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Livelihood scheme for Manipur

DoNER minister Paban Singh Ghatowar lights the inaugural lamp at the programme in Imphal on Wednesday as chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh looks on. (PTI)

Imphal, Jan. 8: DoNER minister Paban Singh Ghatowar today launched phase III of the Northeastern Region Community Resource Management Project, bringing under it two more Manipur districts of Churachandpur and Chandel.

The project, which is funded by the North Eastern Council (NEC) and the DoNER ministry, is aimed at strengthening the livelihood options of the rural poor. The first and the second phases covered the other two hill districts of Senapati and Ukhrul.

Launching the third phase in a function here today, Ghatowar said the Centre decided to bring two more districts of Manipur under the project in view of the success of the first two phases.

He lauded Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and the people for making the project a success.

“Manipur is one of the states which has implemented the project most successfully. Nearly 60 per cent of the households covered by the first and second phases could increase their income after the project was implemented,” Ghatowar said.

The Centre has provided Rs 216 crore for enhancing livelihoods of the people in the two hill districts and it will continue till 2020.

Under the project, the funds go directly to the villages and used by the villagers for taking up new occupations like poultry, fishery, animal husbandry, agri-based activities, among others, to enhance their income.

The remaining hill district of Tamenglong is likely to be covered in the next phase.

The project has been taken up in two districts of Assam, three districts in Arunachal Pradesh and two districts in Meghalaya, among others. However, Ghatowar said Manipur has more districts covered by the scheme.

Speaking at the programme, chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh reminded people living in the hills about the efforts being made by his government for their development, where discontentment is said to be growing because of lack of development.

“Another project called the National Rural Livelihood Project introduced by the Union rural development ministry will also be implemented in the state. It is now under preparatory stage. It will be implemented the districts of Imphal East and Chandel first,” he said.

The chief minister also urged the DoNER ministry to bring the only remaining hill district of Tamenglong under the resource management project.

People in both Churachandpur and Chandel districts have welcomed the Centre’s decision to include their districts under the project.

“We are very happy that our district has been covered by the scheme. We are hopeful that the income of the poor will increase,” Thennem, secretary of a women’s self-help group in Churachandpur district, who attended the function, said.