(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.)
Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh dedicates BRO Road to the Nation in East Sikkim – A Fillip to Defence Preparedness and Socio-Economic Development
Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh dedicated the 19.85 Km Alternate Alignment of the National Highway 310 from km 0.00 to km 19.350 to the nation. Necessitated due to the previous alignment having seen extensive damages due to sinking and other natural hazards, the road serves as an important link to bolster defence preparedness in the Nathula Sector in particular and in whole of East Sikkim in general. The ceremony was held through video conference from the 33 Corp Hq in Sukhna due to inclement weather. Raksha Mantri while addressing the gathering on the occasion complimented the BRO for this achievement and said it is upgrading to double-lane most border roads in Sikkim.
Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh emphasised the Government’s drive towards progressing infrastructure development in far flung areas not only to enhance defence preparedness but also for fostering socio-economic development of the region. Reiterating the Centre’s resolve to speed up infrastructure development in align with Prime Minister’s Act North East policy, Shri Rajnath Singh highlighted the pace at which construction of the alternate alignment, which had been held up since commencement in 2009, was facilitated over the last two years.
The Chief Minister of Sikkim brought out the positive impact of the new alignment on boosting tourism as well as the socio-economic development of the state. Emphasising that tourism is the main bulwark of the state’s economy, the Chief Minister was highly appreciative of the BRO and the Central Government for completing the road expeditiously.
The BRO over the last some years has undertaken an unprecedented expansion of its capabilities through technology infusion in material, equipment and construction techniques. The Atal Tunnel, DS-DBO Road, the new alignment of the National Highway 310 are examples of high quality, fast paced results delivered by the BRO towards strategic and operational preparedness. The Raksha Mantri also highlighted the future works that the BRO is to undertake and expressed confidence that the mission of Aatmanirbhar Bharat will progress by leaps and bounds in the years ahead.
(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)
Water supply schemes under Jal Jeevan Mission inaugurated on the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur
Chief Minister of Manipur Shri N Biren Singh inaugurated two water supply projects for two villages under Jal Jeevan Mission. The two villages on the Indo Myanmar border are remote and once totally insurgent infested, now getting regular water supply under Jal Jeevan Mission. Khangbarol village of Khengjoy sub division, Chandel, an aspirational district in Manipur is situated 69 km away from district headquarter. The Village lies about 30 km from the Indo Myanmar border. There are 82 households in the village. The water supply system has been designed keeping in mind the projected population of about 1,000 till 2041. With an estimated cost of Rs. 60 lakh, this gravity based water supply system ensured tap water connection to all 82 households with present population of about 450. There is a perennial source of water from "Khangbarollok" located at a distance of 6 km away from the treatment site. As the source is located at a higher elevation than the treatment site, gravity based water supply scheme was taken up. Another village Khengjoy in Khengjoy Sub Division of Chandel district, is situated at 60 km away from district headquarter. The village is about 20 Km from the Indo-Myanmar border. The newly inaugurated water supply system caters to the water need of 73 families by providing tap water connection. Now, the operation & maintenance of the scheme is with the Village Water & Sanitation Committee as envisaged under the Jal Jeevan Mission to ensure regular and long-term supply of potable water in rural areas.
Accessibility remained the biggest challenge in implementation of the water supply schemes in the hilly areas as the region is inaccessible during the monsoon season. Transportation of material is only possible during particular time. Also all materials were transported either from Imphal/ Pallel town. Communication is the next biggest challenges as the area have poor network coverage, so in most case dedicated man-power mobilized in the area adding constrained to the already limited manpower. In spite of Covid-19 pandemic, the officials of Public Health Engineering Department had worked hard to ensure tap water reaches every rural home in these far-flung villages.
A mid-term review of implementation of JJM in Manipur was held recently, wherein Manipur State officials presented the progress to the National Jal Jeevan Mission team. In order to assess the progress of implementation of the mission in States/ UTs, a mid-year review is underway through video conferencing, wherein all States and UTs are presenting the status of tap water connection to rural homes as well as the institutional mechanisms in place for universal coverage. Manipur has around 4.5 lakh households, but only 30,379 households have tap water connections. During 2020-21, the State aims to provide 2 lakhs FHTC. During the current year, State is planning for 100% coverage of 1 district and 15 blocks and 1,275 villages. State has planned for 100% provision of household tap connections by 2023 under Jal Jeevan Mission.
In 2020-21, an amount of Rs 131.80 Crore has been allocated to the State of Manipur, out of which Rs. 32.95 Crore has been released to the State. State is eligible for additional allocation based on physical and financial performance. Since Manipur has been allocated ? 177 Crores under 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs and 50% of it is to be used for water supply and sanitation, the State has to plan for utilizing this fund for rural water supply, grey-water management and most importantly for ensuring long-term operation & maintenance of water supply schemes.
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