Manipur to set up land bank

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By Khelen Thokchom
  • Published 6.10.17

N. Biren Singh

Imphal, Oct. 5: The N. Biren Singh government has decided to set up a land bank for facilitating future development projects and avoid complications at the time of their implementation.

A cabinet meeting, presided over by the chief minister, last night decided to set up more than 1,500 acres of land bank.

An official release said the cabinet resolved to acquire 1,048 acres of land at N. Khallong village in Imphal East district and 530 acres at Phungrei village in Kangpokpi district.

Infrastructure development in the state has often met with strong resistance from the people when such a project requires land, like expansion of a road or setting up of institutions.

Last year, the site of the proposed National Sports University (NSU) had to be shifted from Thoubal to Imphal West following a land dispute.

The then Congress government, led by Okram Ibobi Singh, had selected the site for the university at Yaithibi Loukol in Thoubal. The site had to be abandoned after landowners put up a wall of opposition, leading to litigation in Manipur High Court.

Finally, the state government selected a site at Koutruk in Imphal West, where there is no land dispute. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to lay the foundation stone this month.

"Land acquisition for development projects often met with opposition from land owners, leading to serious law and order problems, which subsequently delayed implementation of the projects. The present government wants to implement schemes that require land smoothly without any dispute," the official said.

However, the state government has no immediate plan for infrastructure development at this land bank.

This is for the first time that a land bank will be set up in Manipur, as the state government wants to implement projects speedily. Several such ventures had been affected in the past because of factors like strikes and land disputes.

The cabinet also approved acquisition of land for construction of a new state guest house and residential complex of ministers and officials at Chingmeirong East and Meitei Keirang in Imphal East district.

The construction of a new secretariat is in progress at Chingmeirong, on the outskirts of the city and the government wants to relocate the official residences of ministers and officials from Babupara here to the new site.

The cabinet also gave its nod to purchase of five acres of land from for construction of a police station at Behiang, a village along the Manipur-Myanmar border in Churachandpur district.

Behiang is a sensitive border village from where unwanted cross-border activities are reported. The Biren government wants to strengthen border security, the official said, adding that there were reports of cross-border smuggling through the village.