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No SPA Fund For Multiplied JNIMS Cost: Planning Commission

IMPHAL, Oct 31: While suggesting the State Government to appoint a third party for monitoring large projects being taken up in Manipur, the official team of the Union Planning Commission, which is currently in State on a three-day visit, has expressed surprise and shock over the revised estimated cost of Rs. 1250 crores for JNIMS as against the original estimate of Rs 160 crores.

According to an official source, after returning from their inspection visit to Moreh today, the official team of the Planning Commission held a joint meeting with the State Government officials to review the projects being taken up in Manipur under funding of Special Plan Assistance (SPA).

Presided over by Planning Commission member BK Chaturdevi, the meeting held in the conference hall of the Old Secretariat was attended by Chief Secretary, Administrative Secretaries and Heads of Departments.

During the meeting, Chaturdevi laid stressed on proper quality control of the works with regard to large projects, including road and bridge construction, being taken up in Manipur and suggested the State Government to appoint a third party for monitoring these projects, the source disclosed.

He also instructed the State Government for timely submission of the utilization certificates of the projects under SPA funding, the source added.

With regard to the revised estimated cost of JNIMS, the Planning Commission team expressed surprise on learning that the estimated cost has been increased to Rs 1250 crores as against the original estimated cost of Rs 160 crores and made it clear that the said revised cost could not be funded under SPA.

The Planning Commission officials pointed out that for the five new medical institutes which are to be set up in India, the estimated cost of none of them exceed Rs 1000 crores and proposed that the State Government should study how medical colleges have been set up in other States.

On their part, the State Government officials exerted pressure for releasing the pending SPA fund in consideration of the fact that the duration of working season in Manipur is very limited due to rainfall most part of the year, the source said, while expressing hope that the Commission may be releasing Rs 150 crores for development of road and bridges under the Works Department very soon.

Later in the evening, the official team of the Planning Commission called on the Chief Minister.

The official team would be inspecting the Khuman Lampak Sports complex, Kangla and Capital Project tomorrow.

Before leaving Imphal, the official team would participate in the KUT festival celebration at Ist Manipur Rifles ground tomorrow.

(Courtesy: The Sinai Express)

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