Speech of Hiteswar Saikia, Governor of Mizoram to the State Legislature on 11th March, 1987
Mr. Speaker and Hon’ble Members of the House,
I have great pleasure in welcoming you all to this First session of the Mizoram State Legislative Assembly. The year 1986 was full of significant events in Mizoram. The disturbances of 20 long years ended in the signing of the Memorandum of Settlement between the Government of India, the MNF and Mizoram Government. There was joy and jubilation throughout Mizoram on the evening of 30th of June 1986 when the peace accord was signed. The Accord fully answers the aspirations of the people of Mizoram. For this, we are all grateful to our beloved Prime Minister, Shri Rajiv Gandhi, and to Shri Laldenga. In terms of the Accord, Mizoram attained Statehood on 20th of February this year. The Prime Minister inaugurated the statehood and joined in this moment of celebration of Mizo people. These events will find prominent place in the history of Mizoram.
2. I take this opportunity to thank all people, who untiringly worked to bring about peace in Mizoram. In implementing the terms of peace Accord, elections were held to the Mizoram State Assembly. The delimitation work in the State was completed in a record time. We are grateful to the Election Commission of India for conducting free and fair elections in the State. We are grateful to all political parties for helping in holding disciplined, orderly and peaceful elections. Indeed, the manner and conduct of elections in Mizoram serves as a model.
3. In terms of the peace accord between the Govt. of India and the MNF, various enactments have been made by the Parliament. Significant among them is the Constitution (53rd Amendment) Act, 1986 where a special provision is made for the protection of religious and social practices of Mizos, Mizo customary law, ownership and transfer of land.
4. The Prime Minister, during his inaugural address of the Statehood of Mizoram on 20th February 1987, assured all support and assistance for the development of the State. This will greatly help in accelerating the pace of development of Mizoram. We are grateful for the assurance.
5. This Government is committed to protect the rights and privileges of the minorities and to give due attention for their welfare in the State. My Government is committed to their well-being under the Constitution of India and the values enshrined in the Mizoram Accord. Hence all efforts will be made by my Government for securing co-operation and support of all citizens in the social and economic development.
6. The per capita Plan outlay for Mizoram is said to be high. This by itself does not give the full picture. In Mizoram, we do not have economic infrastructure like railways, roads, power and even financial institutions as in other States. We have to build a good network of roads, increase power generation capacity, improve means of communications, and of course, we must create the infrastructure for development.
7. In regard to power development, installed capacity as on March 1986 was 15.11 MW. This capacity will now go upto 16.1 MW and during 1987-88, another 3.25 MW will be added through diesel generation. Work is in progress for the construction of 2 Mini-hydel projects one at Khawiva and the other at Tuirivang. The construction of 132 KV transmission line between Aizawl and Serchhip was completed in 1986 and Serchhip – Lunglei section will be completed by March, 1987.The completion of this line will enable Lunglei town and villages between Aizawl and Lunglei to get requisite power supply from the grid line. There were 166 villages electrified by March 1986, and by March 1987, number of villages electrified will go up to 216.Wind generators will be installed at Hmuifang and Sangau for power generation. The Integrated Rural Energy Programme has been implemented in Reiek C.D. Block and it will be extended to one more Block 1987.
8. It is intended to cover 45 villages under Rural Water Supply Scheme in 1987-88 under the State Plan and another 22 villages under Centrally Sponsored Scheme. Till date, 239 villages have been provided with water. The execution of Aizawl Water Supply Scheme has shown very good progress and the scheme is expected to be commissioned in June 1987.
9. My Government has adopted a new policy on road construction. Keeping in view the importance of time factor and economy, it has been decided that as far as practicable, road construction should be mechanized. This policy has yielded good results. During the past one-year, Zemabawk – Selesih road, measuring 14.8 kms. was completed, 35 kms stretch on Aizawl – Thenzawl road was soled and metalled, 2 Bailey bridges on Aizawl – Lunglei road were constructed. Formation cutting of 20 kms stretch of Phairuang – Bunghmun road and 10 kms stretch of Khawzawl – Sinzawl road were completed. During 1986-87, 53 residential buildings and 37 non-residential buildings have been completed. The phase I and Phase II works of 300 bedded Civil Hospital, Aizawl were completed and the construction of buildings for 30-bedded Hospital at Biate, Subsidiary Health Centres and Primary Health Centres at Mimbung, Khawzawl and Hnahlan and the construction of Tourist Lodge at Kolasib were completed.
10. During 1986-87, forest plantation has been done in 3,891 hectares under State Plan Scheme and 6,593 hectares under Centrally Sponsored Scheme and 3,433 hectares under New Land Use Policy. A large number of families have taken up plantation of commercial trees under the New Land Use Policy.
11. My Government has taken positive steps for the development of agriculture. Three new Agricultural Sub-divisions were opened at Tuipang, Tlabung and Hnahthial and 80 nos. of staff quarters were constructed. Under Agriculture Marketing, Rs.32 lakhs was spent as price support subsidy for procurement of 2,500 MT Ginger through MIZOFED. Under the New Land Use Policy, 1,773 families were assisted in 1986-87 and 2,855 families selected in 1984-85 and 1985-86 were maintained. Under 20-Point Programme, the target set for production of pulses and oil seeds are 1,600 MT and 1,500 MT respectively during the current year. Production of rice is expected to go up from 45,00 MT last year to 50,000 MT this year. 6.25 MT of high yielding varieties of seeds is produced from the departmental seed farms. 1,00 compost pits were dug at different places. Collection and analysis of 4,000 soil samples was done to prescribe to the cultivators the requirement of different kinds of fertilizers for crops on their lands. The target for distribution of pesticides is 7 MTs for this year.
12. A batch of 20 farmers was sent to New Delhi on the occasion of National Horticultural Fair. A District level winter crop exhibition was organized at Lunglei. Training of farmers was conducted in post harvest technology at KVK, Kolasib. 15 tractors and 20 power tillers were given to selected cultivators on loan-cum-subsidy basis. An agro-meteorological centre is established at Thingdawl Farm, Watershed Management Project at Darlak and three Centrally Sponsored Schemes for control of jhumming at Ngengrual of Thingfal and Lumtui of Mat Valley and Zuangleng of Mat Valley are in operation.
13. Mushroom Training-cum-Production Centre is functioning at Aizawl for training local people, issuing spawn bottles and producing limited harvests under NEC Schemes. Trial is being conducted at Chalfilh to find out its suitability for locating permanent seed Potato Production Farm.Under Minor Irrigation, the target to create irrigation potential of 615 hectares is being achieved. Four new Sub-divisions will be created at Saiha, Serchhip, Champhai and Kolasib.
14. The department of Local Administrative continued to give assistance for construction of septic tanks and in the current year, 400 households have been helped so far. Another 200 families in rural areas were given EWS loan at nominal interest. The department undertook construction of 88 village council houses and also assisted in construction of Community Halls in various places. In the current year, which has been declared as International Year of Shelter for Homeless (IYSH), 120 rural poor families were given construction assistance and six uprooted villages were re-settled. In 1987-88, annual plan provision has been made for giving EWS loans for 200 households and for construction of 88 Village Council buildings. Under IYSH scheme, 120 rural families will also be assisted to construct their own houses.
15. Due attentions have been given for the development of industry in Mizoram. Construction of buildings for the main factory of the Ginger Dehydration Plant has been completed and machineries and equipments procured. 511 plots have been allotted to small units in Zuangtui Estate. 146 Rural Artisans were provided financial assistance to the extent of Rs.1.46 lakhs. Another 540 artisans were provided grants-in-aid for purchase of tools and machinery. Courses of Entreprenuer Development Programme were conducted so far to train 96 prospective entrepreneurs among whom 15 were sent to Ahmedabad for training in Ahmedabad for training in Entrepreneurial Development Institute. Khadi & Village Industries were allotted Rs.20 lakhs for their development. Construction of Weavers’ Service Centre at Ngopa and Thingsai is nearing completion and the work in Thenzawl is in progress. The Govt. contributed Rs.25.00 lakhs as share capital to ZIDCO in 1986-87. An Industrial Growth Centre is proposed to be developed in Luangmual in an area of 292 acres.
16. The Lime Stone investigation at Muthi and Ground Water Investigation at various places are being carried out by the State Geology & Mining Wing. This wing of the Industries Department has assisted the Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India and Central Ground Water Board regarding the possibilities of finding potential ground water zones in this territory. The minor Mineral Concession Rules are under preparation in order to streamline the mining activity and raise revenue for the state.
17. More than 400 persons have taken up sericulture industries as the main occupation of their families. The problems of selling the finished products will be solved by setting up the State Marketing Board and the government will place Rs.5 lakhs as share capital of the Board, which will be used as revolving fund for purchase of cocoons produced by private individuals. To impart training in scientific and methodical rearing of silkworm to the rural private sericulturists and also to increase the efficiency of in-service personnel, a training centre has been set up at Zemabawk. In 1986-87, cocoons production reached the level of 1,86,900 Kgs.
18. The department of education brought 32 private middle schools, 5 private High Schools and 2 Colleges under the deficit grant-in-aids system. Additional 140 Primary School teachers were appointed. Priority will continue to be given to the programme of universalisation of elementary education and adult education. Possibility of introducing ten plus two system in the school along with vocational education is under examination. For the promotion of games and sports, a separate Directorate of Sports & Youth Welfare was also created in 1986-87.
19. Since the commencement of the 7th Plan greater importance is given to settlement of Jhumia families in permanent cultivation through Soil Conservation Scheme. Construction of terrace irrigation facilities, construction of link roads, cash crops cultivation such as rubber, coffee and cardamom in individual holdings are some of the family oriented schemes under implementation, 687 families were assisted in 1986-87 to take up cash crop cultivation, 1243 hectares were covered by terracing and 240 hectares of terraced land were brought under irrigation in 1986-87. 50 kms of link road construction will be completed by the end of March 1987. 1656 hectares will be covered by soil conservation engineering works. 117.5 hectares will be covered by survey for terracing and other engineering works. For 1987-88 Rs.75.50 lakhs are earmarked for settlement of 660 Jhumia families under cash crop cultivation and 1350 families under terracing and irrigation works.
20. The Annual Plan was vigorously pursued by the Department of Co-operation. In the current year, the department made efforts to strengthen and re-organise state level societies like Apex Bank, the MIZOFED, MAHCO and Co-operative Union, so that they can play effective role in supporting district and primary level co-operative societies. The department has been entrusted to play a vital role in strengthening the public distribution system through co-operative societies and the MIZOFED has been designated as co-operative societies and the MIZOFED has been designated as the nodal agency for the same. The Government of India has sanctioned Rs.1 crore as working capital for MIZOFED to open up seven rural branches to MIZOFED during the next financial year. Since the credit families under co-operative sector has been inadequate, the co-operative Apex Bank opened four more branches at Saiha, Champhai, Dawrpui and Lunglei in 1986. The bank has also earned some profit. It is proposed to open new branches in the next financial year, so that adequate credit facilities will be available especially in the rural areas. The Department is also currently involved in setting up an integrated food and vegetable project and it is hoped that this project will be completed in the next financial year.
21. The Excise Wing of the Finance Department has taken effective measures to stop illicit manufacture, sale and possession of liquor and to prevent smuggling of drugs by having strict vigil over the towns and villages including the international borders of Burma and Bangladesh. The Excise staff have discovered and destroyed illegal cultivation of opium poppy plants in the southeastern belt bordering Burma covering an area of 18 acres. The department has also been engaged in discovering and destroying illegal cultivation of ganja. The revenue collected under Excise up to the end of January ’87 is Rs.161, 43,320.00 as against Rs.1,11,74,390.00 during 1985-86
22. The supply position of essential commodities during the current year has been very comfortable. Air dropping of foodstuff was not resorted to thereby saving a lot of money to the exchequer. Twenty-three fair price shops have been opened this year bringing the total number to 790. Ten more go downs for stocking food grains have been completed in the current year. Rs.30.00 lakhs have been provided for the next financial year for extension and strengthening of public distribution system in Mizoram.
23. The Health for all by 2000 AD is the motto of the department of Health and Family Welfare. In pursuance of this goal, three new Primary Health Centres at Phuaibuang, Rabung and Mimbung and ten new sub-centres in remote rural areas were established to cater to the primary medical needs of the villagers. The master plan for expansion of the Civil Hospital, Aizawl to a 300-bedded hospital is under implementation and the first and second phase of the construction of requisite buildings have already been completed. It is expected that the entire expansion activities of the Civil Hospital Aizawl will be completed in the next financial year.
24. The Supply & Transport Department has provided better traveling facilities to the public by increasing the fleet strength of the Mizoram State Transport to 89 as compared to 69 last year. More buses will be added to the fleet by the end of the current financial year. Emphasis has also been laid on proper maintenance on vehicles and safety measures as a result of which incidents of fatal accidents have been completely avoided in the current year. Due to the strengthening of the Motor Vehicles Wing, the department has earned an impressive revenue of Rs.21.86 lakhs up to the end of December 1986 as against an earning of Rs.12.93 lakhs during the corresponding period of 1985-86.The main targets for the next year are replacement of old buses, increasing the fleet of Luggage Vans, completion of the main building of Central Workshop and bus stations at Vairengte and Thenzawl and the new bus stations at Vairengte and Thenzawl and the new bus station at Kolasib.
25. Cadastral survey of the land and updating of land revenue records have been important items of activities undertaken by the Revenue Department in the current year. To strengthen these operations, the department has trained a number of technical personnel. 420 hectares out of 500 hectares targeted have been surveyed by the end of December 1986. 5098 non-agricultural land passes have been issued and 161 plots allotted for agricultural purposes. It is proposed to survey 1000 hectares in the next year for which Rs.14.80 lakhs have been provided.
26. The Industrial Training Institute is training 172 persons out of which 52 persons are undergoing apprenticeship training in Clerical and Engineering Trades. The Employment exchanges are providing guidance and encouragement to the unemployed youths for taking up self-employment ventures in collaboration with DIC, Lead Banks and other agencies. From 1986-87, the stipend for apprenticeship training has been increased.
27. To improve information and publicity services, publicity equipment like TV sets, Video Players and Video Camera have been purchased. Necessary arrangements are now available for the transport of cultural troupes. We sent Cultural Troupes to New Delhi, Goa and Shillong. We also received such troupes from Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Maharastra, Gujarat, Manipur and Madhya Pradesh.
28. The Government is specially concerned with the rapid development of the District Council Areas of Chhimtuipui District. I am happy to mention that the District Councils have been making efforts to strengthen administrative set up to take up developmental activities assigned to them. The District Councils have been entrusted with more functions. The fund allocation for the existing 5 items of Plan Schemes in B.E. 1986-87 was Rs.36.00 lakhs and additional fund of Rs.36.00 lakhs has been sanctioned to three District Councils in 1986-87. For Annual Plan 1987-88, the Planning Commission has agreed for Rs.400.00 lakhs for the three
District Councils. Under Non-Plan, a total sum of Rs.114.37 lakhs has been sanctioned for the three District Councils. I am confident that the District Councils areas will definitely have a faster rate of development.
29. Greater importance has been given for the Welfare of the Police Personnel and modernization of Police Force. The Ration allowances at the rate of Rs.210/- per months to non-gazetted Police Officers has been sanctioned. Govt. of India has provided additional funds to the tulne of Rs.one Crore on account of ration. Construction of residential family quarters has been taken up under Police Housing Scheme, which will provide accommodation to Police Personnel of various ranks. In the seventh five year Plan the target is 849 buildings involving a total cost of Rs.4.00 crores. In 1985-86 with allotment of Rs.70 lakhs, construction of 75 quarters has been completed. In 1986-87 with provision of 80 lakhs construction of 85 quarters is nearing completion. Pursuant to re-organisation schemes introduced over the past few years, additional 365 posts in MRP, 175 in MAP and 240 in 2nd Bn MAP were created. In the current year, Police Radio Organisation has been strengthened with additional 43 staff. An ambitious scheme for ‘Modernisation of Police’ involving a total cost of Rs.2 crores and modernization of fire service involving Rs.3 crores with emphasis on procurement of modern equipment, transport and communication net-work have been drawn up and submitted to Govt. of India. These schemes are presently under the consideration of the Central Govt.The Govt.of India has sanctioned establishment of Police Training Centre at Lungverh involving a total cost of Rs.44 lakhs. The construction of 21 Police Stations in various places as per standard specification with the total financial implication of Rs.one crore hs been sanctioned. Mizoram Police Service Rules 1986 have been finally approved and notified. 255 Police personnel were detailed for various training courses during the year 1986-87.
30. The construction of Central Jail at Bungtlang at a cost of Rs.1.69 crore has been completed and the jail has been commissioned. All the Jails have been provided with T.V. and Video cassette player sets for educational purposes.
31. The wages for the Home Guard volunteers have been raised and their strength increased to 760.
32. About 4000 Chakma infiltrators were given shelter in two Relief Camps as refugees for a period from June 1984 to February 1986, purely on humanitarian grounds. For relief works, Govt. of India sanctioned Rs.15 lakhs. With efforts through the Govt. of India, the Government has repatriated all the refugees by the second week of March ’86 and the relief camps have been closed. Effective measures are taken to contain infiltration of foreigners.
33. Under Social Welfare Schemes as many as 80 Pre-school centers are functioning at present in villages not covered by ICDS. There are also 35-day care centers functioning in the State. To improve the creative talents power and encourage the skills among children, children’s competitions were held. For rehabilitation of destitute women, Rs.2 lakhs were provided in 1986-87. to mobilize public opinion on social problems, seminars, conferences and training camps were organized. 373 handicapped students are given stipends in 1986-87. For rehabilitation of the handicapped and the destitute, Rs.6.50 lakhs are provided in 1986-87 to benefit 436 persons. 120 persons were supplied artificial limbs, wheel chairs, hearing aids etc. Men above 65 years and women above 60 years who have no means of livelihood are provided financial assistance and 1563 beneficiaries are covered under this scheme.
34. Rehabilitation of the MNF returnees was one of the prime concerns of the Government. With the funds of Rs.191 lakhs sanctioned by the Govt. of India, 606 MNF returnees were provided lodging and boarding facilities in Aizawl soon after their coming overground. Cash grants and rehabilitation assistance was provided to all of them. The Government is giving them free house sites and financial assistance for construction.
35. The achievements under the 20-Point Programme have been good. About 7,000 families were assisted under IRDP. 98-biogas plant, was set up. Production of oilseeds and pulses is improved.
36. There has been significant development in Fishery. Over 2 lakhs fish seeds were produced in the State-owned seed farms. Another 5 lakhs fish seeds are expected to be produced by the end of March 1987. Fish seed farms will be set up at Ngengpui in Chhimtuipui District, at Tawipui in Lunglei District shortly. The Government has brought out literature on Composite Pisciculture, Paddy-cum-Pisciculture, Breeding Technique of Common carp etc. in Mizo language.
37. Animal Husbandry & Veterinay Department upgraded the existing RAH Centres at Kawnpui, Lungsen and Sangau to the Dispensary status. 10 new RAH Centres are being opened at Saiphai, Lallen, Bukpui, Lungpho, Lungrang, New Saiha, Zawngling, Bungtlang(s), Chapui and Borapansury. The liquid nitrogen plant for introduction of frozen semen technique in Mizoram has been acquired and is likely to be installed very soon. This will facilitate genetic improvement of cattle in Mizoram. Rs.70 lakhs have been earmarked for family-oriented scheme for settlement of approximately 2,180 jhumia families in diary farming, hill cattle farming, piggery and other livestock farming. There is still shortage of local product of eggs. 500 families have taken up diary farming as their sole occupation.
38. The Government of India has given very generous assistance under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes such as, IRDP, AMSF and RLEGP. 9,000 man days of work were generated under NREP and over 6 lakhs of mandays of work were generated under RLEGP during the year.
39. The visit by the Prime Minister to Mizoram followed by a visit by a team of Central Ministers and senior officers in July 1986 has brought a package of economic programmes for Mizoram. About 200 kms of jeep able roads have been constructed under this package of assistance. Water Supply is being provided to 100 additional villages, 300 additional families are to be provided house-sites, a sum of Rs.1.5 crores has been sanctioned for 83 villages to take up permanent cultivation, construction of industrial growth centre costing Rs.300 lakhs has been approved, Doordarshan Relay Centre at Lunglei & Saiha wee approved,regional cultural centre will be set up at Aizawl. Sanction has been received for sports complex at Kolasib, Aizawl and other places costing about Rs.70 lakhs. Daily air service by Vayudoot between Calcutta and Aizawl has been introduced. In regard to road construction, the Central Government has declared road from Lunglei to Tuipang and Saiha as National Highway. A bridge construction over Kolodyne River has been sanctioned and work will begin in a few month’s time. More funds are being provided as time schedule for completion of National Highway between Aizawl and Silchar has been revised. Lunglei and Saiha are being provided with telephone exchanges. Rates of freight subsidy on cement from various places to Aizawl have been raised which enable the Government to bring down the price of cement to some extent.
40. I have broadly mentioned some achievements in various fields of development. Detailed plans for 1987-88 are yet to be finalized. I am sure the Council of Ministers will go into this in detail, lay down policies and physical and financial targets to be achieved during the next year. I am confident that the Hon’ble Members will participate in the deliberations in greater depth, offer their constructive suggestions to improve the performance of the Government in the future. With these words, I leave you to your deliberations and wish you all very fruitful and interesting period in this first session of Mizoram State Legislative Assembly.