Manipur – Looking Up

Blessed with a distinctive cultural pattern and scenic beauty, Manipur in the North East shares an international border with Myanmar. Home to the Meitei ethnic group and 29 other tribes, Manipur is an enchanting destination for discerning tourists. With a land area of 21087 sq. kms it has a population is just 0.89 million.

The economic development of Manipur, along with other north eastern states, is crucial to meet the Indian Government’s ambitions for the future. The economic liberalisation since the 1990’s has shown foreign direct investment in Manipur and the rest of the North Eastern States make inroads in urban development, infrastructure, energy, tourism, agriculture and water resource management. The Manipur Sericulture project sponsored by the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation at a cost of Rs. 490.59 crore started in 1997 is still in operation and has generated employment in the state.

Manipur is a treasure house of bio resources, and along with the rest of the North-East, a distinct division of the Indo-Burma Hotspot which ranks 6th amongst the 25 biodiversity hotspots of the world. In the absence of industrial development, Manipuris depend hugely on these bio-resources for their livelihood. These invaluable resources can be used more effectively to promote the local economy. The National Institute of Bio-Resources and Sustainable Development, Manipur strives to meet this objective. Medicinal plants, orchids, wood-based industries, non wood forest produce, horticultural, aquatic and microbial bio-resources and eco-tourism offer ample scope for commercial development.

Not as remote anymore from the throbbing economic centres in the country, Manipur received a boost with a slew of measures touching key areas of development in December 2006.

The Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) will be upgraded with facilities that will bring it at par with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. The project will be jointly funded by the NEC and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, RIMS will be assured of uninterrupted resources and staff in the future.

The Manipur Institute of Technology will similarly be upgraded as the National Institute of Technology. With the Manipur University also being recognised as a Central university, the foundation stone for at par educational facilities has been laid.

Medical facilities in Manipur will be further strengthened with the establishment of five 50-bed hospitals at Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Chandel, Senapati and Jiribam at a total cost of Rs. 75 crore

The sports loving Manipuris will have a National Sports Academy at the Khuman Lampak Sports Complex at an investment of Rs. 18 crore.

To improve accessibility, National Highway 39 will see a broadening to a 4 lane 38 km stretch from Maram to Imphal at a cost of Rs. 300 crore. Maram will have similar connectivity to Dimapur and Kohima. Bridges on the Barak and Makru between Jiribam and Silchar have been re-constructed to make NH 53 motorable.. The Old Cachar Road is being improved at an investment of Rs. 86 crore.

Railways will steam into Manipur with the Jiribam –Tupul link to be completed by 2011-12. The proposal for installing night landing facilities at Imphal airport is under consideration, and private operators are flying out of Manipur.

Rs.21 crore has been sanctioned for the construction of 6 bridges at Bahu Bazar, Haokha, Leisangthem, Irong Ichin, Klyamgel Mang Mapa and Moirang-Kumbl.

Real Estate Development in Manipur

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To give a boost to the development of residential property in Manipur, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission approved Rs. 1870 crore for the City Development Plan for Imphal, laying the ground for a modern city.

Commercial property development in Manipur made a mark with a Convention Centre being built at Imphal at a cost of Rs.24 crore. This will give a boost to tourism in the state. Rs.35 crore will be spent on the construction of College Buildings and other facilities at the Manipur Institute of Technology.

In October 2006, the Centre announced the opening of free trade between Myanmar and India at the border town of Moreh, lifting the restrictions limiting trade to 22 selected items. Commercial property development in Manipur is extending to Moreh which will include a modern integrated customs and land building at a cost of Rs. 70 crore. Improved roads, bus services and an International Trade Fair in November 2007 have also been approved.

Towns showcasing Manipur’s cultural heritage and picturesque countryside are Bishnupur, Loukhoipat, Moirang, Loktak Lake and Sendra Island, Kaina, Khongjom, Andrao, Churachandpur, Tengnoupal, Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Mao and Makhel. Real estate development in Manipur could thrive if these tourist spots could be developed further.

Cities of Manipur