Today we are celebrating the 73rd Independence Day of our great nation. On this momentous occasion, I extend greetings to all who have gathered here and to the people of Mizoram.
India’s freedom struggle was fought through generations, claiming many lives, innumerable people sacrificed their youth and spent their lives behind bars for the sake of freeing our Motherland from the shackles of foreign rule. I appeal to our new generation to pay reverence to the supreme sacrifices of our brave freedom fighters, for it is because of them that we are breathing the air of freedom today and are able to dream of a better tomorrow. With deep respect, I would like to salute and commend the sacrifices and contributions rendered by Pu Darthawma, the last surviving Mizo freedom fighter, who died last month in Lunglei. He was a member of the Indian National Army during the freedom movement and it is men like him that our new generations should look up to for inspiration. I offer my heartfelt tribute to him and Mizoram will always remember his contribution towards a Free India.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Mizoram for putting their faith in the new government. I am glad to say that this eight-month old government has brought various developmental changes already and has been able to solve several issues in the state. I promise that we will take up more developmental works and thwart any threat to the growth and development of the state.
1. We are committed to the successful implementation of the ‘Socio-Economic Development Policy’ (SEDP), which will be the flagship programme of the government. SEDP aims at accelerating progress in key sectors and transforming Mizoram into a welfare state by achieving self-sufficiency in food items, improving social life, bringing happiness and peace to people. The policy will focus on increasing the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Mizoram, improving economic condition of general public, creation of employment opportunities and favourable business environment and bringing in sustainable development. Further, creation of basic infrastructures is an important objective as it is the basis of development. A total of 14 Boards, each headed by a Minister, has been created to serve as nodal agencies for the successful implementation of SEDP.
Cultivation and processing of bamboo is one of the most important components of the government’s flagship programme SEDP. For this purpose, two kinds of bamboo Brandisii and Latifloras are now ready to be cultivated. These bamboos are evergreen bamboos with erect culms more than 50 ft tall and the woody culms are 15-20 inches in diameter. Tissue culture of these bamboos is in process and soon it will be ready to be cultivated in all parts of Mizoram. Government is making an effort for construction of Bamboo Link Road and seed cultivation; in fact for this purpose, the state government will seek funds from the Centre and will also utilize the SEDP budget for implementation.
2. In order to provide better administration and to promote participation of common man in administration, three new Districts namely - Saitual District, Khawzawl District and Hnahthial District have been created, funds for the successful functioning of these districts has also been earmarked and the boundaries of these new Districts have already been delineated. Necessary steps for establishment and functioning of Deputy Commissioner’s Office and Superintendent of Police’s Office in the new Districts has also been taken, and all the Departments have also been instructed to prepare plans for setting up of their offices in the new districts.
3. Maintenance of law and order is one of the most important duties of the Government as without peace and security the progress in society becomes difficult. Efforts are on to strengthen the Police Department and it is noteworthy that during the past few years there was no major law & order outbreak in our state due to the tactfulness and quick response of Police Department. The dedication and endless efforts of the Police Department to ensure free and fair poll during the State Legislative Assembly election last year and the General Parliamentary Election to the Lok Sabha earlier this year has paid off remarkably as both these elections were successfully concluded under peaceful atmosphere without any hindrance. In their tireless efforts to tackle contraband items such as narcotic drugs, liquor, arms and ammunitions, fake Indian currency notes and illegal trade, Mizoram police seized large amounts of illicit and narcotic substances with the value of Rs. 58.60 crores. Canine Squad is also being set up under the scheme of ‘Assistance to States for Narcotic Control’. Several equipments were procured during 2018 - 2019 for setting up of Cyber Forensic Lab-cum-Training Centre under the scheme of ‘Prevention of Cyber Crime against Women and Children’. The ‘Emergency Response & Support system’ (ERSS) project is being implemented for taking quick action in the event of natural calamities and other disasters. Under this project, all such emergencies will be reported to the Government through a dedicated telephone number and it has been functional since 13th August, 2019. With a view to strengthen and increase the efficacy of the Police force, a new Police Outpost was inaugurated at Chhingchhip village in Serchhip district on 28th May, 2019 and two new Police Beat Posts were opened at Salem Veng and Bethlehem Vengthlang, Aizawl and another Beat Post was also opened at Farkawn Village in Champhai district. Apart from this, Lunglei Town Surveillance Project and conduit layout of CCTV, LAN and EPABX at Police Headquarters new building at Khatla has been taken up and child-friendly rooms have been established in all Police Stations within Aizawl city and other district headquarters which are being utilized for sheltering and receiving children entering the Police Station at ease.
Mizoram Forensic Science Laboratory (MFSL) has constructively been assisting law enforcing agencies by way of generation of standard scientific evidences. Mizoram FSL is one of the 13 Forensic Laboratories of the country prioritized by the Central Government to implement the Nirbhaya Fund Scheme, which aims to strengthen safety and security of women in the country by ensuring speedy and efficient investigations in cases of sexual assaults. A total cost of Rs.4.19 crores has been sanctioned under this scheme to strengthen DNA and Cyber forensic analysis/examinations in the Laboratory. It is noteworthy that MFSL is the only forensic laboratory across India that maintains zero pendency of cases. It is also the only Laboratory in India that maintains an updated Case examination details via online mode that can be tracked by the Investigating agencies such as Police, Excise & Narcotics departments, etc. for 24 hours round the clock by using distinct passwords allotted to each of them.
4. The administration of Prisons is accorded special importance by the government. Concerted efforts are taken to improve the all round welfare measures of prisoners and basic infrastructure facilities. Construction of a separate Women’s Jail at Central Jail, Aizawl has been completed and is now functioning in full swing. Construction of an Auditorium at Central Jail, Aizawl and resurfacing work of Central Jail approach road is almost completed. An Isolation Ward for male inmates having communicable diseases is also under construction at Central jail, Aizawl which is nearing completion. Ongoing construction of Saitual Sub-Jail and new Male Convict Ward at District Jail, Kolasib are also almost completed.
5. Mizoram has come out at the top among smaller states of India again as informed by the Second Performance on Health Outcomes Index released by NITI Aayog in June, 2019. The Department aims to improve the existing health care services provided by the Sub-Centres by making a facility of Sub-Centres into an institution where delivery of babies can be performed, particularly in rural areas and certain number of Sub-Centres has so far been upgraded. It is, therefore, expected that with the new facilities, Infant Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Ratio willbe decreased to a great extent, which is also one of the main goals of SEDP. Under the National Programme for Control of Blindness & Visual Impairment (NPCBVI), 3008 Free Cataract Operations was performed during the last one year and 50,794 school children were detected with Refractive Error. 2599 free spectacles were provided to school children and 3712 free spectacles also provided to old age persons.
The Government of India has sanctioned Rs.10 crores each for the construction of General Nursing & Midwifery Schools at Siaha, Champhai, Serchhip, Kolasib and Rs.5 crores each for the construction of Auxiliary Nursing & Midwifery Schools at Lawngtlai, Mamit and Aizawl. Of these, the construction of Administrative-cum-Teaching block for GNM Schools at Champhai, Siaha and ANM School at Aizawl and Mamit have been completed. Administrative-cum-Teaching block & Hostel block for Serchhip GNM School, Kolasib GNM School and Lawngtlai ANM School have been already completed.
6. 66 High School Science Teachers and 48 High School Mathematics Teacher were recruited during 2018 – 2019. 7 Middle Schools, 25 High Schools and 43 Higher Secondary Schools were upgraded from purely Private status to Adhoc Lumpsum-GIA status during 2018. 89 new schools and 202 staff quarters are constructed under RMSA during 2018 – 2019. For the Academic year 2018-2019, a total number of 1,07,165 school-going children in Government and Government Aided Schools were provided Free Text Books under SSA and 98,086 students under Government schools were also provided Free Uniforms under SSA. The government purchased new buses for 9 colleges, and under RUSA, 62 Assistant Professors were recruited recently, and 4 existing Colleges will be upgraded to Model Degree College at the tune of Rs.16 crores and 13 Colleges are also given Infrastructure Grants amounting Rs.26 crores.
7. It is our commitment to improve market infrastructure which would not only provide places for selling the agricultural produces within the state but also provide direct or indirect employment to a large number of people, particularly women and weaker sections of the society. Commerce Wing of the Commerce and Industries Department has undertaken construction of market infrastructures, including repair and renovation of existing infrastructures. The construction work of Market Building at New Market, Dawrpui, Aizawl with the project cost of Rs.1300 lakhs under NEC funding has been completed and the stalls inside the building will be utilised for shifting sellers at Foreign Lane, since the place is proposed for construction of Aizawl City Centre Annexe building and the construction will commence when shifting process to new Market Building is completed. Meanwhile, construction of Mission Veng Bazar Complex under NEC funding has been completed. Under Export Development Fund (EDF) financed by Ministry of Commerce & Industry, the construction for work site development and Block ‘A’ building of Trade Facilitation Centre, Lawngtlai has already completed and construction of Block ‘B’ building and Staff Quarters will be started very soon. Trade Facilitation Centre, Lawngtlai will be an important infrastructure for Act East Policy when construction of Land Custom Station at Zorinpui is completed.
In respect of border trade with Myanmar, the location for construction of ‘Border Haat’ has been identified in four places - Hnahlan, Zote, Vaphai (Saikhumphai) and Sangau (Pangkhua). Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Mode of Operation (MoO) between India and Myanmar have been duly made and signed by both parties in this regard. Joint survey for the construction of bridge over Tiau and Kolodyne rivers had also been conducted by delegates of both countries. These Border Haats will become important trade points between the two countries. Land Custom Station (LCS) Zokhawthar, the lone trade route for Mizoram with South East Asian countries, is being proposed for upgradation with full-fledged components of LCS. Construction of Trade Facilitation Centre at Tlabung, which is an important infrastructure for the border trade with Bangladesh has been completed already, and the Government of India has also proposed construction of Integrated Check Post (ICP) at four places, namely, Marpara, Tuipuibari, Silsuri and Nunsury. Construction ICP at Kawrpuichhuah is also expected to commence shortly.
The Commerce &Industries Department has also been taking necessary steps to formulate the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitating) Act, 2017 for early implementation. This Act aims at creation of market competition with exploration of better marketing outside the state and to enhance farmers’ income and abolition of intermidiaries between farmers and buyers. The Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport project (KMMTTP) to link Zorinpui LCS at the international border, which is the main channel for connecting Sittwe port inside Myanmar, has been taken up by Mizoram PWD and is expected to be completed during the next financial year. Access to South East Asian countries will be provided by KMMTTP road on both surface transport and waterways through Aizawl to Sittwe port via Lawngtlai, Zorinpui, Kaletwa and Paletwa.
8. There has been tremendous progress in the power sector during the past year. The 20MW Vankal Solar Park and 2MW Tlungvel Solar Park are expected to be completed in the next financial year, augmentation of 33/11kV Sub-Stations within Aizawl by installing higher capacity transformers is currently underway and augmentation of 132kV Sub-Station at Zuangtui by installing two 25MVA transformers at the cost of Rs.703.42 lakh has been completed and will be commissioned very soon. In order to provide better and regular power supply to Mamit District, 132kV line from Sihhmui to Lengpui Airport is under construction and is expected to be completed next year. Improvement of 132kV line from Bukpui to Khawzawl via East Lungdar is currently underway and once it is completed, Champhai District will get power supply from two sources – 132kV Sub-Station, Zuangtui and 132kV Sub-Station, Bukpui. Under NABARD, construction of 5MW Tlawva SHP and 4MW Kawlbem SHP are in progress at the cost of Rs.7340 lakh and Rs.4960 lakh respectively, both these projects are expected to be completed by the end of this year. Govt. of India has approved Rs.465 crore 24MW Tuirini Hydel Project and construction will begin as soon as necessary procedures are finalised. 132kV line from Bairabi to West Phaileng via Mamit is expected to be completed by June, 2020 and 132kV line from Melriat to Khawiva and 33kV line from Aibawk to Sialsuk are on the verge of completion too. 33/11kV Sub-Station Lawngtlai, 33/11kV Sub-Station Siaha and 33 kV line Kau-Tlabung SHP to Thenhlum, which are all funded by DoNER, are expected to be completed by the end of this year.
It is also noteworthy that Mizoram has become the first among the states of North East India to successfully complete implementation of SAUBHAGYA (Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana) with a target of 25,755 household electrification. Under Rural Electricity Distribution Backbone Scheme, new 33/11kV Sub-Stations are being constructed in six villages, namely, Rabung, Khawlailung, Mualthuam North, Tawipui North, Bualpui NG and Phura. Under the same scheme, a 189 kilometre-long 33kV line and 85.63 kilometre 11kV line have been constructed and 12 existing Sub-Stations are also being augmented.
9. Sustainable urban development is one of the top priorities of the government and to achieve this, the government has been vigorously working on various fronts such as urban governance, urban planning, urban transportation and mobility and urban poverty alleviation. In order to ease traffic congestion in Aizawl, a new scheme called PAHOSS (Parking House Support Scheme) has been launched recently, which envisages eventual decongestion of traffic jam in Aizawl city by providing financial assistance for construction of parking lots. Rs. 60 crore has been allocated for this purpose and more fund will continue to be allocated depending on the number of applications received and eligibility as per PAHOSS Guidelines. The vision of the Aizawl Smart City Mission is to make Aizawl an inclusive, sustainable, resilient and liveable city by leveraging its human capital through technology and celebrating its vibrant culture and nature. The total capital cost of the project is Rs.2053.01 crores which will to be financed through Smart City Fund, Swatch Bharat Mission(Urban), AMRUT, PMAY, NULM and NLCPR, etc.
With a view to making Aizawl a ‘Plastic Free City’ from 2ndOctober this year, the Aizawl Municipal Corporation(AMC) has recently passed the ‘AMC Solid Waste Management Bye-Laws, 2019’. Besides this, the AMC is implementing several Projects under AMRUT Scheme and has also initiated preparation of DPRs of 15 Major Projects within the Municipal Area, including Construction of Fly-Over at Bawngkawn Junction and Vaivakawn Junction, and Bus Terminal at Chaltlang etc. The AMC is also in a digitisation mode and in the process of implementing E-Governance for their office files as well.
10. Rapid improvements are being made in augmenting drinking water supply and sanitation in Mizoram, due to concerted efforts by the concerned departments and communities. Mizoram has already been declared the 13th Open Defecation Free (ODF) State in India last year and efforts are underway to make Mizoram one of the cleanest states in the country. The PHED has achieved success in various fronts during the past one year. Under NLCPR, Khawbung WSS has been completed during 2018-2019, Water Supply to Sainik School, Chhingchhip and Construction of Dam Reservoir & Development of Recreation Centre at Keilungliah are being undertaken. Under NABARD, Sialsuk and Samlukhai WSS, Leite&Rotlang WSS have been completed during 2018-19. N. Thingdawl WSS, Phullen and Thanglailung combined WSS, Sailam (Pumping, Aug) WSS, Vanbawng WSS (Solar Pumping), Combined WSS of Rulkual, R. Vanhne, Paithar and Saikah (Solar Pumping), Combined Solar Water Supply Scheme for Chiahpui, NE Khawdungsei and Combined Solar Water Pumping Scheme for Mimbung and Hrianghmun WSS are expected to be completed soon subject to availability of funds. NEC Projects such as Vairengte WSS, Sangau WSS Phase-II and Bualpui NG &Lungzarhtum WSS have also been completed during 2018-19. Construction of Greater Khawzawl WSS and Biate WSS under 10% GBS (Gross Budgetary Support) are also expected to be completed soon. Rapid progress has also been made in the Urban Water Supply, as out of 1 city and 22 notified towns in Mizoram, 15 of them are fully covered (70 lpcd & above) and 8 are still not yet fully covered (below 70 lpcd). The Department is putting up continuous efforts to make all towns fully covered with water supply. The PHED has provided 4235 House Water Connections and collected Rs.4479.56 lakh revenue from House Water ConnectionS against the targeted sum of Rs.4320 lakh during 2018-2019.
11. Mizoram, being part of the young mountain-chain fold of the Himalayas, is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes, cyclones, landslides, cloudbursts, floods etc. and hence, the topography is immature and very vulnerable. Since the state falls under the direct influence of the South-West monsoon, it receives huge amount of rainfall during the rainy seasons and we have been rocked by landslides and floods during the monsoon season which has resulted in loss of valuable lives and properties every year. Department of Disaster Management and Rehabilitation is responsible for response, relief and preparedness for natural and man-made disasters. As such, Mock Drills were regularly conducted at the State, District and Community levels as well as in offices and schools, to test the status of preparedness levels of the community and to generate awareness among the masses. A total of 200 volunteers in four batches were given training at Central Training Institute, Sesawng and State Training Centre, Tanhril last year. The DPR for restoration of NH-54 and Mitigation works at Hunthar Land Sinking Area has been approved and Rs.15 crore for this will soon be released by Ministry of Home Affairs.
12. Geology and Mineral Resources Department has taken up landslide investigation covering the whole state of Mizoram and is working out scientific solution to contain geological disasters of various kinds. The Department is also upgrading Geotechnical Laboratory for testing of soil and rock samples. Preparation of ‘Delineation of Urban Development Zones with Special Reference to Landslide Risk and Slope Stability of Aizawl City, Mizoram’ which will help a long way in disaster mitigation is in a closing stage. The Department also carried out Geotechnical investigations such as Core Drilling and Pile Drilling at several construction sites in and around Aizawl.
13. Agriculture and allied sectors are considered the mainstay of our economy, their contribution in terms of providing employment to a large majority of the workforce has been critical in maintaining livelihoods especially in the rural areas. Various measures are taken to enhance the capacity of farmers to increase production throughout the year. Under Sub-Mission on Agriculture Mechanisation (SMAM), farm machines and tools were distributed to farmers at subsidized rates and over 200 tractors and 1500 power tillers have been distributed to farmers at subsidized rates so far. Oil Palm area has increased to 25,923 Ha. last year and the Oil Palm fresh fruit branches sold to the companies till date is 26,286.082 metric ton which is about Rs. 14.159 crore worth. Under RKVY, NMOOP and other schemes, 1276 kilometres of link road have been constructed by Agriculture Department and State Agriculture Portal loneitu.nic.in was developed to feed information and necessary data regarding agriculture and allied developments to the farmers.
14. Horticulture Department has taken up cultivation of vegetables in cluster mode which resulted in increased production of off-season vegetables especially tomato and cabbage which further provides better income for the farmers. Under MIDH, area expansion scheme of vegetable cultivation of off-season cabbage was taken up achieving production of 6080 qtls approximately, generating an approximate income of about Rs.302.00 lakhs. Also, 2944 qtls of off-season tomato was produced, which enabled the farmers to earn an income of Rs 117.00 lakhs approximately. Recent achievement of Protected Cultivation in Leng Village of Serchhip District is also worth mentioning. Cultivation of Dragon fruit is taken up in a large scale to meet requirement of local consumers and national market with an expected production of around 50 MT during 2019. Rejuvenation of senile plantation of Mandarin Orange covering 350 ha was taken up during 2018-2019 with successful result giving a bumper harvest of 5399.7MT of Mandarin Orange fruits, which exceeds the previous year (2017-2018) production by 997.7MT with an income of approximately Rs.1536.00 lakh by the farmers. As irrigation during dry spell period is crucial for successful cultivation of crops, 480 water-tanks for individual farmers with fund amount of Rs.216.00 lakhs have been constructed for horticulture farmers. Under Warehouse Infrastructure Fund (WIF) of NABARD, two Transit Godowns at Sairang and Thingdawl, each costing Rs 300 lakh, and nine rural godowns, each costing Rs.100 lakhs, are being constructed at Siaha, Lawngtlai, Lunglei, Khawzawl, Ngopa, Serchhip, Thenzawl, Mamit and Tuidam. Bumper Arecanut harvest was achieved in Kolasib and Mamit Districts during 2018. In Kolasib District, 3571 MT of Arecanut was produced, fetching approximate income of Rs.800 lakhs, and 3920 MT in Mamit District, earning an income of more than Rs.1000 lakhs .
The existing Grape Winery at Champhai established under Technology Mission and managed by Champhai Grape Growers Society is under-going upgradation, wherein 10 additional fermentation tanks with a capacity of about 10,000 litres each will be added to increase production of grape wine to meet the high market demand for different forms of quality grape wine.
15. With its congenial climatic condition, Mizoram is home to all sericigenous insects with different host plants like Mulberry, Eri, Muga and Oak Tasar that grow naturally in the state. Presently, 5716 acres of land is covered under Silkworm food plantation throughout the state, involving 5651 farmers in 209 villages. Development of Eri-Sericulture for the Upliftment of Aspirational District at Mamit was one of the four Sericulture projects launched by Union Minister of Textiles earlier this year, and this will help 500 beneficiaries for the development of Ericulture in Mizoram. Sericulture Department, Mizoram also received an award for outstanding performance - ‘Best NERTPS Projects Implementing State Award’ - from the Ministry of Textiles in February this year. In post-cocoon sector, steps have been taken for product development and promotion of Mizo silk products and the Sericulture Industry in Mizoram is now among the industries with highest potential, with enough scope for marketing as well as an industry that could fetch foreign exchange.
16. The Animal Husbandry & Veterinary sector remains an important sector in the state’s economy by contributing 4% of the GSDP and 30% of the Agriculture and Allied sectors. The government is well aware of the vast field for development in Animal Husbandry sector and has taken up various measures to improve and realise its potentials. The Government of India is currently undertaking a programme on ‘Import of Pigs from UK for all N.E States’ to revive the piggery industry in the region, and the Government of Mizoram is designated as the nodal department for all the North Eastern states. The government also started a ‘Goat Breeding Farm’ at Thenzawl and with the induction of superior quality of goats, superior germplasm will be disseminated all over the state through the Breeding Centre. Mizoram has also signed an MoU with ICAR for development of mithun, and Mithun Breeding Centre is established at Thenzawl for production of superior breeds. INDBRO Hatchery at Tanhril established under NABARD RIDF is able to produce 41000 chicks monthly. To meet the egg demand in the southern region, Broiler Poultry Farm is being established at Lungpuizawl, Lunglei and will commence in the near future. To revive the Dairy industry, a project has prepared and submitted to the Government of India, and in the meantime measures to revive dairy plants at Kolasib, Champhai and Lunglei are being taken. To achieve maximum output in disease control and treating of ill animals, Veterinary hospitals, Dispensaries and Rural Animal Health Centres were equipped with cold chain facilities, instruments and medicines as well as furnitures and fixtures for case handling. New Rural Animal Health Centre buildings were constructed at Phuldungsei and Tuidam villages.
17. The North Eastern Council (NEC) has a reckonable contribution in the state by developing infrastructural assets in various sectors. Planning & Programme Implementation Department is the nodal Department for NEC. The Department coordinates and monitors projects funded under NEC by organizing Quarterly Review Meeting and by carrying out site inspections. There are 45 ongoing projects and 14 events funded by NEC, which has also given financial support for higher professional courses for 40 students last year. There are 42 ongoing projects with an approved cost of Rs. 53,946.66 lakh under Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) Scheme. The total fund released during 2018-19 is Rs. 5692.35 lakh and all the ongoing projects are likely to be completed by 31st March 2020 as the scheme has been discontinued and replaced by the new Central scheme of ‘North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme’ (NESIDS). The normative allocation for NESIDS for the State of Mizoram is Rs. 186.30 crore. Three projects – one project each for Power, Water supply and Upgradation of Roads - have been sanctioned with total approved cost of Rs.181.96 crore. The Government has taken active steps in implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and due to the untiring and concerted efforts taken by Committees and Cells created at various levels for this purpose, Mizoram is ranked 6th position with a score of 59 among the states of India.
18. Mizoram has huge potential to become a model tourist destination in the North East and the Department of Tourism has made endless efforts to promote tourism in the state in a responsible and sustainable manner through inclusive growth by utilizing available resources and building new tourist infrastructures. Under Swadesh Darshan Scheme, The Department carried out the construction of Thenzawl Golf Course and Resort which is the state’s biggest tourism project at a single location. The Golf Course will be one of its kind in the North-East, featuring an 18-hole course and eco-friendly resort with 30 eco-log huts. Other projects under this scheme includes the construction of eco-friendly resort and wellness spa at South Zote and development of eco-adventure parks and ethnic village at Reiek. The Department is also taking a massive effort to construct the first Skywalk in the country at Sakawrhmuituai Tlang, and mountain biking course, nature walk, bamboo craft workshop etc. will also be constructed at the site. To fulfil our commitment to ensure integration and brotherhood of all Mizos across the globe, the government has earmarked Rs.100 lakhs for Mizo diaspora to organise Mizo unity festivals across the world. The Tourism Department has also appointed Jeremy Lalrinnunga, Gold Medallist in Weightlifting at Youth Olympics 2019, as its brand ambassador for the year 2019-2020.
19. Under the Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department, advanced stocking of rice has been made for the period from May, 2019 to November, 2019 in the selected 61 supply centres across the state to avoid food shortage in remote villages, which are inaccessible during rainy season. Digitization of rations cards has been completed, which will help government in weeding out the bogus ration cards and better targeting of subsidies. 91.17% of aadhaar seeding of family rations cards has been completed at the ration card level and 73.45% at the beneficiary level, which will help identify and weed out duplicate and ineligible beneficiaries from the targeted public distribution system. Currently, there are 53 LPG Agencies in Mizoram, of which 28 of them under RGGLV, catering different villages throughout the state and due to the concerted efforts by the Government and the LPG Agencies, Mizoram has received adequate supply of LPG, which is remarkable. During 2018-2019, Rs.3.25 crores was received from the Central Government for the on-going construction of Working Standard Laboratories at Kolasib, Chawngte, Tlabung, Hnahthial and Aizawl. Calibration Centre for Tank Lorry was also constructed at Kolasib at the cost of Rs.20 lakhs.
20. Science and Technology are closely associated with our lives, our society and are essential for the overall progress of mankind. The State Department of Science & Technology has made remarkable progress in various fields. The ‘Sawdust to Charcoal Making Project’ for utilizing sawdust produced in wood-furniture workshops, was developed and constructed at Baktawng village. Around ten (10) fully loaded 407 truck sawdust thrown and burnt daily will now be utilised to produce charcoal for further applications. A project to map and analyse the various natural hazards occurring in the state called ‘Hazard, Risk & Vulnerability Analysis’ which will enable decision makers to make appropriate assessments and plan under the purview of disaster management in the state is on the verge of completion. A project to map and model the terrain of the State to provide a platform for viewing and analyzing terrain information called ‘Digital 3D Terrain Mapping & Modelling for Mizoram’ has been completed to assist the data requirements of various state Departments. This project received the coveted e-Governance recognised ‘North East Technology Sabha Award 2018 under Enterprise Mobility’ on 23rd November, 2018. An innovative scheme to give exposure opportunities for the youth in various international events called ‘Science & Technology International Travel Support Scheme’ was materialized and opportunity has now been opened for the Mizo young scientists to present their scientific innovative research paper in the international scientific events anywhere in the world under the scheme.
21. Construction work of Cultural Centre-cum- Auditorium at Vaivakawn is in progress with the fund of Rs.6.19 crores from NEC, Shillong and State matching share of Rs.29.13 lakhs. The project work is envisaged to be completed by September, 2019. Construction work of Cultural Centre at Bawngkawn South under Special Priority Assistance is in progress and will be completed in 2019. Mizo Typical Village (Zokhua), Falkawn is being renovated and construction of new building, with a fund of Rs.182 lakhs received from NEDP, is almost completed and will soon be opened to public for live illustrations of Mizo culture. Construction of Lai Cultural Centre-Cum-Auditorium at Lawngtlai is in progress with a fund of Rs.100 lakhs received from NEC, Shillong. Budget allocation of 2nd Installment of Rs. 236.45 lakhs is being awaited. Appropriate plot of land was demarcated at Maubuang Village for setting up of Regional Centre of North East Zone Cultural Centre, to be funded by NEZCC, Dimapur. Mizoram State Archives have digitized more than one lakh number of important documents pertaining to records of Mizoram State for future reference and record. To avoid misuse and desecration of Mizo puan (traditional cloth) viz. Puanchei, Pawndum, Ngotekherh, Hmaram & Tawlhlohpuan, geographical indication/patenting of the said cloths has been obtained for legal protection and preservation.
22. According to Forest Survey of India (FSI), Mizoram has a 18,653 sq.km green cover, which is 88.48% of the total geographical area of the State. The Department of Environment, Forests & Climatic Change endeavors to preserve and improve the quality of the existing forests as well as to improve the tree cover and wildlife in the State through implementation of various schemes. Under Green India Mission, 19643 hectares of tree plantation has been created so far in Aizawl, Kolasib, Darlawn, Thenzawl and Champhai Forest Divisions and a total amount of Rs.2236.42 lakhs has been sanctioned for creation and maintenance of these plantations during 2018-2019. The scheme is implemented with active participation of village communities through Forest Development Agency (FDA) and Village Forest Development Committees (VFDC) at the village level. National Afforestation Programme has been executed through Forest Development Agency (FDA) at Division level and Village Forest Development Committee (VFDC) at village level. During 2018-2019, 5790 hectares of plantation has been created and maintained with an outlay of Rs.844.69 lakhs. Further, new works have been initiated over an area of 1960 ha with an outlay of Rs.188.670 lakhs. The Mizoram State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) has been prepared and is almost ready for submission. A new scheme, ‘The Mizoram Rewards for Detection of Forest and Wildlife Offence Scheme, 2019’ has been launched through which citizens will receive financial reward for their assistance in detention, arrest and seizure for committing forest and wildlife offences, which will greatly aid in the protection of the environment and conservation of wildlife and biodiversity.
23. 36 on-going Minor Irrigation Projects under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY)- ‘Har Khet ko Pani’ - at a total estimated cost of Rs.4246.92 lakh which will cover Command area of 1723 ha with total beneficiaries of 1055 farmers are scheduled to be completed during 2019-20. Also, 5 on-going Minor Irrigation Projects with an estimated cost of Rs.724.56 lakhs which will create an irrigation potential of 360 ha under RIDF-XXII are also scheduled to be completed during 2018-19. Under RIDF-XXIII, 1st Sanction amounting to Rs. 207.37 lakh was received during 2018-19 for implementation of 4 new Minor Irrigation Projects under RIDF-XXIII and these projects are scheduled for completion during 2019-20.
During 2018-19, 6 New Minor Irrigation schemes are being implemented under RIDF-XXIV, and these projects are scheduled for completion during 2019-20. ‘Mizoram State Water Policy 2019’ was launched on 27th February, 2019 to address the high incidence of severe droughts and floods, which intermittently affect agriculture and water availability in some areas of the state due to climate change, and is designed to ensure economic prosperity and well being of the people. ‘State Specific Action Plan (SSAP) for Water Sector’ is to be formulated to achieve the objectives and goals of National Water Mission. An MoU has already been signed between EPTRI and I&WRD, Government of Mizoram for preparation of SSAP. Under the National Hydrology Project (NHP), a Central Sector Scheme which is a nation-wide project for establishing Hydrological Information System (HIS) using state-of-the-art technology, Mizoram has been tentatively allocated a budget of Rs.3,100 lakhs for a period of eight years (2016-17 to 2022-23). As per the latest state ranking on implementation of NHP, Mizoram has secured 8th Position, the highest among the North Eastern States and the only state from North East in the Top 10. Technical Cooperation titled ‘The Project on Capacity Enhancement for Sustainable Agriculture and Irrigation Development in Mizoram’ is being implemented with assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
24. Under NABARD RIDF Scheme, the Land Resources, Soil & Water Conservation Department has created 370 hectares of Rubber Plantation with an expenditure of Rs.311.21 lakhs. Under State Priority Project (SPP), Rigid Pavement Work, Anti-Erosion Measures for WRC and construction of Retaining Wall has been finished with an expenditure of Rs.515.39 lahks. The department also constructed 6 Rubber Plantation link-roads of 60kms in total, with an expenditure of Rs 494.01 lakhs.
25. The Department of Taxation, entrusted with mobilization of revenue for the State, contributes significantly to the State’s overall development by ensuring effective and judicious implementation of Commercial related Acts, Rules and Procedures across the crosss-section of the State. The Department collected Rs.57,888.31 lakhs of revenue against the targeted Rs.37,400 lakhs during 2018-2019. The present system of levying Value Added Tax (VAT) has now switched over to Goods & Services Tax (GST). Necessary amendment of the Constitution of India has been passed by Parliament authorizing the State Government to levy Goods & Services Tax. The Mizoram Goods & Services Tax Act & Rules, 2017 is in full swing and the revenue collection is expected to be higher than that of last year.
26. During 2018-2019, 126.84 Kms of formation cutting and 326.106 Kms of Black-topping of roads have been completed. There are 110 nos. of on-going road construction under PMGSY, NEC, NABARD, NEDP with a total length of 1332.85 kms amounting to Rs.992.81 crores. During 2018-2019, 4 bridges have been completed viz. Pre-stressed Concrete Bridge over R.Tlawng on Bairabi-Zamuang road with a span of 160 metres, High-Level Pre-stressed Concrete Bridge over R.Tut on NH-44(A) with a span of 120 metres, Bailey Bridge over R.Tuirini on NH-150 with a span of 200 feet and Aizawl Lei at Khatla with a span of 54 metres. 31 Permanent bridges for replacement of temporary bridges and construction of new bridges are being taken up under CRF, NABARD, NEC, ADB, NEDP and MORT&H. As per MPWD Vision 2030, all the temporary bridges under Mizoram PWD will be replaced with permanent bridges by 2030. During 2018-2019, 102 buildings were taken up with an estimated cost of Rs.520.42 crores, out of which 36 buildings have been completed and 66 buildings are in progress. Under PMGSY, 169 villages have been connected, 2003.30 Kms of Formation Cutting and 933.160 Kms of Black-topping have been completed and there are 193 ongoing projects.
Under the World Bank Project, improvement and upgradation of Chhumkhum - Chawngte road (41.53 kms), Champhai - Zokhawthar road (27.75 kms) and TIabung - Kawrpuichhuah road (12 kms) were taken up. Under this project, all the existing single lane roads will be upgraded to 2-lane NH standard and the projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Under Asian Development Bank, improvement and upgradation of Serchhip-Thenzawl-Buarpui Road with a length of 55.00 Kms amounting to Rs 259.20 Crores is expected to be completed in March, 2020. Mizoram PWD is also maintaining 11 nos. of National Highways with a total length of 1465.120 Kms. The 99.83 kms long Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transpor Project with the total project cost of Rs. 1011.52 Crores is expected to be completed in December, 2019.
27. Various measures are taken for providing welfare programmes and services to the weaker and vulnerable sections of the society. Braille Press will soon be constructed at Tribal Art Centre, Tanhril with the project cost of Rs. 88.11 lakh. Establishment of Rehabilitation Home for Mental Patients who have been cured and are not accepted back by their families will be constructed with the project cost of Rs. 148.79 lakhs. Construction of Tribal Research Institute (TRI) Buildings with a project cost of Rs.2028.50 lakh under the scheme ‘Support to TRIs’ is being started, and with a view to create barrier free environment for Persons with Disabilities, 27 public buildings have been retrofitted with accessibility structures, viz. ramps & toilets for wheelchair users. MoTA recently approved Establishment of Centre of Excellence for Sports (Boxing and Volley Ball) at Siaha with cost estimate of Rs.500.00 lakh construction work will be started soon. The two functional Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) at Lunglei and Serchhip have recently been affiliated to CBSE covering Classes VI to IX . Besides the existing 2 EMRSs, construction of buildings is underway at 4 (four) locations at Ngopa, Lawngtlai, Chawngte and Tuipang. ‘The Mizoram Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Rules, 2019’ have been framed and notified in the Mizoram Gazzette. ‘One Stop Centre’ scheme for integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence is opened in Aizawl, Lunglei and Kolasib; 5 new OSCs at Serchhip, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Mamit and Champhai are expected to be opened soon. Mahila Police Volunteers (MPVs) to serve as a public-police interface in order to fight crime against women has been created. 199 volunteers for Aizawl and 100 volunteer for Lunglei have been selected by the Police Department and trainings for these selected women volunteers will be conducted by the Police Department.
28. Civil Works for construction of new District Court Building, Aizawl at Mizoram New Capital Complex (MINECO) Aizawl is underway with an approved estimated amount of Rs.2360 lakhs and is expected to be completed by 31st December, 2019. Construction of High Court Building at MINECO with an estimated cost of Rs.4624.12 lakhs is actively underway and construction of Judicial Quarters at Lawngtlai, Champhai, Serchhip, Siaha and Mamit are expected to be completed soon. Construction of District Court Building at Siaha is also in progress. The Mizoram Lokayukta has started functioning in full swing since its first Chairperson, Pu C.Lalsawta assumed office on 11th March, 2019.
29. Under the Special Scheme for Recruiment of Peace Accord MNF Returnees, 2018, thirteen ministerial posts that were lying vacant under GAD consisting of one post of Assistant Grade, three posts of UDC, four posts of LDC and five posts of Group ‘D’ were filled up during 2018-19 solely in favour of the families of MNF Returnees in conformance with the guidelines of the Government.
30. As reflected in the MoS signed between the Govt. of Mizoram and the Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) on 2nd April, 2018, the Government of Mizoram is initiating steps for the rehabilitation of the underground personnel of HPC(D) hailing from the state of Mizoram as well as the related ex-gratia/rehabilitation scheme. The proposed enlargement of the establishment set-up of Sinlung Hills Council is expected to be in factual position during this current financial year 2019-20. In order to ensure free and fair elections of the Executive Members of Sinlung Hills Council, the ‘The Mizoram (Election to Sinlung Hills Council) Rules 2019’ has been enforced recently.
31. In order to harness the skills and talents of Mizo artists, the Information & Public Relations twice organised Art exhibition in New Delhi during 2018-2019. Mizo Film makers were also sent to attend International Film Festival at Guwahati in October, 2018 and International Film Festival of India, Goa in November, 2018. Construction of Film City at Ailawng, which will also be a popular tourism and recreation centre, containing natural and artificial attractions is currently in progress and Mini Theatre, a place to show and promote Mizo films, is being constructed at Dinthar, Aizawl.
32. Skill Development remains a priority to the Government and the Mizoram State Skill Policy for Development & Entrepreneurship has recently been notified. For the Welfare and Social Security of workers, the Employees State Insurance Society has been formed and registered, and 1,228 workers have been sanctioned benefits under Labour Welfare Schemes during 2018-2019. New ITIs at Champhai and Serchhip are under construction and one at Kolasib is to be taken up shortly. Coaching Programmes for examinations by the UPSC and SSC have been conducted where 130 nos. and 230 nos. youths have been respectively enrolled.
33. ICT Department has been taking all necessary steps to tackle internet and mobile signal disruption throughout the State. Telecom Operators have been instructed to increase the current 712 sites to additional 759 sites within the state. 227 mobile towers are to be installed to improve mobile connectivity in remote villages, and of these, construction of 77 mobile towers are in progress and 33 mobile towers are already functional. Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC) Building Regulations have also been amended to increase installation of mobile towers in the city, and Mizoram Telecom Infrastructure Policy is being drafted. Using Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) Technology, internet service has been provided to Mizoram Secretariat, Mizoram New Capital Complex (MINECO). To help the people in villages avail government and public services without travelling to District headquarters, the ICT department is trying its best to increase connectivity and provide higher bandwidth. For this, servers which can support 100 mpbs internet bandwidth are in the pipeline, which will be utilized by all departments to provide citizen-centric services to the citizens of remote villages. 501 Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) will be installed to provide internet connections to remote villages. Rural Information Technology Centre (RITC) will be setup in selected villages through which online consultation with doctors, urine and blood test, purchase of low-cost medicines and online education will be made possible. It will also provide banking facilities, wherever banking services are not available. ICT Department also developed Govt. of Mizoram Content Management System (an online system to create website) to disseminate information to the citizens, which has been successfully utilised by 250 government offices and organizations. Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) Laboratory will be set up to protect the government and the people from cyber crimes. To develop IT Education in the state, seven computer sets each will be distributed to 119 schools within this financial year. Also, to facilitate and promote Information Technology among students, laptop computers were distributed to 55 HSLC & HSSLC 2019 Toppers on 2nd July, 2019.
34. We are committed to formulate Mizoram Sports Policy for the development of talented Mizo sportspersons and the Department of Sports & Youth Services will be organizing The Mizoram State Games during the current financial year in line with the National Games and the Khelo Youth Games. There are also various ongoing works and projects such as Improvement of Sports Infrastructures, Construction of Lighting System at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Construction of Sports Hostel at Republic Veng, Aizawl, Construction of Multipurpose Indoor Stadium at Luangpawl, Mamit, etc. Jeremy Lalrinnunga won gold medal for India in weightlifting at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic games in Buenos Aires, Argentina which also was India’s first gold medal ever in the Summer Youth Olympic Games. National level hockey player Lalremsiami won silver medal for India at the Asian Games 2018 and she became the first sportsperson from Mizoram to win an Asiad medal. She also represented India at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires and bagged silver medal.
I am grateful to the parade contingents, the students and all the people who have gathered here today, and I take this opportunity to thank the NGOs, the churches and the people of Mizoram for their support and faith in our government. I believe that Mizoram is on the threshold of a crucial juncture today and we have to march forward with unflinching determination to make our beautiful state one of the most prosperous in the country. I ask all the people of Mizoram to extend their whole-hearted support this new Government, and with your support and cooperation, we will strive to make Mizoram a model state in terms of social security, peace, harmony, education, healthcare, etc. Let us also re-dedicate ourselves towards nurturing, safeguarding and strengthening the ideals of our brave freedom fighters, who sacrificed themselves for our world today and tomorrow. Each of us can contribute equally in the process of nation building. So, let us all join hands to make ‘TEAM MIZORAM’ and tread on the new path with hopes and promises aplenty.
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