On this occasion of the Sixty Third Anniversary of the Republic Day, I extend my warm greetings, felicitations and best wishes to all who have gathered here today and all the people of Mizoram. 26th January is a very significant date in our nation\'s history, when we celebrate the establishment of freeIndiaas a Republic based on the ideology of justice and equality.
It is a day when we recall with gratitude the sacrifices of our freedom fighters and the dedication of our Founding Fathers, for giving to us a country where our dignity and individual freedom are guaranteed by an enlightened Constitution. It must also be an occasion when we rededicate ourselves to maintain harmony, peace and brotherhood. Let us vow anew our sacred duty to nurture, safeguard and strengthen the democratic systems and values enshrined in our Constitution.
Peace and tranquility are vital for growth and development. We are extremely fortunate to have efficient law enforcing agencies and supportive non-government organizations, churches, religious institutions, media and the general public which has helped maintain our status as one of the most peaceful states in the country. We must however be vigilant against sectarianism of all kinds and elements that can hurt our well maintained social fabric and harmonious co-existence. I am happy to have experienced the Christmas and New Year festival 2011 where there had not been any disruption of law and order. Our commitment for maintenance of peace and harmony was evident in our successful endeavour of rescuing two executives of the ABCI engaged in developmental venture in the State from their anti-social captors. Policing work in the State is being computerised with the assistance received from Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India under the Crime & Criminal Tracking Network and System Scheme and I am happy to share the information that Mizoram is the forerunner amongst the other States in the implementation of this scheme. In compliance with the 2006 judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, we have enacted the Mizoram Police Act 2010 and the Mizoram Victim Compensation Scheme was also framed to compensate victims of crime.
On this august occasion, I seek to briefly highlight the vision and some of the achievements of the State Government for the benefit of the people of Mizoram.
1. The Government recognized that a special initiative is required to change the Land Use System by providing permanent engagement through the New Land Use Policy (NLUP). The implementation of NLUP was launched on 14th January, 2011. This flagship project designed to transform our economy focusing on inclusive growth and poverty alleviation has been gathering momentum. Detail land use planning exercise has been undertaken to ensure proper planning and quality in the project implementation. 45,139 beneficiaries have been selected for economic upliftment in different sectors. The experience gained in the first phase of implementation has enabled us to strengthen the monitoring system and training of stakeholders and arrangement of supply of inputs. I would like to appeal to all the beneficiaries to sincerely engage themselves in the line of trades they have selected as only commitment and perseverance can result in achievement of our goals.
2. I firmly believe that our economic progress lies with the progress in Agriculture and allied sectors. Mizoram’s prosperity is not possible without the development of our farmers and workers engaged in agricultural activities. We have undertaken a number of measures for the welfare of the farmers. Agriculture machineries and equipments are distributed to farmers at highly subsidized rates. Farmers are encouraged to take up Wet Rice Cultivation.
The main objective is to reduce shifting/jhumming system of cultivation and to convert jhum land into permanent and sustainable farming land. There has been reduction of jhum cultivation from 44,947 Hactares at the beginning of 11th Five Year Plan to 28,735 hactares during 2010-2011 which accounts for about 36% reduction. The reduction in jhum cultivation area is mainly due to the implementation of Watershed Development Programme for Shifting Cultivation Areas (WDPSCA), Oil Palm Development Programme and Sugarcane Cultivation Programme. A Citrus Scion Bank is being established at Horticulture Centre, Chite, which is expected to be completed by January 2012. This is expected to provide disease free Scion for budding which will help in combating the major problem of Citrus Dieback problem in Mizoram. We also provide necessary support through capacity building and training, provision of quality seeds and saplings, demonstrations, research in agricultural crop science and refinement of existing technology for higher crop production. Priority has been given to implementation of minor irrigation scheme which comprises construction of agriculture approach roads, water harvesting structures, irrigation channels, field drains, leveling and shaping of farm lands. Till date, 390 nos. of Minor Irrigation Schemes covering Culturable Command Area of 15,589 hactares has been completed.
3. The growth and development of Industries is essential for the economic development of the State. Industrial Development areas have been established in different locations including Zuangtui Industrial Estate,ExportPromotionIndustrial Parkat Lengte. Industrial Growth Centre, Luangmual and Integrated Infrastructure Development Centre (IIDC), Pukpui, have been geared up to be leased out to prospective entrepreneurs in the near future to establish reliable industrial activities in the State.
With the State contributing 14% of the nationwide bamboo distribution, bamboo processing has been identified as an important industrial sector of the State. Various entrepreneurship and skill development programmes have been organized for in depth study on the application of modern technology to enhance production and to keep pace with the growing market.
4. My Government realizes the significance and importance of education for the empowerment of the people. Education and literacy enables people to take part in our growth processes. Mass literacy campaigns have been launched in 3 (three) Districts namely – Lawngtlai, Lunglei and Mamit with great success resulting in 2.78% increase in our literacy rate thereby raising our State-wide literacy rate to 91.58%. The Central Jail, Aizawl, in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi National Open University have been extending facilities for free education to literate inmates. 60 (sixty) inmates were given free admission in Bachelor Preparatory Programme (BPP) and elementary education are being imparted to illiterate inmates.
5. Mizoram is blessed with great potential to emerge as a tourist destination. My Government has taken steps in the field of tourism including adventure tourism. The first paragliding festival and spot landing competition was successfully organized at Serchhip and Brigade Field on 29th and 30th November, 2011. Construction of State Institute of Hotel Management (SIHM) at the erstwhile Bung Picnic Spot is in progress and nearing completion. Festivals based on different themes are organized at the different Tourist Resorts to facilitate tourist influx.
6. Power & Electricity are the pre-requisites for industrial progress and improvement of living standard. My Government completed construction of Serlui ‘B’ Small Hydel Project (SHP) with the capacity of 12 MW. The project is slated to be formally commissioned after technical repairing of the surge shaft gate is completed. We are to take up construction of 216 MW Tuivai Hydro Electric Project (HEP) on Public Private Partnership (PPP) Mode by availing Viability GAP Funding (VGF) from the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India. My Government has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NEEPCO for execution of Lungreng Hydro Electric Project (HEP) with a capacity of 815 Megawatt (MW), Chhimtuipui Hydro Electric Project (HEP) with a capacity of 635 Megawatt (MW) and Mat Hydro Electric Project (HEP) with a capacity of 76 Megawatt (MW). The construction of Kaladan Phase-II Hydro Electric Project (HEP) with a capacity of 460 Megawatt (MW) near Lawngtlai village is to be completed within 6½ years. Tuirini and Tuivawl Hydro Electric Projects (HEPs) have been handed over to developers as per Hydro Electric Power Policy of the State on the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) Mode.
7. Road communication is essential for development. The Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project to link sea route inMyanmarwith Mizoram underIndia’s Look East Policy is scheduled for completion in 2014. Earthwork for Widening of National Highway-154 (Bilkhawthlir to Bairabi) to double lane standard has been completed. Widening of National Highway-54 (Kawnpui to Aizawl) is in progress. Construction of High Level 2-lane Bridge over River Tut and River Tlawng are in progress and expected to be completed by May 2013. Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Black Top surfacing of roads are undertaken to improve and upgrade our internal roads. Infrastructure building to meet our growing needs have not been neglected. Construction of Mizoram House at Chanakyapuri,New Delhiis in progress and nearing completion. There is satisfactory progress of work in the construction of Mizoram House at New Town, Kolkata as well.
8. We are focusing on human resource development. Polytechnic Institutes are to be set up at Champhai, Kolasib, Lawngtlai, Mamit, Saiha and Serchhip. Construction of newMizoramLawCollegeat Luangmual, Aizawl is in progress. Infrastructure development of existing colleges are in full swing. Construction of Rajiv Gandhi Sports Stadium is in progress. Construction of Indoor Stadiums at Aizawl and Champhai are nearing completion. AStateSportsAcademyat Zobawk is to be established in the near future.
9. Cooperative Societies are contributing substantially towards upliftment of the economy of the State. The Mizoram State Cooperative Marketing and Consumers Federation Ltd (MIZOFED) and Primary Consumer Cooperatives have been playing supportive roles in regulating consumer prices and ensuring availability of consumer products at reasonable prices. The Mizoram Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd (MULCO) and 35 (thirty five) Primary Milk Cooperatives are ensuring steady supply of milk and milk products and ushering profits for milk producers. We continue to provide affordable means of transportation to the general masses in the interior areas of the State through the Mizoram State Transport Buses. As this is one sector which directly benefits the common man, new fleet of buses are continued to be procured to help ease our public transport problems. For provision of housing and other basic amenities to families below poverty line and economically weaker sections of the society, 4 (four) housing projects for Economically Weaker Section of the people are being implemented at Chite, Lawipu, Rangvamual and Durtlang under Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) scheme. These 4 (four) projects together will provide housing to 1,096 urban poor families. 8 (eight) projects for construction of housing for the Economically Weaker Section at Lunglei, Saiha, Champhai I&II, Kolasib I&II, Serchhip and Mamit have been approved and sanctioned by the Central Government for construction of 1950 units/houses under Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP). The 13th Finance Commission grants for Urban Local Bodies have already been transferred to the Aizawl Municipal Council to enable them to take up core services like solid waste management, water supply, cemetery and burial grounds, drainage, building regulations and other public amenities within Aizawl Municipal Council Area. Slowly but surely the Aizawl Municipal Council is being equipped to discharge its constitutional and obligatory functions effectively and become a vibrant local self government.
10. Focus attention has been given to provision of adequate safe drinking water to all villages and urban areas. A slew of water supply schemes are being undertaken at different habitations throughout Mizoram which includes – Greater Lawngtlai Water Supply Scheme, Greater Saitual Water Supply Scheme, Greater Hnahthial Water Supply Scheme, Tuipang Water Supply Scheme, Bilkhawthlir Water Supply Scheme, Bairabi Water Supply Scheme, West Phaileng Water Supply Scheme, South Khawbung Water Supply Scheme, Lower Sakawrdai Water Supply Scheme, Sangau Water Supply Scheme, Phuaibuang Water Supply Scheme, Bualpui ‘NG’ & Lungzarhtum Water Supply Scheme, Lengpui Town & Airport Water Supply Scheme. In addition we aim to cover 109 villages under Rural Water Supply Schemes.
11. Improvement of healthcare facilities remains a priority for my government. Under the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP), 80,000 (eighty thousand) Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINS) were distributed to 93 (ninety three) Health Sub-Centres throughout the 8 (eight) districts. Construction and establishment of 4 (four) additional Health Sub-Centres are being undertaken. 943 (nine hundred and forty three) Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) have been trained and provided with requisite medical kits to bring about improvement in Maternal & Child Health and increase better co-ordination between the health sector and the community. Concerted efforts are made to procure better equipments and materials in healthcare. A new Computerised Topography Automatic Scan (C.T Scan) instrument is expected to be installed at theCivilHospitalin the near future. In addition, the T.B Control Programme and various projects under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) are effectively implemented throughout the State. The 3 (three) Autonomous District Councils have also made remarkable achievements in their resource mobilization. The Government remains sensitive to the special needs of these areas. Inclusive development of rural areas is needed for a balanced socio economic growth. Implementation of various Centrally Sponsored Schemes under Rural Development Department are being undertaken earnestly.
12. In conclusion I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all the NGOs, the Churches, youth and the general public for contributing towards the development and prevailing peace and harmony in the State. With your continued support, I am confident that my government will be able to achieve the visions and goals to which it is committed. With the traditional Mizo values and traits of honesty, respect for elders and the sacred ethics of ‘Tlawmngaihna’, I am confident that we can look forward to integrating ourselves with the main stream of national life while keeping our own identity intact and safeguarding our economic, social and cultural interest. Let us, on this day, resolve to preserve and strengthen the unity and integrity of this great country and to work for the missions that will make Mizoram a place where all can live with dignity, peace, prosperity and happiness.