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Imphal

Five killed as magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits Manipur, other NE states

At least five people were killed when a strong earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, hit Manipur and other North-Eastern states of India and neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan in the early hours of Monday.

 
Massive 6.7 quake strikes northeast India
 
At least five people were killed when a strong earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, hit Manipur and other North-Eastern states of India and neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan in the early hours of today.
 
Official sources in Imphal said more than 45 people had been reported injured in the quake.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 24.8°N and longitude  93.5°E, occured at 0435 hours at a focal depth of 17 km.
 
According to IMD, the epicentre of the earthquake was in Tamenglong district of Manipur, about 35 km from Imphal, the state capital.
 
The tremors were also felt in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar, among other places.
 
Initial reports from Manipur spoke of damages to many buildings and houses. People in many places ran out of their homes to safety as a precautionary measure. Many people posted pictures of damaged buildings and walls with cracks on social media sites. Some government offices and a six-storeyed building in Imphal were among those affected.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke over the telephone to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on an official visit to Assam, and asked him to oversee the situation.
 
Mr. Modi also spoke to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on the situation.
 
The Manipur Government has sought the assistance of the Army and the Assam Rifles in the rescue and relief efforts.
 
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said Mr. Modi was continuously monitoring the situation.
 
Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been instructed to move from Guwahati to the areas affected by the earthquake.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh said he had spoken to Mr. Gogoi and the Manipur Chief Secretary about the situation and assured them of all possible help from the Centre.
 
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"I'm also contacting other North Eastern states to know the extent of damage caused by the earthquake," he added.
 
In New Delhi, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is coordinating with the State Governments concerned, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Defence (Mod), NDRF, Ministry of Communications and other Departments and agencies for seach, rescue and relief efforts.
 
NDMA officials have spoken to the Control Rooms and Relief Commisioners of all the States in the North-East and West Bengal.
 
Communication systems are functioning, particularly those of state-owned BSNL, in the affected areas.
 
The National Crisis Management Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary held a meeting here this morning to assess the situation and provide all necessary help from the Government of India.
 
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First project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme to be inaugurated in Manipur on Tuesday

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Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla will inaugurate the project “Development of North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom” implemented under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism here tomorrow.
 
Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Union Minister of State for Tourism K J Alphons and Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma will be present at the inauguration of is the first project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
 
The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the Ministry has sanctioned 70 projects for Rs 5708.88 Crore to 29 States and UTs under the Scheme. As many as 30 projects/major components of these projects are expected to be completed this year.
 
The project in Manipur was sanctioned in September 2015 for Rs 72.30 Crores. It covers two sites, the Kangla Fort and Khongjom. Kangla Fort is one of the most important historic and archaeological sites of Manipur located in the heart of the Imphal city.  It served as the seat of Manipur’s power till 1891.  Kangla has a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of Manipur.
 
The old Govindajee Temple, outer and inner moat and other relics are perfect reflections of the rich art and architectural heritage of Manipur.  Under this project Ministry has carried out works like Restoration & Improvement of Outer & Inner Moat and Rejuvenation of Sacred Ponds; Reconstruction of Old Rampart; Sound and Light Show, Construction of Rock Garden, Utility Block; Audio Guide, Eco Friendly Conveyance, Development of Crafts Houses and Parking on Naga Nullah; Polo Gallery; Reception and Ticket Counter. 
 
The work has been carried out at a cost of Rs 63.90 crore. Khongjom is the place where the last war of resistance of Anglo Manipur War of 1891 was fought.  Under the project, a pedestrian bridge and rejuvenation of Kombirei Lake have been carried out for Rs 4.89 crore.
 
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The Ministry is developing the tourism infrastructure in the region under its schemes of Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD. It has sanctioned 15 projects covering all North Eastern states for Rs. 1301.47 crore.
 
Foreign tourist arrivals in the region have shown an upward trend over the years. The region received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourist visits during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016 registering a growth of 16.7% over 2016. The Domestic Tourist Visits reached to 95.47 lakhs in the year 2017 against 77.71 lakhs registering impressive double-digit growth of 22.8% over 2016. The increased number of tourists, in turn, has created better employment opportunity for the local population in the region.
 
A number of facilities like Tourist Facilitation Centres, Interpretation Centres, better last mile connectivity, heliports, wayside amenities region, SEL Shows, Eco Log Huts, Rope Way, Golf Course, theme parks etc. are being developed up in the region under the above schemes to enhance the experience of tourists when they visit the region. 
 
The Ministry organises International Travel Mart every year in one of the Northeastern states with the objective of providing a platform to these sates to showcase its tourism potential to prospective international and domestic buyers an opportunity to interact with them. This year the 7th Edition of ITM is scheduled to be held in November in Agartala, Tripura.
 
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(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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Nine killed in Manipur landslide

 
9 killed in landslide in Manipur's Tamenglong
 
 
At least nine persons, including five children, died after a landslide hit Manipur's Tamenglong district early on Wednesday.
 
Among the victims were three girls and two boys, while two more children have gone missing, Adim Panmei, Chairman of State Disaster Management said.
 
Panmei and his team along with the police and fire fighters are searching for the two missing children, but District Collector Ravindra Singh said chances of finding them alive were slim. 
 
The national highway adjoining Nagaland was also damaged by the landslide that was triggered by heavy rains. All traffic on the route has been suspended. 
 
In another incident, a young mother and her nine-year-old daughter were swept away by a strong current in the Iril river on Tuesday. 
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Indian Army attacks NSCN-K camp in Myanmar, inflicts 'casualties'

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In another strike, Indian Army commandos have attacked an NSCN-K camp in Myanmar, inflicting some casualties, an army source said on Thursday.
 
"A team of 12 Para Commandos attacked a check post of the NSCN-K (National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang) situated in the vicinity of its Shwelo camp inside Myanmar on Wednesday. The gunfight continued for half hour," an army official told IANS. 
 
The rebels suffered at least four to five casualties, he said, adding there was no casualty on the army side.
 
The commandos were equipped with rocket launchers, mortars and automatic grenade launcher to carry out the strike, he said, adding the operation lasted for two hours after being started at 2 p.m. 
 
According to the official, the area of operation was 3 km beyond border pillar 151 on the India-Myanmar border across Nagaland's Mon district.
 
The pursuit of the rebels was undertaken after three Assam Rifles personnel and three others were wounded in an ambush by NSCN-K rebels in Mon on June 18.
 
NSCN-K's Deputy Minister, 'Colonel' Isak Sumi, confirmed that Indian Army "in huge numbers" crossed Chenmoh village and arrived at the international boundary some kilometres away from the "Naga Army" (NSCN-K) forward post, but were detected.
 
"On realisation that their presence has already been detected they resorted to blank firings randomly for several minutes to which the Naga Army responded and prevented any further advance. Casualties could not be ascertained," Sumi wrote on his Facebook page.
 
The NSCN-K faction abrogated a ceasefire signed in 2001 with the Indian government on March 27, 2015, just a month before the truce was up for renewal.
 
Subsequently, they went on a killing spree, attacking Indian soldiers in Nagaland and Manipur. The outfit even mounted the deadly ambush on a convoy of the 6 Dogra Regiment in Manipur's Chandel district on June 4, 2015, killing 18 soldiers.
 
Following this, the elite army special forces personnel entered Myanmar, raided two insurgent camps and inflicted "significant casualties".
 
IANS
 
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Congress to push for government formation in Manipur, Meghalaya

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The Congress leaders in Meghalaya and Manipur said on Thursday that they will stake claim for formation of government in the two states since the party had emerged as the single largest party in the recent elections.
 
The Congress leaders said that since the BJP which had become the single largest party in Karnataka was allowed to form the government the same should not be denied to the Congress. 
 
In Meghalaya, the National People's Party had bagged 19 seats in the 60 member House and the Congress had secured 21 seats but was denied the chance to form the government in February. 
 
Former Manipur Chief Minister and Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh told IANS that he will stake claim to form the Congress government. 
 
In Meghalaya, the Congress had secured 28 seats while the BJP got just 21 in the March 2017 elections. 
 
He said that this chance cannot be denied to the party since the BJP was given a chance to form the government after denying the same to the Congress and JDS combined which command a majority in the southern state. 
 
IANS
 
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Former Manipur CM R K Dorendra Singh passes away, cremated with state honours

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Former Manipur Chief Minister R.K. Dorendra Singh passed away here on Friday and was cremated here on Saturday with full state honours. He was 84.
 
The three-time Chief Minister expired at the J.N. Institute of Medical Sciences here. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. 
 
The Manipur government has announced a three-day state mourning. The flag will fly half mast and there shall be no state function during this period. 
 
As Chief Minister thrice in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, he had tried to solve the armed movement and several insurgents had come overground and had been rehabilitated. He had also been the Speaker and Minister several times as well as a Rajya Sabha member. 
 
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, Speaker Y. Khemchand and others have condoled his death.
 
IANS
 
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Redefine R&D as research for development: Modi

 
Modi inaugurates 105th Indian Science Congress
The 105th session of the Indian Science Congress began here in the capital of Manipur with Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling upon scientists to work for solving societal problems. Time has come, he said, to redefine Research and Development (R&D) as ‘research for development’.
 
“The time is ripe to redefine ‘R&D’ as research for the development of the nation – that is ‘R&D’ in the real sense. Science is after all, but a means to a far greater end – of making a difference in the lives of others, of furthering human progress and welfare,” he said in  his inaugural address at the Congress, being hosted by the Manipur University. He said science and technology could help facilitate "ease of living" for the people.
 
Referring to the focal theme of this year’s congress - “Reaching the Unreached through Science and Technology”, he said scientific knowledge should be applied to solve day-to-day problems in various sectors such as housing, malnutrition, clean energy and elimination of diseases.
 
Innovative ideas can bring about change. For instance, he said, Rajagopalan Vasudevan, a professor from Madurai has developed a method to reuse plastic waste in construction of roads and has given it for free to the government. This technology has already been used to lay over 5000 kilometers of roads across 11 states. In the same way, scientist Arvind Gupta is inspiring students to learn science through toys made out of waste. Chintakindi Mallesham has developed a machine that significantly reduces time and labour required to weave sarees. 
 
The Prime Minister said the country’s scientific achievements need to be actively communicated to people, in order to help inculcate scientific temper among the youth as well as to attract them to careers in science. “We have to throw open our national institutions and laboratories to our children. I call upon scientists to develop an appropriate mechanism for interaction with school-going children. I also urge them, to spend 100 hours every year, with 100 students of classes 10,11 and 12 discussing various aspects of science and technology,” he added.
 
At the same time, India is moving ahead in high science. Chandrayan-2, to be launched soon, will include landing and travel on the surface of the moon by a rover. Indian scientists have also played a key role in the international Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) Collaboration. The third LIGO detector is coming up India. “It will expand our knowledge in basic sciences in areas of lasers, light waves and computing,” he said.
 
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There should be greater coordination within the S&T sector. For example, Mr. Modi said, ISRO uses one of the best battery systems to run its satellites in space. The same technology can be used by other institutions to develop cost effective and efficient battery systems for mobile hones and electric cars. India should become a major player in developing technologies, devices, standards and manufacturing for 5G broadband networks by 2020.
 
He said the government would like to develop Clusters of Excellence in Science in Cities, around important scientific institutions. These clusters will bring together science and technology partners from academia, research institutes, industry and startups to help promote new discoveries, and create globally competitive research hubs.
 
“The Indian economy is on a high growth trajectory. But we rank low in Human Development Indicators. One of the important reasons for this inconsistency is major inter-state and intra-state disparity,” Mr Modi said. In order to address this, he said, the government had launched a programme to improve the performance of over 100 ‘aspirational districts’ with focus health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development and infrastructure. He wanted scientific institutions to catalyze creation and diffusion of appropriate technologies in these districts.
 
About 5000 Indian and foreign delegates are participating in the five-day annual event, which was earlier scheduled to take place in Hyderabad in January. 
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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Mohun Bagan pip Neroca in five-goal thriller .

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Birthday boy Dipanda Dicka notched a brace and Akram Moghrabi netted the winner as Mohun Bagan came out 3-2 victors over Neroca FC in the Hero I-League at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Sunday.
 
Felix Chidi and Singam Subhash Singh scored the goals for the home side but were not able to hold their lead and allowed the visitors to get back into the game.
 
Chidi was brought back into the line-up in place of Nedo Turkovic as Neroca FC looked to win and stay on top of the league table. 
 
Sankarlal Chakraborty made three changes to his side - Kinshuk Debnath, Yuto Kinowaki and Mallick replaced Rana Gharami, Faiaz and Raynier Fernandes. 
 
The hosts did not have to wait too long to break the deadlock. Singam Subhash Singh robbed the ball of Kinshuk before chipping it over the custodian in the 16th minute to give his side a wonderful start to the game. 
 
The celebrations of the first goal were cut short four minutes later when Akram Moghrabi released Dipanda into the box. The striker was brought down before he could get his shot away by Bishorjit and the referee wasted no time in pointing to the spot. 
 
Aser Dipanda stepped up to hit the net for the tenth time this season and to level things for Mohun Bagan.
 
Just as the visitors thought they were back in the game, a failed overhead clearance by Kinshuk allowed Tondonba to find Chidi who did his best impression of a fox in the box by neatly slotting the ball past Shilton to make it 2-1 in the 24th minute. 
 
A fantastic cross into the box from Moghrabi was not headed on target by Dipanda three minutes later but he was forgiven for his big miss in the 36th minute.
 
The Neroca defence was caught napping by Bagui's cross and this time, Dipanda made no mistake and for the second time in the game, Mohun Bagan were level. Bagan kept piling up the pressure and were rewarded on the stroke of half-time.
 
Nikhil Kadam's cross was flicked on across the face of goal by Kinowaki into the path of Akram Moghrabi. The striker nodded the ball in from close-range to make it 3-2.
 
Subash threatened twice after the restart. A dangerous cross by the forward forced a good save from Shilton Paul with Sushil lurking behind the goalie to head the incoming ball into the net in the 70th minute.
 
A minute later, Subhash Singh took the entire Bagan defence out of the equation with a delightful flick to release Chidi. Unfortunately for the striker, the ball was behind him as he had made the run early and hence could not get his shot away.
 
Neroca built  attack after attack as the game progressed but Gift Raikhan's men were not able to penetrate the Bagan defence, thereby ending the game on the losing side and leaving the title race unpredictable.
 
There hasn't been any change in the league table but Neroca FC's title hopes have got severely hurt after today's loss.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Imphal region of Manipur

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale, shook the Imphal region of Manipur this morning.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 24.8°N and longitude 94.0°E, occurred at 0633 hours at a focal depth of 32 km.
 
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Kovind says development of Northeast is true measure of India-ASEAN partnership

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President Ram Nath Kovind said on Tuesday  that the development of the Northeast region was both the development of India as well as the true measure of the India-ASEAN partnership.
 
"The opportunity is before us. Let us grab it," he said in his inaugural address at the Northeast Development Summit here.
 
"This is my first visit to the region and to the state of Manipur since taking office as the President of India, and I am truly glad that it has coincided with this very important event," he said.
 
He hoped the summit would take enlightened and actionable decisions on the development of the Northeast not just from a domestic, Indian perspective – but also in the context of the neighbourhood. 
 
"The development of the Northeast is tied with the development of India’s neighbours and the countries of ASEAN. Friendly partner countries from other regions too are integral to our vision for the Northeast and can contribute substantially," he said.
 
"For a short period in our history, there has been a misconception about the eight states of the Northeast being a 'frontier' of India. I say 'short period of history' deliberately. After all, if you consider the hundreds and thousands of years of civilisation, far from being a frontier, the Northeast has been at the heart of Indian imagination. And if you take South Asia and Southeast Asia as a continuum – as it has been perceived for most of history – then the Northeast is right in the middle of it.
 
"The Northeast is an amazing social and cultural ecosystem. Few regions of the world have such a wealth of cultural, ethnic and religious diversity packed into such a small area. This variety is an inspiration for all of us. The Northeast is home to some of the oldest indigenous communities in the world. It is one of our spiritual homelands. Whether it is the traditions of the Devi in Kamakhya or of Buddhism in Tawang and elsewhere, they make for a sacred bond that unites India with Southeast Asia. Christian missionaries have contributed to education here. And there is even a small but thriving Jewish community in Manipur and Mizoram," he said.
 
Mr. Kovind said prosperity is the Northeast’s natural destiny, its default position. "Its geographical location makes it the obvious gateway to India, linking the vast economies of the Indian subcontinent and of today’s ASEAN countries. This is the potential we have to tap. And this is the idea that must inspire this summit," he said.
 
He said that central to the Government of India’s approach to the development of the Northeast is an urgent and speedy enhancement of connectivity. This is a multi-modal programme, across land, water and air. And it refers both to connectivity within India as well as to connectivity between India and its eastern and Southeast Asian neighbours, he said.
 
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"In the past three years, railway lines have finally come to Arunachal Pradesh, fulfilling an old demand. An extensive development of railway links in the Northeast is under way, with investments totalling Rs 90,000 crore. Road building in the region is busier than it has ever been. Border roads, national highways and state roads are all being built or improved. Incorporated in July 2014, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation is working with a special focus on the Northeast. It is engaged in about 100 road projects in the region.
 
"Inland waterways, especially along the majestic Brahmaputra and Barak rivers, can both save transport costs as well as facilitate connectivity. And finally, there is the push for air connectivity. The creation of infrastructure in smaller cities and airports, along with more and more flights, is making the skies of the Northeast buzz with traffic.
 
"In the broader neighbourhood, initiatives such as the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway and the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project are critical for many of our countries and for the Northeast. The Northeast is also the corridor for so many trade and connectivity projects on the Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal [BBIN] and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation [BIMSTEC] platforms. I would say that the states of the Northeast region are the true drivers of India’s Act East policy," he said.
 
The President said that the Northeast Tourism Development Council, incorporated in March 2017,  is creating partnerships between government and private sector players. "I am confident it will make the Northeast one of the leading tourism destinations of not just India but Asia. That is where it deserves to be," he said.
 
"The sense of connect with the Northeast gives every one of us in this room a stake in the region. It doesn’t matter whether we are from the Northeast, from other parts of India or indeed from other countries connected by culture and geography, history and trade to the Northeast. The development of the Northeast is a shared enterprise.
 
"Seeing the impressive degree of participation in this Summit – not only from Manipur and states of the Northeast, but from the rest of India and key partner countries – I am left extremely optimistic. I look forward to the deliberations between government officials, business-persons and other delegates at this summit leading to fruitful results – and specific projects and outcomes," he added.
 
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Northeast to get India's first 'Air Dispensary': Jitendra Singh

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The Northeast is all set to get India’s first-ever "Air Dispensary" based in a helicopter with an initial funding of Rs 25 crore from the Union Ministry of Development of Northeast (DoNER), an official press release said today
 
DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh, after a meeting with the representatives of Aviation Sector and helicopter service Pawan Hans here yesterday said that, for quite a few months, the Ministry had been exploring the idea of introducing a helicopter based Dispensary/OPD service in far-flung and remote areas, where no doctor or medical facility was available and the patient, in need, also did not have any access to any medical care.
 
The proposal put forward by the Ministry has been accepted and is in the final stages of the process in the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, he added.
 
The Ministry is keenly pursuing the proposal so that by the beginning of 2018, it could become a reality, he added.
 
Even today, nearly one-third of India’s population did not have access to proper hospital bed care, as a result of which, poor patients living in remote areas remained deprived of crucial medical care. The experiment being introduced in the Northeast can also be emulated in other hill states having difficult topography like Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, he added.
 
To begin with, the helicopter will be based at two locations, Imphal in Manipur and Meghalaya in Shillong. Both of these cities have premier post-graduate medical institutes from where specialist doctors, along with the necessary equipment and paramedical staff, would be able to travel by a helicopter and hold a dispensary/OPD in different locations across the eight States of North Eastern Region.
 
On its way back, he said, the same helicopter can also transport a sick patient, requiring admission, to a city hospital. Giving an account of other new helicopter service plans for Northeast, he said, three twin-engine helicopters are planned to be placed for initial operation on six routes in the region around Imphal, Guwahati and Dibrugarh.
 
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AAI to construct Integrated Cargo Terminal at Imphal Airport

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Airports Authority of India (AAI) will undertake construction of an Integrated Cargo Terminal at Imphal Airport in Manipur after obtaining grant-in-aid under the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
 
The Government of Manipur had planned to establish an Export Import Cargo Terminal (EICT) at Tulihal, Imphal Airport under ASIDE Scheme of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. 
 
The proposed Integrated Cargo Terminal is expected to give a boost to the export of handicrafts items and perishable cargo, an official press release said.
 
It will also help generate employment opportunities in the North Eastern region of the country, thereby fostering economic development of the region. In addition to this, the EICT will help establish better connectivity with South and Southeast Asia and give a boost to trade between India and the ASEAN countries, the release said.
 
According to it, the estimated cost construction of the cargo terminal is Rs. 16.20 crore. Out of this, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry has sanctioned a grant of Rs. 12.96 crore under TIES. The balance amount to construct will be met out of the internal sources of AAI, the release added.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Imphal region of Manipur

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale, shook the Imphal region of Manipur in the early hours of today.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 24.9°N and longitude 93.9°E, occurred at 0234 hours at a focal depth of 26 km.
 
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CCEA okays upgradation of Imphal-Moreh section of NH-39 in Manipur

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) yesterday gave its approval for the upgradation and widening of the 65-km of the Imphal-Moreh Section of NH-39 in Manipur at a cost of Rs. 1630.29 crore.
 
The project is being developed with loan assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program which aims at upgradation of road infrastructure in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN) in order to improve the regional connectivity among BBIN nations. 
 
The project corridor is also a part of the Asian Highway No. 01 (AH01) and acts as India's Gateway to the East. Thus trade, commerce and tourism in the region will get a boost, an official press release said.
 
The release said that Manipur, being a landlocked state with almost 90% of the area under difficult terrain, presently has only road transport as a means of mass transport system within the state. Hence development of the road infrastructure is of paramount importance to improve connectivity and progress of the State and to ensure that the administrative set-up reaches the isolated and remote habitats, it said.
 
According to it, the project will improve connectivity between Imphal and the eastern part of the state. Based on the existing and projected traffic requirements, the NH-39 will be widened to four-lane between Lilong village and Wanginj village, while the stretch between Wanginj village to Khongkhang will be upgraded to two-lane with paved shoulder.
 
The release said that, for fulfilling India's "Look East" Policy and to promote and enhance trade links with South East Asia, the Government of India has notified an Integrated Custom Post (ICP) at Moreh. The development of this project is essential in order to support the increased traffic volume due to coming up of ICP. 
 
The workers of Manipur who specialize in creating bamboo and wood based handicraft items and uniquely designed hand woven textile items will get a new market in Myanmar. Small scale industries such as those making farm implements and tools, stationery, plastic extrusion items, carpentry units, could also develop markets beyond the border, the release added.
 
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N. Biren Singh sworn in as Chief Minister of Manipur

Bharatiya Janata Party leader N. Biren Singh was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Manipur at the head of the first ever BJP-led government in the state at a function at Raj Bhavan in Imphal on Wednesday.

 
N. Biren Singh takes oath as CM of Manipur
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader N. Biren Singh was today sworn in as the Chief Minister of Manipur at the head of the first ever BJP-led government in the state.
 
Mr. Biren Singh, 56, was administered the oaths of office and secrecy by Governor Najma Heptullah at a ceremony in Raj Bhavan this afternoon.
 
A former national-level footballer and journalist, Mr. Biren Singh was a senior member of the Congress before he switched sides and joined the BJP in October last year following differences of opinion with then Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
 
The Congress, which was in power in the state, had emerged as the single largest party in the the elections to the Manipur Legislative Assembly, polling for which was held in two phases on March 4 and 8 and in which votes were counted on March 11, winning 28 seats in the 60-member house.
 
The BJP, which won 21 seats, got support from the Naga People's Front (NPF) and National People's Party (NPP), both of which had won four seats each, as well as one from the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and an independent legislator. In all, the BJP claimed the support of 32 members.
 
Along with Mr. Biren Singh, eight Ministers were also sworn in:  Th. Biswajit Singh, Th. Shyamkumar, Yumnam Joykumar Singh, L. Jayantakumar Singh, N. Kayisii, Letpao Haokip, Losii Dikho and Karam Shyam.
 
Outgoing Chief Minister and Congress leader Ibobi Singh, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav and Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma were among those present on the occasion.
 
BJP President Amit Shah and Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who were slated to attend the function, could not arrive here as their aircraft suffered a technical problem and had to return to Delhi.
 
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HCC-VCCL JV wins Rs 368 crore contract from NE Frontier Railway

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Infrastructure major Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) today said that its joint venture (JV) with VCCL had been awarded a Rs 367.72 crore contract by the Northeast Frontier Railway (NEFR) to construct a safety tunnel between Tupul and Imphal in Manipur.
 
This is part of the new railway line being constructed between Jiribam and Imphal of NEFR and is to be completed in four years, a press release from the company said.
 
The scope of the project includes construction of a 9.5 km long safety tunnel between Tupul and Imphal. The tunnel runs parallel to the main broad gauge single line tunnel (T-12) which is also being constructed by the HCC–VCCL joint venture, it said.
 
This is the fifth order that HCC has received from NEFR on the new railway line project being constructed between Jiribam and Imphal. 
 
The 110.63 km long Jiribam-Imphal railway line is being constructed in two phases. The 84 km long first phase between Jiribam and Tupul has 34 tunnels measuring 39.4 km. HCC is involved in 41% of this tunnelling work which include the biggest four tunnels, totally measuring 16.15 km. The second phase covers 26 km of the Tupul-Imphal section. 
 
Once the project is completed, Manipur will have full-fledged railway connectivity with the rest of the country, the release added.
 
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Health Minister inaugurates AMRIT outlets at Shillong, Imphal and Jodhpur

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Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare J P Nadda today inaugurated three Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) outlets in Shillong, Imphal and Jodhpur, which are aimed at reducing the expenditure incurred by common patients on treatment of cancer and heart diseases.
 
The outlets located at North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), Shillong, the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal, and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Jodhpur were inaugurated through video conferencing. 
 
“We now have 12 AMRIT outlets across the country. More than 2141 drugs (including cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, stents, etc.) for treatment of Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases are being sold through AMRIT at a discount of more than 70%,” the Health Minister said. 
 
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The benefits of the AMRIT clinics can be availed by both in-patients as well as out-patients. About 300 more outlets would be started by the end of this year and basket of choices of drugs would also be further enhanced, he added.
 
AMRIT clinics have sold drugs worth Rs. 28 crore as per the MRP. However, the costs to the patients through these outlets have only been Rs 9 crore.  This has resulted in saving of Rs. 19 crore out of pocket expenditure to the patients.
 
“We are exploring the possibility of scaling up the facility and also making it accessible to larger number of people in various parts of the country. The State Governments have been informed about the AMRIT Pharmacies and have been advised to consider opening such pharmacies,” he added.
 
Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region said this initiative will be a big boost to the healthcare in the region. It will not only go a long way in providing cost-effective medicines to lower strata of the society but also provide a trustworthy healthcare system.
 
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Cabinet approves amendment in Central Agricultural University Act, 1992

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The Union Cabinet yesterday approved the amendment in relevant clauses of the Central Agricultural University Act (CAU), 1992 to include the State of Nagaland under the jurisdiction of CAU, Imphal. 
 
After inclusion of State of Nagaland under jurisdiction of the Central Agricultural University, Imphal, the College of Veterinary Sciences in Nagaland will produce the much-needed professional manpower in the fields of animal husbandry, which will facilitate socio-economic growth in the region, an official press release said.
 
The new college will help familiarize the farmers with new techniques, thereby contributing to the production and productivity of domestic animals in the State of Nagaland. 
 
"The amendment will help the State of Nagaland reap the benefit of the CAU, Manipur, which is established for the entire North Eastern Region," the release added.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Imphal region of Manipur

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, shook the Imphal region of Manipur today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 24.9 N and longitude 94.0 E, occurred at 0926 hours at a focal depth of 60 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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IPL spot-fixing: BCCI bans Ajit Chandila for life, Hiken Shah for five years

Ajit Chandila
Ajit Chandila
More than two and a half years after he was arrested by the Delhi Police for alleged spot fixing in matches in the sixth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), cricketer Ajit Chandila was today banned for life from cricket.
 
Another cricketer, Hiken Shah, was given a five-year ban by the Disciplinary Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which met here today.
 
In the case of Chandila, a press release from BCCI said he was held guilty by the committee of misconduct and corruption within the Article 2.1.1; Article 2.1.2; Article 2.1.3; Article 2.1.4; Article 2.2.2; Article 2.2.3; Article 2.4.1 of the BCCI Anti Corruption Code.
 
"Ajit Chandila is banned for life from playing or representing cricket in any form or to be associated in any way with the activities of the Board or its Affiliates," it said.
 
The release said Shah was held guilty of committing breach of Articles 2.1.1; Article 2.1.2 and Article 2.1.4 of the BCCI Anti Corruption Code.
 
"Hiken Shah is banned for five years from playing or representing cricket in any form or to be associated in any way with the activities of the Board or its Affiliates," it said.
 
"The hearing of Asad Rauf was scheduled for today. He did not appear in person but sent a reply stating that no fair enquiry has been conducted in his matter and hence a de novo enquiry be held by appointing another enquiry officer. The said request was rejected by the Disciplinary Committee.
 
"The committee gave him a final opportunity to submit his written statement if any, and produce documents on which he proposes to rely on before February 9, 2016. The date of the hearing and the final order has been scheduled for February 12, 2016 at Cricket Centre, Mumbai," the release added.
 
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Chandila was among three players of the Rajasthan Royals -- the other two being S. Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan -- who were arrested on May 16, 2013 for alleged spot-fixing in the IPL, one of the most popular and lucrative cricket tournaments in the world.
 
In September that year, the BCCI imposed life bans on Sreesanth and Chavan.
 
Hiken Shah had been suspended by the BCCI on July 13, 2015  after he was found guilty of breaching its Anti-Corruption Code by approaching a Rajasthan Royals player to fix games during the IPL that year.
 
Rajasthan Royals player Pravin Tambe had reported to the BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) that Shah, his Ranji Trophy teammate, had approached him. He said he had declined the offer. The BCCI had been investigating the matter since then.
 
On July 25 last year, a Delhi court discharged Sreesanth, Chandila, Chavan and 33 others in the case, holding that the police had failed to make out a case against them.
 
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6 dead, 79 injured as magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits Manipur, other NE states

At least six people died and 79 others suffered injuries when a strong earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, struck Manipur in the early hours of Monday.

 
Massive 6.7 quake strikes northeast India
 
At least six people died and 79 others suffered injuries when a strong earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, struck Manipur in the early hours of today.
 
The tremors were felt in most other North-Eastern states, including Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, as well as West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar, and neighbouring countries such as Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
 
Several buildings, houses, and government offices in Imphal, including a six-storeyed building, and other parts of Manipur were damaged in the quake.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 24.8°N and longitude  93.5°E, occured at 0435 hours at a focal depth of 17 km.
 
According to IMD, the epicentre of the earthquake was in Tamenglong district of Manipur, about 35 km from Imphal, the state capital.
 
The tremors were also felt in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar, among other places.
 
People in many places ran out of their homes to safety as a precautionary measure. Many people posted pictures of damaged buildings and walls with cracks on social media sites.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke over the telephone to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on an official visit to Assam, and asked him to oversee the situation.
 
Mr. Modi also spoke to Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, 
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on the situation.
 
The Manipur Government has sought the assistance of the Army and the Assam Rifles in the rescue and relief efforts.
 
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said Mr. Modi was continuously monitoring the situation.
 
Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have moved from Guwahati to the areas affected by the earthquake.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh said he had spoken to Mr. Gogoi and the Manipur Chief Secretary about the situation and assured them of all possible help from the Centre.
 
"I'm also contacting other North Eastern states to know the extent of damage caused by the earthquake," he added.
 
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In New Delhi, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is coordinating with the State Governments concerned, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Defence (Mod), NDRF, Ministry of Communications and other Departments and agencies for seach, rescue and relief efforts.
 
NDMA officials have spoken to the Control Rooms and Relief Commisioners of all the States in the North-East and West Bengal.
 
Communication systems are functioning, particularly those of state-owned BSNL, in the affected areas.
 
The National Crisis Management Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary held a meeting here this morning to assess the situation and provide all necessary help from the Government of India.
 
Mr. Modi also held a meeting of the National Security Council at which earthquake relief measures were also discussed.
 
Minister of State for Development of North-East Region Jitendra Singh has been asked to rush to Imphal to oversee the rescue and relief efforts, an official press release said.
 
The Centre has offered all necessary help to the Manipur State Government for search, rescue and relief measures.
 
The release said 83 personnel of the NDRF were airlifted in three aircaft from Guwahati to Imphal and have been depoyed in rescue operations.
 
Another team of 35 rescuers of NDRF has been deployed in Silchar, Assam to cater to the needs of areas around Silchar. 
 
A three-member team from Power Grid Corporation has already reached Imphal for restoration of the power supply. A team of doctors will reach Manipur early tomorrow to assess the situation and assist the State Government. 
 
The release said there was no shortage of petroleum products in Manipur. There is normal availability of all products with stocks of two weeks and above. The LPG bottling plant at Sekmai has been temporarily suspended, which is likely to be resumed by tomorrow after inspection and rectification of damages. 
 
The NDMA has set up a toll free disaster helpline number 011-1078, which can be contacted round the clock for any help, it said.
 
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Cabinet nod for 69 bridges on Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa section of Trilateral Highway in Myanmar

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The Union Cabinet yesterday approved the construction of 69 bridges, including approach roads, on the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section of the Trilateral Highway in Myanmar at a cost of Rs. 371.58 crore. 
 
An official press release said this would impart all-weather usability to the TKK road section, which is also part of the route for the proposed Imphal-Mandalay bus service. 
 
It will improve connectivity between India and Myanmar and facilitate movement of goods and traffic, the release said.
 
India had agreed, during the visit of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Myanmar in May 2012, to undertake, at the request of the Myanmar government, the construction of 71 bridges in the TKK road section.
 
The Government of Myanmar has started work on constructing two bridges, on its own, as these bridges needed urgent attention. As a result, construction of the remaining 69 bridges will be undertaken under Government of India's assistance. 
 
The project will be implemented in Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode through Project Management Consultant (PMC). It will be closely monitored by the Indian Embassy in Yangon, PMC and the Ministry of External Affairs.
 
The project is envisaged to be completed by mid-2019, the release added.
 
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20 Army personnel killed in ambush in Manipur, 11 injured

As many as 20 Army personnel died and 11 others suffered injuries when militants ambushed their convey in Chandel district of Manipur on Thursday morning in the worst such attack in recent years, official sources said.

 
Rijiju condemns Manipur attack, calls it unfortunate
As many as 20 Army personnel died and 11 others suffered injuries when militants ambushed their convey in Chandel district of Manipur this morning in the worst such attack in recent years, official sources said.
 
The soldiers belonged to the 6 Dogra infantry regiment and the convoy of four vehicles was headed towards Imphal, the state capital, when the ambush took place at about 9 am between Paralong and Charong, about 30 km from their destination.
 
Reports reaching here said the attackers used rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launchers and automatic weapons. 
 
The injured soldiers were airlifted by the Army for treatment, the sources said.
 
Security forces rushed reinforcements to the spot and are combing the area for the militants, they said.
 
Reports said the soldiers were part of a road-opening party on the Tengnoupal-New Samtal Road.
 
In Delhi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar condemned the attack and said those who had committed the "cowardly act" would be brought to book.
 
He said the Army would continue to work towards bringing peace and normalcy to the State. 
 
The Minister conveyed his deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the Army men who lost their lives.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Imphal region of Manipur

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.0 on the Richter scale, shook the Imphal region of Manipur late last night, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 24.6°N and longitude . 93.1°E, occurred at 0126 hours today at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Imphal East district of Manipur

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, shook the Imphal East district of Manipur tonight, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 24.8°N and longitude 94.0°E, occurred at 2055 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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