On this occasion of the 65th Republic Day, I extend my warm greetings, felicitations and best wishes for a prosperous New Year to all who have assembled here today and to the people of Mizoram. On this auspicious day, let us remember the founding fathers who brought forth freedom to this Nation and gave us the Constitution which guarantees dignity and liberty to us. As proud citizens of this great country, it is incumbent upon all of us to nurture and strengthen the democratic system and values enshrined in our Constitution.
- 1. It is my proud privilege to be addressing you again on this occasion as Governor of Mizoram. You are all aware that the same Government has come into power in Mizoram with better majority than the previous term. This is because of the good polices they have implemented during their term, and the people of Mizoram as a whole have whole-heartedly supported the policies. I take this opportunity to congratulate the new Government for its achievements. I also congratulate the people of Mizoram for ensuring free and peaceful election.
On this august occasion, I seek to highlight some of the achievements of the State Government during the past one year for the benefit of the people of Mizoram.
2. My Government is committed to continue the flagship programme of New Land Use Policy (NLUP) with renewed vigour. The project has made very good progress in uplifting the economy of the state thereby registering GSDP growth rate at 11 percent during 11th Plan period against the National growth rate of 7.8%. Planning Commission has so far released Rs 1208.82 crores under ACA component. In addition to this, expected fund flow from Central Ministries under Convergence Plan is estimated at Rs 760.43 crore by the end of 2013-14. During the last three years of its implementation, the project has had significant impact in rural economy by providing alternative and sustainable livelihood activities to the farmers thereby reducing their dependence on jhum cultivation by 50 to 60 percent. Now that the initial phase of implementation has been completed with good results, the next phases of implementation will also commence very shortly.
3. In Agriculture sector my Government had initiated various interventions schemes such as Area Expansion under Rice Cultivation, promotion of improved production technologies like System of Rice Intensification (SRI), Line planting and improved cultivation of Rice on Hill Slope to enhance productivity and production of Rice and achieving self-sufficiency in food. Under National Food Security Mission, rice cultivators are also being assisted by giving subsidy for various Farm Machineries.
4. My Government recognizes the importance of industrial growth for our economy; we have taken up Industrial Area Development with basic infrastructure requirement and facilities in selected locations. Initiative is also taken to explore oil and natural gas in 4 Blocks of the State. It is expected that the exploration of such natural resources will eventually uplift the economy of the State.
5. My Government pays attention to maintenance and improvements of roads. Resurfacing of about 129 kms. and widening of 2-Lane ofNational Highway have been completed recently. Under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) improvement ofAizawlCity roads covering 46 kms at a cost of Rs 38.73 crore has been taken up and the progress is in full swing. Upgradation of Vaivakawn toMizoram University Road and construction of Sihhmui (NH-44A) toMizoramUniversity as spur of Aizawl By-pass having a length of 14.20 kms. at a cost of Rs. 19.07 crore and Rs 53.09 crore respectively are being taken up and works are in good progress.
6. My Government accords priority to making Mizoram self-sufficient in energy. The 18th Meeting of Empowered Committee on 18.9.2013 for Viability Gap Funding (VGP) support has recommended for 210 MW Tuivai HEP to be executed on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) and Rs.340 crore has been approved by the Union Finance Minister on November, 2013. The project is the first power generation project in the North East and the first in India to be executed on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) support. The project will be completed within 12th Plan. We are also taking up construction of major transmission lines to improve our transmission system across the State.
7. My Government is committed to provide safe and sufficient drinking water to all the people. Towards this end, various schemes and projects have been implemented with financial assistance under NLCPR(DoNER) NRWDP, JNNURM and UIDSSMT. For development and service improvement of Aizawl water supply, sewerage, sanitation and solid waste management, State Investment Program Management and Implementation Unit (SIPMIU) is implementing various projects for Aizawl city under the North Eastern Region Capital Cities Development Investment Programmes (NERCCDIP).
8. The UD&PA Department has been implementing various schemes and projects including Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) for renovation of Aizawl Greater Water Supply Scheme, Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Town (UIDSSMT), Road Projects within Aizawl City, Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) and Rajiv Awaas Yojana (RAY) for families living Below Poverty Line and Economically Weaker Section of the society, Integrated and Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) for construction of houses at the District Headquarters for urban poor.
I am proud to mention that award for Best Performing State under JNNURM in 7 years of Mission’s period (in North East & Special Category States/UTs) and Best State for Overall Performance under SJSRY in the year 2012-2013 (in small States/UTs) under the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Govt. of India have been awarded to our State.
9. My Government has been giving priority for upliftment of the rural poor by providing wage employment under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guaranty Schemes (MGNREGS) in the State. More than 1000 (one thousand) houses were constructed under Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY). My Government has provided GCI sheets to rural poor for quality roofing and to harvest rain water for the improvement of their living conditions.
10. Selection of beneficiaries under National Food Security Act is in process. This will benefit as many as 7.06 lakhs of the State’s population for foodgrains at subsidized rate. Under Rajiv Gandhi Grami LPG Vitsak Scheme (RGGLV), 25 distribution points for LPG have been selected in Mizoram.
11. In order to develop health care professionalism and facility in Mizoram, my Government is committed to establish a full-fledgedMedicalCollege in Mizoram with support from North Eastern Council for which Detailed Project Report has already been submitted to Government of India.
12. My Government is concerned with the welfare of its workforce. Various Acts & Rules are implemented to protect the service condition of the working class and promoting industrial peace and harmony. Creating opportunities for employment has been a major agenda for the Government.
13. Education continues to receive utmost priority. My Government is committed to free and compulsory primary education to all children below the age of 14 years of age under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). As many as 7650 children under SSA have been provided with aids and appliances free of cost. Hindi education is given due importance under CSS. The Teacher Education Advisory Board(TEAB) has approved upgradation of 6(six) District Resource Centres(DRCs) into full-fleged DIETs which are expected to function from the academic year 2014-15. The Central Government has also approved establishment of 3 Block Institute of Teacher Education(BITE) in minority concentrated areas at Chawngte, Tlabung andWest Phaileng. During the year 2013-14, the INSPIRE Award of Rs.5000/- has been received by 808 students of Mizoram. Special literacy drive is also being carried out in full swing with a view to attain 100% literacy within the State.
14. My Government is committed to train its sportspersons to qualify for Olympic 2016. A special programme “Olympic Vision 2016” has been launched in which sportspersons are given special intensive training in selected disciplines. Towards achieving excellence in sports, world class infrastructure for sports have been created in various places of the state. Government’s policy of “Catch Them Young” is being implemented in all sports discipline the year round.
15. Tremendous efforts are given to develop adventure tourism, rural tourism and eco-tourism in the state. Tourist Lodges, Tourist Resorts, and Highway Restaurants are now present in all corners of Mizoram to facilitate domestic and foreign tourists.RecreationalCenters and Parks have been constructed and inaugurated recently in 5 districts and another 2 more are under construction at Serchhip and Kolasib.
16. My government gives priority to expansion of trade with neighbouring countries and has created a number of new infrastructures to facilitate border trade. The proposed Land Custom Station(LCS) at Zorinpui in Lawngtlai District has already been approved in principle by the Empowered Committee meeting held at Ministry of Commerce on 5th July, 2013. This will act as an access point to the South East Asian countries when completed.
17. It is worth mentioning that the Revenue Department has legislated a new Mizoram (Land Revenue) Act, 2013 and the Mizoram (Land Revenue)Rules, 2013 which will address the basic problem of land administration and meet the needs of the people while enhancing our land revenue. A new scheme - Natural Land Revenue Modernization Programme (NLRMP) is also introduced to make detailed survey of the whole areas of Mizoram. The 13th Finance Commission has also earmarked an amount of Rs. 42.80 crores as grant-in-aid for the current year for works related to infrastructure development, forestry research etc.
18. To ensure efficient and quick delivery of services to public it is proposed to computerize various services in Transport and Taxation Departments. My government is also developing Digital Land Resource Information System for generating comprehensive information on transport network, power distribution line, agro-based information and town planning by integrating it with Geographical Map Imagery.
19. My Government has earmarked built-space in Ch.Chhunga Bus Terminal, Thuampui and land at MizoramUniversity campus for setting up of Software Technological Park of India (STPI).
20. A number of activities under watershed programme to sustain livelihood of the rural poor and to maintain ecological balance have also been initiated. Mizoram State Rural Livelihood Mission (MzSRLM) has been implemented recently to enable the rural poor to access gainful self-employment.
In conclusion, I take this opportunity to once again express my gratitude to all the NGOs, the Churches and the general public for having reposed faith and confidence in my government and also for extending to it utmost co-operation in all its endeavours for the development of Mizoram. I appreciate the sincerity and professional sagacity of the government servants. I also thank the media persons and all the Central government departments operating in Mizoram. With your whole-hearted cooperation and the unwavering support of the Central government, I am confident that my government will be able to fully achieve the vision and goals for which it stands committed. Let us, on this auspicious 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.
Once again, I convey my best wishes to the people of Mizoram.