural habitations covering 2,80,756 households in 16 districts of Manipur.
The project is an important component of the efforts of the government to achieve the goal of 'Har Ghar Jal' by 2024. The project outlay is about Rs 3054.58 crore with a loan component funded by the New Development Bank.
Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla, Chief Minister N Biren Singh and his cabinet colleagues, MPs, and MLAs joined the programme from Imphal. Union minister Gajendra Shekhawat and Dr Jitendra Singh also took part in the ceremony.
The programme also implements recharge and reuse through greywater management, water conservation, rainwater harvesting as some of its mandatory elements.