Speech of N. P. Mathur, Lieutenant Governor (Administrator) of Mizoram before the Sixth and Budget session of the Third Mizoram Legislature Assembly, 5 March 1981
Mr. Speaker and Hon’ble Members of the Legislative Assembly,
It is my pleasure and privilege to welcome you all to the Sixth Session of the Third Mizoram Legislative Assembly. I extend my warm greetings to all the Members of this House.
2. I intend, in my address, to set out the achievements of the Government during the last year i.e. the current financial year (1980-81) and also briefly describe plans for the future. At the outset, I would like to remark on the improvement in the Law and Order situation after the unfortunate incidents in the first half of 1980. No violent incident had been reported since July 1980. In this atmosphere, free of tensions, Christmas was celebrated and the New Year ushered in with gaiety and enthusiasm, highlighting the value of a peaceful atmosphere for normal living. If the climate is maintained, I am confident, my Government can devote its full time and energies towards, implementation of Development programmes and achievement of targets set out in the Plan.
3. The normal law and crime situation in the territory has been generally satisfactory. Discipline and moral of the Police has been high. Government has decided to improve, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the various aids needed for efficient discharge of duties by the Police Force. Apart from a number of welfare measures undertaken and concessions granted for the benefit of the Police Force, a sizeable provision is being made in the Annual Plan for 1981-82 for Police Housing, which will go a long way in mitigating the hardship faced by the members of the Force.
4. The prolonged Assam agitation created an extremely difficult situation. The line of communication was seriously interrupted and this adversely affected the movement of food grains and other essential commodities by railways and roadways. We are grateful to the Central Government for their concern and assistance, which made it possible for my Government to meet the requirement of essential commodities of the people to an appreciable extent. A record quantity of food grains, over 800,000 kgs. was supplied to the people in distant interior villages by air dropping by the Indian Air Force.
Price and Supply situation has been uppermost in the mind of the Government as much as in the minds of the people. Irregular supply of FCI rice due to conditions in neighbouring State did cause shortages and the prices shot up. To meet the situation, Government directed the Mizoram Apex Marketing Co-Operative Society to procure rice from the open market at Silchar and make it available to consumers here at a rate much below the local market rates. This timely action taken by the Government not only controlled the rice in price of rice but caused it to fall below Rs.3/- per kg. in the open market. During the year, public distribution system has been strengthened by adding 51 FP Shops raising the total number to 399. Godown capacity has been increased by 4,000 M.Ts 2,000 M.Ts of salt was arranged to be rushed in rakes from West Cost and channellised through FP Shops, bringing down the prices from Rs.5/- to Re /- per kg. There was an unprecedented shortage of petroleum products due to stoppage of production in and movement of crude oil from Refineries in Assam. The crisis was averted by timely action taken by Government by procuring sufficient quantity of POL and regulating its use.
5. I am glad to inform you that my Government has been successful in securing an outlay of Rs.130 crores for the Sixth Plan period (1980-85). This is a phenomenal increase over the provision of a mere Rs.46.58 crores for the Fifth Plan period and Rs.95 crores allocated earlier for this very Plan. As against an Annual Plan allocation for the current year 1980-81 of Rs.20.50 crores, Planning Commission has provided an outlay of Rs.23 crores for the Annual Plan 1981-82.
6. Agriculture is the mainstay of the people in Mizoram. A major portion of the population is directly or indirectly linked with agriculture for its livelihood. Government attaches highest importance to the development of Agriculture Sector with a view to securing self-sufficiency in food. In order to achieve a real break through in food production, a time bound programme has been chalked out for implementation during the Sixth Plan. The Sixth Plan envisages achieving self-sufficiency in food through a programme of reclamation of available reclaimable lands, adoption of high yielding variety programme, introduction of mechanized cultivation where possible, settlement of Jhumia families in permanent cultivation and by bringing more areas under minor irrigation. It is also intended to promote cash crop cultivation.
During the Plan, it is proposed to bring at least 10,000 hectares of land under high yielding variety paddy and 15,000 hectares under high yielding maize crops. Ten thousand hectares of land will be reclaimed during the plan period, the target for 1981-82 being 2,000 hectares.
Various programmes for weaning away the people from ‘Jhumming’ taken up during the past years are being continued and intensified. These programmes include seasonal crops and wet rice cultivation; horticulture; cash crops cultivation; spices, coffee and tea plantations and sugarcane and oil seeds cultivation. Under settlement programme of Jhumias, 2530 families were settled during the year 1980-81, bringing the total number of families settled since the inception of the programme to 6590. It is proposed to cover 8,000 families under settlement programme during the plan period.
During 1980-81, 1267 quintals of paddy, hybrid maize and vegetable seeds have been supply to cultivators. In addition, 11 lakhs orange seedlings, 5 lakhs large cardamom clump, 11 lakhs Plants of various fruits were distributed on subsidy basis. 317 MTs of nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilizers were also distributed on 50% subsidy basis. During the current year, 809 hectares of land for wet-rice cultivation has been reclaimed and further reclamation is in progress. Fifty kms of link roads are also under construction. Besides, supply of 20 oil expellers, 60 maize crushers and 4,000 other small agricultural equipments has been undertaken.
Under cash crop cultivation, 156 hectares have been planted under coffee and Nurseries of two hectares each for Cinamon, Arecanut, Small Cardamom, Butter Fruit and Black Pepper have been raised. Cash crop plantation in 86 hectares is in progress. The Department is also undertaking a programme of mushroom cultivation in Mizoram. Laboratory equipment has been received and work will be started during the current financial year.
Soil Conservation programme is being pursued systematically as an essential part of the overall strategy for increasing agricultural production. The main components of this programme in the Sixth Plan are construction of bench terraces, taking up of erosion control measures to protect cultivated terraces and water conservation. In this sector, a provision of Rs.680 lakhs has been made for the Sixth Plan period and Rs.110 lakhs for 1981-82.
During 1980-81, survey and layout for 292 hectares under the terracing programme has been partially completed. Twenty small water retention dams have been constructed and it is proposed to complete construction of 100 structures like checkdams, water retention dams etc.
Scientific cultivation is being encouraged through Research Trials, Education and Training. The Research findings of the ICAR are taken to the fields through adoptive trials. During the current year, 139 demonstrations have been conducted on different crops. Under Manpower Planning Programme, there is provision to sponsor 114 candidates for Basic Agricultural Training, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D courses in different Universities outside Mizoram during the Plan period.
Lack of irrigation stands in the way of double cropping. 10,000 hectares of lands are proposed to be covered by Minor Irrigation projects during the plan period. The Annual Plan during 1981-82 covers an area of 2000 hectares under this Scheme
Fisheries, an activity allied to Agriculture, is being augmented keeping in mind the crucial role this can play in supplementing the farmers’ income and augmenting food for people. People interested in pisciculture are given help in the shape of grants in cash for improvement/construction of fish ponds, fish seeds at 50% subsidized rates besides technical guidance. By now, over 2000 fish pond have come up in the territory of which 1700 fish ponds covering 1200 acres of water area are being utilized for breeding fish. During the current year,over 12 lakhs fish seeds have so far been supplied to the pisciculturists. During the year 1981-82, it is proposed to complete construction of two Fish Seed Farms at Bilkhawthlir and Thenzawl, which will go a long way to meet the growing local demand. Provision has also been made for propagation of modern technology for composite fish culture at altitudes below 3000 ft. and introduction of fish in suitable paddy fields.
7. The activity of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department are mainly directed towards increased production of milk, meat and eggs to supplement the food requirement. To tide over the short supply of milk in the capital, 85 Dairy Cows have been distributed under Subsidy Scheme in collaboration with the State Bank of India, Aizawl during current year. Twenty-one breeding bulls have been distributed to different places in Mizoram to improve the breed of cattle. Artificial insemination programme has been further strengthened. In Piggery development, 1425 pigs have been distributed for breeding purposes benefiting 350 families.
The Annual Plan for 1981-82 envisages inter alia, establishment of a Pig Breeding Farm at Lunglei, a Poultry Demonstration Farm at Champhai, a Bull Rearing Farm at Thenzawl, a Duck Farm at Selesih and meat Production Project under the aegis of the North Eastern Council at Thenzawl. Fodder production will also be given due importance. A Feed Analytical Laboratory is proposed to be set up during the next year in order to devise suitable indigenous feeds.
8. The Forest Department in Mizoram besides taking care of the existing forest area is taking up new plantations of various economically important species. These plantations are made keeping in view the daily necessities for fuel wood and timber in and around various villages. During 1980-81, 6,000 hectares have been planted with species like Teak, Pine, Gamari and Eucalyptus; 6 new Ranges and a number of Beats have been established; and 10 kms. of forest road constructed to make effective administration of these areas possible. In addition, demarcation of Reserve Forests boundary over 200 kms. was taken up. Stock in 263 sq.kms. of area was enumerated for preparation of Working Plan. To cope with the growing workload, two new Forest Divisions have been created.
It is proposed to plant 8,000 hectares during 1981-82 with various economically important species. Preparatory work in these areas has already been undertaken. It is proposed to construct a number of Rest House and residential buildings for staff and forest roads during the year. Planning has also been done for carrying out demarcation of Reserve Forest boundaries, protection of Forests and enumeration of growing stock, for the preparation of Forest Working Plan. For the convenience of consumers, it is also proposed to set up a Firewood/Charcoal Depot at Aizawl. Wildlife management and development of Dampa Wildlife Sanctuary will also receive special attention during the year.
9. Government is alive to the necessity of constructing a network of roads, which are so essential for development of Mizoram. The Annual Plan 1981-82 envisages formation cutting of 140 kms of roads and soling, metalling and blacktopping of 60 kms. In addition, various on-going Schemes will be completed. The construction of bridges on the major rivers Tuichang and Changte (on Aizawl-Thenzawl road) is expected to be completed during 1981-82. Investigations for economic utilization of waterways will be continued during the year. The Mizoram Circuit House at Silchar has already been completed. The work on Mizoram House at Calcutta is in progress. The Sixth Plan provides for construction of different types of Government accommodation at various places in Mizoram. To start with, 177 residential quarters for Government officials have already been taken up at Aizawl. In order to meet the requirements of Government residential and office accommodation, it has been decided to take up construction of office and residential buildings at Luangmual, a few kilometers away from Aizawl town where sufficient land is available. This will be done in a planned manner with the active help and guidance of the Ministry of Works and Housing, Government of India, and Housing and Urban Development Corporation.
10. All the villages in Mizoram being problem villages for drinking supply, adequate emphasis has been laid by Government on water supply schemes, especially on gravitation schemes. Eight villages have been covered during 1979-80 and work on 39 difficult villages; water supply has been supplemented through truck carriage in the lean season. Certain temporary measures for storage of water during rainy season are also afoot. The Sixth Plan envisages survey and investigation of about 200 schemes and execution of schemes for supply of water in 100 villages in addition to the task of completion of 39 on-going projects. Water supply Augmentation Schemes for Aizawl and Lunglei are also included.
11. Power is an important infrastructure for overall development. Before the current financial year ends, the total power availability is expected to rise to 7.335 MW compared to 5.335 MW at the end of 1979-80, and twelve more villages are expected to be electrified bringing the total number of electrified villages to 38. Preliminary works for 1 MW Serlui Micro Hydel Project; and for 132 KV transmission line from Aizawl to Lunglei, and for investigation of Serlui-B Hydel Project have been taken up. During the year 1981-82, besides the aforesaid projects, it is proposed to take up additional diesel/gas turbine generation of about 7 MW and electrify additional 22 villages. Sixth Plan envisages additional 11MW diesel/gas turbine generation; 3.5MW Micro Hydel generation; electrification of 120 villages; completion of 132 KV transmission line from Aizawl to Lunglei and 66KV line from Dullabchhera to Vairengte. Additional power from regional projects viz. Loktak and Kopili is also expected to be available by 1984. NEEPCO will also be completing the 132KV transmission line from Jiribam to Aizawl by then. Government is taking keen interest in harnessing hydel resources in the territory. Teams of experts from Central Water Commission and NEEPCO have, at our instance, identified a number of Projects suitable for investigation Tuivai,among them,is already under investication of NEEPCO. Government of India have agreed to take up investigation and execution of Tlawng (Dhaleshwari) in the Central sector.
12. The urgent need for developing small-scale cottage industries in an agrarian society like ours can hardly be over emphasized. Government is making persistent efforts by offering a package of incentives and facilities to attract entrepreneurs.
To develop the much-needed infrastructure, Industrial Estates at Champhai, Lunglei and Vairengte are proposed to be established. The Industrial estate at Kolasib is nearing completion and the land for Industrial estate at Sairing has been acquired. The Mizoram Small Industries Development Corporation has signed a contract with the National Research and Development Corporation, New Delhi, for setting up of an Oleoresin and Ginger Oil Plant at an estimated cost of Rs.42 lakhs, on a turnkey basis at Sairang. This plant will process about 120 quintals of raw ginger every year and it is likely to be fully operative by the end of the year 1981. Some of the other important projects to be undertaken by the Department of Industries during the Sixth Plan are manufacture of corrugated Roofing Sheets out of agro-wastes, Sawmill wood-seasoning plant at Sairang and a mini sugar plant at Kawnpui. The feasibility of setting up of a plywood factory and a mini paper plant for the manufacture of tissue paper is also being explored. There are proposals to investigate the possibilities of use of alternate sources of energy for industries viz. solar and wind energy. A mineral exploration cell has been started in the Directorate of Industries to explore the availability of Industrial minerals in this area.
13. In the filed of education, the programme for universalisation of elementary education has been continued in the year 1980-81. 130 Primary Schools had been selected where a revised course has been introduced on the basis of the national pattern of education. Science education drive has been vigorously pursued. During 1980-81, cash rewards for proficiency in Science and Mathematics subjects have been given to 93 High School students, 9 Middle School students and 17 Primary School students. Under Secondary Education, it is proposed to provincialise three non-Government High Schools during 1981-82. Besides emphasis on Science education, the Plan for 1981-82 provides for variety of scholarships in the Secondary stage of education, viz. merit scholarships, scholarships for poor students, for Sainik Schools and R.I.M.C.and others. A number of vocational courses are also contemplated. Under collegiate education, two new colleges at Kolasib and Saiha have been recognized and aided since 1st April 1980. There is a programme to bring about qualitative improvement in higher education by providing suitable. ‘Faculty Improvement Programmes’ and better equipment in Laboratories and teaching aids. National Adult Education Programme’ is being implemented. A State Resource Centre and National School for Adults are proposed to be set up during 1981-82. It is also proposed to encourage physical education, games and sports and organize youth welfare activities. A new Sub-Divisional Library in the interior is proposed to be set up in 1981-82.
14. Provision of extensive and modern Health Services continues to be an important objective of the Government. There is a provision of Rs.122.40 lakhs under this Sector during the current year 1980-81. This includes construction of 2 P.H.Cs at Lungsen and Khawzawl, upgradation of 30 bedded Hospitals at Lawngtlai and Chawngte, completion of works on spillover schemes in respect of 13 P.H.Cs, a new Hospital at Demagiri and improvement of existing hospitals and S.H.Cs. All these are in various stages of progress. The Government of India has recognized Aizawl Hospital for Housemanship allocating 3 seats for medicine, 1 seat for gynaecology, 2 seats for surgery, 1 seat for Opthalmology, and 1 seat for Radiology. A new Central Sterilisation Supply Deport has been commissioned at Aizawl Civil Hospital. Construction of Sub-Central Medical Stores Godown at Lawngtlai and Lunglei has been completed. 67 students and 8 doctors sponsored by the Government are pursuing their studies in M.B.B.S. and Post-Graduate Degree Courses respectively in different medical institutions of India.
The approved outlay for 1981-82 is Rs.137 lakhs. This provides for Rural Health Services; construction of buildings in Hospitals, Primary Health Centres and Subsidiary Health Centres. It is proposed to establish a T.B. Hospital at Lunglei. Organizing a Referral Hospital at Aizawl and construction of a well-equipped hospital at Luangmual is also included in the Plan.
15. Under the Community Development Programme, a number of works like construction of playgrounds, community halls, public conveniences, cement water tanks, approach roads etc., have been undertaken during the current year. The Sixth Plan outlay for the Department has been fixed at Rs.210 lakhs. Rs.36 lakhs have been allotted for 1981-82. In addition, Rs.10 lakhs have been provided under Nutrition Programme. During 1981-82, 20 community halls, 12 public conveniences, 20 kms. of paths and 10 suspension bridges are proposed to be constructed. 22,000 persons have been benefited under the Nutrition Programme during the current year. The programme will be carried on during 1981-82.
The Food for work Programme now modified and restructured as the National Rural Employment Programme will be implemented in the territory to help the rural poor.
16. Government is keen to bring about an era of prosperity through co-operatives. Mizoram Apex Marketing Co-operative Society Ltd. has carried on its programme of marketing of agricultural produce and continued to deal in POL products, cement, G.C. Sheets etc. during the current financial year. The Annual Plan programme for 1981-82 envisages organization of 15 Service Co-operative Societies, 3 Large Size Agricultural Multipurpose Co-operative Societies, 5 Dairy and Live Stock Co-operative Societies, 3 Labour Co-operatives, 3 Farming Co-operatives, 5 Primary Weavers Co-operative Societies and 4 Fishery Co-operatives. The Mizoram Co-operative Apex Bank Ltd. is expected to start functioning shortly to facilitate flow of easy credit to the rural population through Service and Primary Co-operatives. The Mizoram Wholesale Co-operative Stores Ltd. and the Mizoram Co-operative Super Market Ltd. are being revamped to function as viable agencies of the public distribution system in Mizoram.
17. Road Transport is the only mode of communication in Mizoram and is being developed on priority basis. At present, the Transport services run on 19 different routes covering a distance of 2,100 kms. During current year, 3 new routes have been taken up and services extended on another 3 routes. There is a proposal for acquiring more buses to improve the Public Transport Service. Parcel and passengers booking through Railway Out Agency is being introduced in Mizoram. For the first time in Mizoram, Taxi service has been introduced. A special Jeep Service is being introduced in the interior places not accessible by either medium or mini-bus.
18. With a view to improving the Land Tenure system in Mizoram, Government has taken up the task of land reforms with three main objective viz. updating land records, training personnel for survey work and organizing cadastral survey. A small beginning has been made by setting up a Records Cell. During 1981-82, there is a provision of Rs.7 lakhs under Plan Budget. This amount will be utilized in achieving the objectives stated earlier.
19. The year 1981 is being celebrated as the International Year for the Disabled. Government is paying special attention to the rehabilitation of the handicapped. For this, a Training cum-production Centre is proposed to be established. Social Welfare activities are being extended to cover a number of schemes such as, State Home for Distressed/Destitute Women,field councelling service, Remand Home and certified Schools, besides probation circles and Children’s Courts etc.
20. Government is conscious of the evils of drinking and drug addiction and their adverse impact on society. In order to enforce prohibition in Mizoram, enactment of suitable laws is under consideration. The Mizoram (Liquor Prohibition) Bill, 1980, is currently under consideration. In the meantime, a number of measures have been taken to motivate people to keep away from drinking. Similarly, various steps have been to taken check drug addiction.
21. Government appreciates the role of Armed Forces in the defense of the country and has undertaken a number of steps for the welfare and re-settlement of ex-servicemen. Subsidy in the form of grants-in-aid is given for construction of dwelling houses for war widows and dependent of disabled ex-servicemen of 1971 war. The Government is considering grant of route permits to ex-servicemen for running of transport services, and assisting them in getting Bank loans for various development schemes, and imparting vocational training to war widows and dependents of deceased soldiers.
22. The Government Printing Press is being modernized to meet the growing demands for printing works in Government Departments. During the current year, two sophisticated machines Monotype and Linotype have been imported from United Kingdom. The machines are in the process of being installed. More machines and equipments to strengthen the Press will be procured during 1981-82.Setting up of a separate Department of Printing and Stationery is proposed in order to cater for the entire printing and stationery requirements of the Government.
23. Government also lays great stress on cultural activities. National integration is fostered through cultural exchanges, Bharat Darshan tours, conducted tours for Journalists etc.
24. Government is conscious of the needs of the people in the Housing Sector and has formulated schemes both for the urban and rural areas. During the year 1979-80, Rs.68 lakhs have been spent under M.I.G.H and L.I.G.H. Schemes, which include 113 new cases under M.I.G.H. and 153 new cases under L.I.G.H. There is a provision of Rs.50 lakhs under Housing Scheme during current year. (Rs.35 lakhs for M.I.G.H. and Rs.15 lakhs for L.I.G.H.) Sixth Plan provision for Housing is Rs.590 lakhs. This includes Police Housing, Government Housing and rural housing in addition to M.I.G.H. and L.I.G.H. The overall programme covers loans for M.I.G.H. and L.I.G.H., land acquisition, development of rural house sites and construction, rental housing scheme, stipend for promotion of technical studies in town planning and engineering and village housing project scheme.
Though Government efforts all along will be raise the standard of living, by improving facilities all around, in the rural areas, they cannot afford to lose sight of the pressure on the existing towns. In order to meet this pressure, proposals to establish a few satellite townships are being investigated.
25. Three Districts Councils of Chhimtuipui District have been allocated funds as Grants-in-aid for administrative expenses as well as for plan schemes for the Councils. Government is deeply concerned about the development and economic uplift of these backward areas of the territory. A total allocation of Rs.100 lakhs has been made for the Sixth plan period as against Rs.35.78 lakhs during the Fifth Plan period. As against Rs.12 lakhs in 1980-81, a provision of Rs.18 lakhs has been made for 1981-82 on the plan side, an increase of almost 50%. This is besides the non-plan provision of Rs.46 lakhs for 1981-82 as against Rs.44 lakhs during 1980-81.
26. Government is striving hard to provide a clean, honest and efficient administration. The entire administrative machinery is being tuned to meet the need of the hour. The administrative set up is being streamlined and strengthened. During the current year, Recruitment Rules for a number of posts have been finalized in consultation with the Government of India. Facilities were provided for imparting training to staff at various levels with the assistance of the Institute of Secretariat Training and Management, Government of India. A good number of officers were sent for various courses of training in different parts of the country and abroad. There is also an elaborate programme for training of employees at different levels during 1981-82. The U.P.S.C. and Staff Selection Commission have realized the importance of this region and have selected Aizawl as one of the centres for conducting national level competitive examinations for recruitment. This has opened new avenues for employment for the educated youth of the territory. With the same end in view and for promoting welfare of labour, a Directorate of Labour and Employment has been created.
27. I have spelt out, in brief, the major policies, programmes and achievements of my Government. I sincerely hope that the year 1981-82 will see further all-round progress. I would call upon you all to dedicate yourself to the service of the people, and work in a spirit of unity, in the larger interest of the nation. The present Session has been summoned to consider the Budget Estimates for the year 1981-82,and also the supplement demands for 1980-81. I would conclude my address by extending to you my best wishes for success in your deliberations.