Speech of S. N. Kohli, PVSM (Retd) Lieutenant Governor (Administrator) of Mizoram before the Third Mizoram Legislature Assembly, 1983
Mr.Speaker and Hon’ble Members of the House,
I have great pleasure in welcoming you all to the 11th Session of the Third Mizoram Legislative Assembly.
2. At the out-set, I wish to record our deep sorrow on the sad and untimely demise of Shri R. Zadinga, a Member of this House, who was killed by anti-social elements in June last year.
3. I would like to emphasise that my Government attaches, and will continue to attach, the highest priority to the maintenance of peace and order since this is an essential pre-condition for the development of Mizoram. I am happy to mention that anti-social activities of the underground elements have been gradually curbed by various measures taken by the Government and operations by the Security Forces and the Mizoram Police. So far, 471 Mizo National Front personnel have come overground and 254 have been arrested by the Police and Security Forces while 250 weapons along with more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition have been recovered. During the year 1982, the underground elements killed 20 persons and injured 11. Sadly, amongst those killed were Shri Z.A. Kapmawia, editor of the local daily "Chhawrpial" and recently Shri K. Thantluanga, the Village Council President of Sateek. It has been gratifying to note that the peace loving people of Mizoram have come forward to assist the Government in combating activities of insurgents. Incidents of harbouring hostiles as also voluntarily contributing funds to them, have been considerably reduced. The Governmen is thankful to the people of Mizoram the Security Forces and the Mizoram Police for their support against insurgency. The Government requests the people to continue to give their whole-hearted co-operation in this direction. The Government is confident that the Security Forces, the para-Military Forces and the Police personnel will continue to render service in the highest traditions of their organisations.
4. I may add that my Government is anxious to properly rehabilitate the Mizo National Fron returnees. Nearly Rs. 4 lakhs have been sanctioned as agricultural loans and Rs. 15 lakhs as dairy farming loans covering in all 189 returnees.
5. Despite hostile activity, my government has recorded significant progress in developmental activity. As against an allocation of Rs. 29 crores for the Annual Plan 1982 – 83 we have secured an allotment of Rs. 34.80 crores for the Annual Plan 1983 – 84. The Government of India appreciates the need for giving special consideration to Mizoram which is an extremely backward area.
6. I would like to make special mention of some major administrative changes that have taken place this year to cope with increased developmental activities in Mizoram. The Department of Power and Electricity is being strengthened by creating a Directorate headed by a Chief Engineer along with one Hydel Circle and a Division and 3 Hydel Sub-divisions and 3 Electrical Sub-divisions. My Government is keen to harness the immense power potential in Mizoram in order that this may accelerate the developmental process.After repeated consultations and discussions with the Government of India, the Mizoram Police Service Rules have been approved leading to increased promotional avenues for personnel of the Mizoram Police and, now, the Mizoram Police Officers may hold posts like Additional Suprintendents of Police, Assistant Inspectors General and Deputy Commandants. Government of India have sanctioned 280 posts for raising of 2 companies for the 2nd Mizoram Police Battalion. Rs. 48 lakhs have been provided during 1982 – 83 for police housing.
8. I am happy to mention that my Government have accorded recognition to 194 villages which used to be referred to as Thlawhbawks by restoring to them Village Councils and elections for the same have been recently concluded peacefully. In a rural based economy Village Councils have to be involved to the maximum extent possible in the planning and execution of developmental programmes.
9. Agriculture on which more than 83 per cent of the total population is engaged, has been accorded the highest priority in order to achieve optimum production. For the year 1983 – 84, a target for production of 61,662 Metric Tonnes of food grains has been fixed. Emphasis has been laid on a shift from monocropping to double and triple cropping by introduction of high yielding and improved varieties of crops with scientific and improved agricultural practices. Oil-seeds and pulses have been developed and more coverage has been brought under irrigation by installing pumping sets and hydrams which do not require conventional power sources. The practice of jhuming has to be gradually phased out by introduction of permanent and mechanised cultivation. I am happy to mention that for the first time the Agriculture Department is using machinery like tractors and power tillers in a big way. A scheme has been drawn up where in the cultivators would be given a subsidy for meeting the seed money, a part of which will be contributed by the cultivators themselves and the rest advanced by the Banks as loan repayable in suitable instalments. Wheat cultivation has been successfully tried in Champhai paving the way for cultivation of three crops like paddy-wheat-pulses or summer maize etc.
10. In the Soil Conservation wing the main schemes consist of jhumia settlement in the shape of terracing with irrigation, cash crop plantation, contour bunding and construction of bench terraces on slopes in selected areas where perennial streams are available for irrigation. A significant achievement during 1982 – 83 was that two paddy crops were harvested successfully at (Serchhip) Mat. For settlement of jhumia families cash crop plantation was undertaken in 700 hectares under coffee, rubber, cardamom, coconut, betelvine and pepper supplied mostly from departmental nurseries in Mizoram. "The Mizoram Coffee Estate Owners’ Registration Rules, 1982" have recently been framed to enable coffee planters in Mizoram to avail themselves of the Coffee Board subsidy at Rs. 2,500/- per hectare. Significantly, large cardamom planted in 1980 has started yielding fruit and has been harvested for the first time ever in Mizoram. 21 Officers and field staff have successfully completed various training courses related to soil conservation and 13 others are undergoing training.
11. During 1982 –83, fish production has been to the tune of 1300 Metric tonnes while a production of 1700 Metric tonnes is likely to be achieved by the end of 1983 – 84. Annual Plan 1983 – 84 envisages distributing 3 million fish seeds at 50 per cent subsidised rate besides bringing 100 acres of water area under paddy-cum-fish culture in addition to the existing 190 acres.
12. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department is laying emphasis on achieving self-sufficiency in milk, meat and eggs. To this end, 288 cross-breed cows/heifers, 400 local hill cows, 1600 improved piglets and 65 breeding bulls have been distributed under various subsidy and adoption village schemes during the year giving direct benefit to some 1180 families. Besides, a new scheme has been launched for production of GOBAR GAS from cowdung for cooking and lighting. Thirty such GOBAR GAS Plants are to be installed during the year and the scheme is gaining popularity. A new poultry farm is also proposed to be located in Lawngtlai during 1983 – 84.
13. During 1982 – 83, plantations have been raised in more than 10,000 hectares of land by the Forest Department. Two more new Divisions at Lawngtlai and Kawrthah were opened to cope with the increasing work load. Besides looking after the existing reserved forest of more than 7,00 square kilometres is to be declared as reserve forest. More than 2 lakhs seedlings were distributed to various institutions and private individuals and a little over 255 lakhs seedlings planted under the 20-Point Programme. Under the Social Forestry Programme more than 4,155 hectares of plantation were raised.
14. During 1982 – 83, Rs. 60 lakhs was released by Government of India for Integrated Rural Development Programme and Rs. 32 lakhs for National Rural Employment Programme. During 1983 – 84, Rs. 160 lakhs have been provided for Integrated Rural Development Programme. These schemes aim at raising the identified families above the poverty line and appreciably raising the standard of living of the poorer sections especially in the rural areas. During 1982 – 83, construction of 67 community halls and 72 play grounds was taken up. I am happy to mention that ‘Vanapa Hall’ which will be the only town hall in Aizawl is likely to be completed soon.
15. The Department of Local Administration looks after Village Administration and Village Councils and implements schemes for urban development. As part of the sanctioned programme, loans for construction of water tanks and septic tanks are given to individual house holders at the rate of Rs. 3,000/- for water tanks and Rs. 2,000/- for septic tanks. So far, 440 house holders have been benefited by such loans. 25 Community Halls in different parts of the Territory were given GCI sheets. The department also constructed steps, link drains, breast walls, retaining walls etc. at 187 locations within Aizawl and Lunglei districts.
16. In the absence of rail and air facilities, a net work of road communication is imperative for the economic progress of Mizoram. This year with an outlay of Rs. 528 lakhs, formation cutting of 60 kilometres and black-topping of 9 kilometres have been completed. Next year 50 kilometres of formation cutting and 60 kilometres of black-topping including construction of 200 minor bridges and culverts is envisaged. Four major bridges of 30 metres span are also to be completed with a total outlay of Rs. 680 lakhs. Mizoram House at Delhi is likely to be completed in the next few months and main construction of Mizoram House at Calcutta is scheduled to be taken up this year. Increased accommodation for Government offices, residences and Dak Bungalows along with a transit dormitory at Silchar have been planned for completion during 1983 – 84.
17. The Aizawl Expansion Project is planned to cater to the needs of the growing town of Aizawl and will contain the Civil Secretariat, Mizoram Legislative Assembly. Government Offices, residential accommodation for government employees and Sports Complex. The Project costing Rs. 19.66 crores has been approved by the Planning Commission and preparation of sites and lay out of roads has already commenced with an anticipated outlay of Rs. 1.45 crores for 1983 – 84. 177 staff quarters at Luangmual are expected to be fully completed by the end of this month. The Public Works Department took up construction of buildings for a number of other departments and significant progress was recorded during the year.
18. Government has given priority to the supply of drinking water to rural areas as part of 20-Point Programme. Against the 6th Plan target of covering 70 villages under the Union Territory Plan and 15 under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, 28 schemes were completed by 31st March, 1982, 29 more will be covered in the current year and 31 in the next financial year.
19. My Government is giving the highest priority to the Aizawl Water Supply Scheme. The original Scheme sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs. 158 lakhs to cater to the water requirements of population of 58,000 at ten gallons per-capita per day, was found inadequate for the increased population of 78,000. The Scheme has, now, been revised to accommodate the increased population and also enhanced supply of thirty gallons per capita per day and will be taken up in two phases. The first phase is estimated at Rs. 450 lakhs. The Government of India have approved the laying of a 16" diameter pipe for pumping water from the source to the main water storage and with this other ancillary works is expected to be completed within three years.
20. Members would also be glad to know that an outlay of Rs. 505 lakhs for the year 1983 – 84 has been approved for the power sector. It is envisaged that 5.1 mega watt additional capacity will be installed with diesel generating sets during the year and procurement of six diesel generating sets has already been finalised.
21. The one mega watt Serlui ‘A’ Micro Hydel Project is progressing as scheduled and two out of three units are expected to be commissioned during April 1983. Rural electrification has been assigned priority in keeping with the new 20-Point Programme and 28 villages including 5 in Chhimtuipui district are expected to be electrified during the year as against the target of 21 bringing the total number of villages electrified to 98. Strengthening of the 66 KV line between Dullabcherra and Aizawl will enable 4 mega watt additional power to be available from the grid. Work on 132 KV transmission line from Aizawl to Lunglei has been taken up and the Government is also pursuing with the North Eastern Council for expeditious completion of the other 132 KV transmission line from Jiribum to Aizawl. Investigation of 4 Hydel Projects under State Plan is in progress. 14 new Micro Hydel Project have also been identified under the 20-Point Programme of which 3 are in Chhimtuipui District. Investigation of 4 of the 14 identified projects will be taken up during 1983 – 84. Investigation of Bairabi (Dhaleswari) Hydel Project in the Central Sector is nearing completion and the project report is expected to be ready during the first part of the next financial year. Investigation of Tuivai as a major hydel project in the North Eastern Council plan has also picked up. Government of India have been approached to take up the investigation of Kolodyne in Chhimtuipui District as a major hydel project in the Central sector.
22. In the Industries sector, the installation of a mini paper plant with a capacity of 10 Metric tonnes per day is under examination. Geological mapping for mineral exploration has commenced at Bairabi, Hortoki and Kolasib areas. The Mizoram Small Scale Industries Development Corporation has been advancing loans to industrial entrepreneurs through re-financing scheme of IDBI. A project report on a scheme for imparting training to artisans and rendering service to local industrial units in collaboration with HMT is pending approval of the Government. This has now been approved.
23. Apart from the establishment of mini industrial estates at Zuangtui, Sairang and Kolasib, a saw mill-cum-wood seasoning and treatment PLANT with an annual capacity of 30 thousand cubic feet is proposed to be set up at Sairang.
24. Under handloom weaving, which is one of the oldest professions in Mizoram, 59 primary handloom cooperatives and one state level weavers cooperative have been formed. During the year, 100 boys and girls have been trained in handloom weaving and one centre has been opened at Saiha.
25. Sericulture has tremendous scope in Mizoram for providing purchasing power to the population and drastically transforming the economy. People can come forward to adopt it as a full time occupation as this activity can be engaged in by people from all walks of life and by cultivators without hampering their agricultural activity. The annual plan provision has been increased substantially from Rs. 26 lakhs during 1982 – 83 to Rs. 40 lakhs during the year 1983 – 84. The production of cocoons of all varieties has increased from 2,400 kilogram in 1981 to 42,00 kilogram in 1982 – 83. Installation of ten out of forty Ambar Charkas for spinning and reeling and production of yarn has been completed.
26. You are aware that the enrolment and institutional facility in the field of education in Mizoram is much above the national average.Presently, there are 803 primary schools and 360 middle schools and 141 high schools. To achieve universalisation of elementary education also highlighted in the new 20-Point Programme, all villages have been provided with primary schools manned by Government teachers and aided teachers and 150 additional posts of primary school teachers sanctioned during 1981 – 82 have been filled. As against a target of 300 primary schools to be opened during the 6th plan, 275 have already been opened. The target for middle schools in respect of the same period has been achieved. Special scholarships have been sanctioned to students at various levels.
27. Under various UNICEF aided projects, educational programmes for out-of-school children have been taken up. Facilities for Teachers’ training are being improved by enhancing the in-take capacity of various training institutions. From 1981 – 82, non-formal education scheme has been taken up for non-starters and drop-outs in the age group 9 to 14, also emphasised in the new 20-Point Programme. The new pattern of education has been introduced in all elementary and high schools from 1982 and text books are developed and prepared on the NCERT pattern. Removal of adult illiteracy is being tackled within the Territory and as against the target of 11,400 persons, 7,409 have already been brought within the scheme in 1982 – 83. During 1983 – 84, the annual plan outlay is Rs. 209 lakhs.
28. Due emphasis is being laid on youth and adventure activity and boys from Mizoram were sent to various courses run by youth organisations and have done well. In the Youth Adventure course at Uttarkashi, one Mizo boy was declared to be the best trainee. 134 scouts and guides attended the 9th Annual Jamboree of Bharat Scouts and Guides at Bodh Gaya. Our boys participated in the 3rd National Judo Championship in Srinagar, National School Games, Gauhati and Lucknow and Subroto Mukherjee Cup Football tournament, New Delhi. Orientation courses of training have been conducted with a view to improving and laying emphasis on Science and Mathematics in all schools.
29. In the Social Welfare Department, two training-cum-production centres for the male and female handicapped were opened and 75 girl trainees who passed out received economic rehabilitation grants. In 8 children’s homes, 175 orphans are looked after. In the integrated Child Development Projects, children between 0 to 6 years of age and pregnant and nursing mothers are taken care of by providing supplementary nutrition foods.
30. Welfare of women is being looked after, along with organisation of seminars, study tours and disbursal of grants-in-aid to voluntary organisations for various activities.
31. The Health Department has geared itself to the goal of ‘Health for All’ through the Primary Health Care Project. With the opening of 10 new sub-centre during the current year, there are a total of 280 sub-centres in Mizoram. At present 95 students from Mizoram are undergoing medical studies in different institutions in India. 6 medical Officers after completing their training have joined the health services and the Army authorities have kindly provided 5 specialist Officers on deputation. Government of India have provided Rs. 160 lakhs for implementation of new schemes during 1983 – 84 which include opening of 10 new sub-centres during the next financial year.
32. There are 556 cooperative societies in Mizoram to cater to the needs of the rural and urban people and closer coordination between them is being established to ensure regular flow of essential commodities and marketing of agricultural products through services, marketing and consumer net work. Keeping in view the need to uplift the rural population, Rs. 19.34 lakhs out of a total allocation of Rs. 40 lakhs this year were allocated for village level societies. I am happy to state that Mizoram Cooperative Apex Bank has been established during the current year to ensure better credit facilities and institutional finance in the cooperative sector and to introduce agricultural and rural credit in Mizoram. The Bank has already secured deposits amounting to Rs. 90 lakhs and within a short period recorded a profit of Rs. 1.5 lakhs and I hope it will go a long way in improving the rural economy.
33. The Government is anxious that foodgrains should be supplied to the people at reasonable price. I am happy that during the current year this responsibility has been discharged creditably and more than 58,000 metric tonnes of rice, 4,250 metric tonnes of wheat, 520 metric tonnes of Rapeseed oil and 2,695 metric tonnes levy sugar were procured during the year and distributed to consumers through fair price shops at Government rates. 50 more fair price shops were opened in the current year under the new 20 Point programme for easier access of the population. 326 metric tonnes of rice had to be dropped by air in 11 centres. In 1983 – 84 keeping in view the unsatisfactory harvest of paddy, my Government have proposed to procure 70,000 metric tonnes of rice.
34. The House will be glad to know that the Mizoram State Transport Department has increased the frequency of bus service in different routes to meet the growing requirements of the traveling public. In April last, a deluxe bus service was introduced between Silchar and Aizawl and a few more are being acquired. Private operators have been granted 35 permits in 32 selected routes. A full fledged bus station-cum-terminal at Silchar with all basic amenities has been opened and the construction of Aizawl Terminal-cum-booking office is under progress.
35. The consumer petrol pump has acquired 2 oil tankers for quick transportation of petroleum products to Mizoram and a truck terminal is being constructed at Chaltlang with facilities for 45 trucks and accommodation for drivers.
36. For better coordination and effective media activity, my Government have requisitioned the services of a Central Information Service Officer to work as Secretary in the Information and Public Relations Department. In addition, the Government is also strengthening the field publicity units to make the people aware of the Government’s development activities in the rural and far flung areas of Mizoram. The people of Mizoram are proud of the creditable performance of our 400 boys and girls at the IXth Asiad inaugural function. A 20-minute documentary film on Mizoram was produced and released in collaboration with the Films Division. A conducted tour of 12 journalists to witness the inaugural function of the IXth Asiad was organised and 38 community listening sets were distributed in the interior. Thanks to the arrangements made through the satelite, people of Mizoram are now able to see on television the events taking place in Delhi and elsewhere beginning with the Asiad.
37. For the development of Tourism, a 22 bedded Tourist Lodge at Chaltlang and another lodge at Kolasib are being constructed. Construction of a Tourist Lodge at Champhai is to be started next year.
38. The Employment Exchange at Saiha has been strengthened and 2 Sub-divisional Employment Exchanges at Chawngte and Champhai have been opened. In Industrial Training Institute Aizawl, a new trade of stenography has been introduced.Out of an allocation of Rs. 8.5 lakhs for 1983 – 84 for the Labour & Employment Department, the Industrial Training Institute is to be strengthened for producing a greater number of technical personnel to meet growing requirements.
39. The Revenue Department has in the current year allotted more than 900 house site passes and more than 1000 agricultural passes. Emphasis is being laid on up-dating of land records, cadastral survey and imparting training in survey work.
40. With the expansion of the Printing and Stationery Department, the Government Press can meet the printing requirements of Government with sophisticated Indian and foreign machinery. The Stationery wing has arranged to supply almost all the scheduled forms and stationery items required by various departments.
41. Government has decided to take over the functions of reporting and assessing pension papers of Government of Mizoram employees. It has been agreed that the General Provident Fund of Mizoram Government employees will be taken over from the Accountant General, Shillong, in April 1983 subject to approval of Government of India.
42. My Government is specially concerned about the rapid development of District Council areas. I am happy to mention that elections to three District Council areas in Chhimtuipui District were completed peacefully between November 1982 and January 1983. By increasing the number of elected members of Pawi District Council to 17 and Chakma District Council to 10, the disparity between the number of elected members and number of voters has been removed. A sub-plan for Chhimtuipui district has been formulated for the first time for accelerated development in the area. The Government of India have approved an outlay of Rs. 20 lakhs for plan schemes of the District Councils for 1983 – 84 out of the overall allocation of Rs. 517.74 lakhs for the sub-plan for Chhimtuipui district for 1983 – 84. Liberal grants-in-aid have been provided for administrative expenses of District Councils and for primary education. The report of the Committee constituted last year to look into the grievances of District Councils is presently under examination by the Government.
43. My Government is alive to the need for welfare of ex-servicemen and has taken necessary steps in this regard.
44. My Government is determined to take stern measures against corrupt officials.Amongst other things, property returns of Officers are being scrutinised at the highest level and investigation is taken up where disproportionate assets are reported.
45. Financial procedures are being streamlined and regular audits and surprise checks in various offices carried out. Explanations have been called wherever irregularities have been committed.
46. The upgradation of the Silchar – Aizawl Road into a National High Way has been taken up by the Border Roads Organisation in right earnest. I would like to mention that this organisation has rendered valuable services in Mizoram and in recognition of this my Government had observed a special day for the Border Roads at Aizawl on January 15 this year.
47. I have attempted to highlight before this House the more important achievements of the Government and I am proud to be able to conclude that my Government has done its utmost for the rapid development of this Territory. The Government is aware, however, that a lot remain to be done in various sectors of economy. With the co-operation of the honourable Members of the House and the public of Mizoram, my Government will leave no stone unturned in working for the all-round progress of Mizoram. Let me reiterate that permanent peace is vital for progress and ultimately this can be secured only with the co-operation of the people of Mizoram.
48. I wish you all success in your deliberations which, I have no doubt, will be carried out in keeping with the highest traditions of this august body.