NATIONAL

Kalam inaugurates power plant in Manipur

The President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, inaugurating the 36 MW heavy-fuel based power plant at Leimakhong near Imphal in Manipur on Saturday. On his left are the Manipur Governor, Ved Marwah, and the State Power Minister, Phungzathang Tonsing. — PTI

The President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, inaugurating the 36 MW heavy-fuel based power plant at Leimakhong near Imphal in Manipur on Saturday. On his left are the Manipur Governor, Ved Marwah, and the State Power Minister, Phungzathang Tonsing. — PTI  

IMPHAL Oct. 5. The President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, today inaugurated the 36 mw heavy-fuel based power plant at Leimakhong, 20 km from Imphal. It was constructed at a cost of Rs.125.38 crores from the non-lapsable Central pool fund. The plant is the first of its kind in the north-eastern region. Dedicating it to the people, Dr. Kalam said Manipur was rich in human and natural resources.

The Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and the State electricity department informed him that 90 per cent of the power needed by the State would be generated by the plant and he was happy that Manipur would get about 35 MW without interruption.

The cost of the project is about 10 per cent higher than hydro and thermal projects. Manipur required 120 MW. The other source of power was the NHPC-run Loktak project.

He also underlined the need to maintain connectivity among roads, education, information, electronics, physical and economy. There should be a vision for the development of the north-eastern States, including Sikkim. He was very hopeful that Manipur could be made an ideal and modern State since there was adequate human resource.

He said the Chief Minister, Okram Ibobi, and the Governor, Ved Prakash Marwah, should make a pledge to realise this vision in 10 years. Mr. Marwah, Mr. Ibobi and the Power Minister, Phungzathang Tonsin, and many Ministers were present.

The Manipur People's Liberation Front (MPLF), the apex body of the three underground outfits, the UNLF, the RPF and the PREPAK boycotted the visit with a 12-hour curfew beginning from 6 a.m.

The United Committee Manipur, an NGO also boycotted the visit protesting against the ``cavalier'' attitude of the Centre towards the national highway blockade, which began from Sept. 7.

There was a cultural programme to entertain the President who also interacted with teachers and students. Later in the afternoon the Mr. Kalam left for New Delhi.

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