- Ezrela Dalidia Fanai, NET Correspondent, Mizoram
Mizoram Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati on Thursday presented the state report and progress updates of various proposed projects undertaken across the state during the Governors & Lt Governors’ Conference 2021 organized at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, President Ram Nath Kovind also addressed the event.
During this event, the governors and Lt Governors of all states and Union Territories (UTs) also presented their respective reports.
The Mizoram Governor through his state report stressed on how response towards COVID-19 across the state have been unique, as compared to other states.
He also shared the data on vaccination drive initiated across Mizoram, and mentioned the vaccination update as of October 25, 2021.
According to the data, a total of 5,00,702 eligible population have been fully vaccinated, while 7,07,294 have received the first dose.
He also informed about the USD 40 million World Bank Project on ‘Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project’, which was signed between the state government and the World Bank on June 17, 2021.
According to DIPR report, the full State Report as presented by the Governor is mentioned below :
- The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on the State’s resources. However, the response to Covid-19 in Mizoram has been unique due to the combined efforts of the Government and the civil society. The public has been mobilized on a mass level throughout the State with the formation of respective Task Forces at the local level in the villages and localities. These Local/Village Level Task Forces incorporate the respective Local/Village Councils (statutory bodies), with enthusiastic participation by the vibrant NGOs and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). The religious bodies have also played leading roles in augmenting the collective efforts led by the Government. Public response has been such that even retired doctors have come forth to volunteer their services in the face of this crisis. The vaccination programme is being carried on vigorously since the first vaccine was administered on 26 January 2021, along with the rest of the country. In addition to implementing various ongoing Central and State Health Schemes, the State Government signed the US $40 million ‘Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project’ with World Bank on 17 June 2021, in order to improve management capacity and quality of health services in Mizoram. Through the Disaster Management & Rehabilitation (DM&R) Department, financial assistance has been provided to Health & Family Welfare Department and all the eleven (11) District Disaster Management Authorities for combating the spread of Covid-19. The Mizoram State Control Room-cum-State Emergency Operation Centre for Monitoring spread of Covid-19 is managed by DM&R to guide and address issues pertaining to Covid faced by the public within and outside the State. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Urban has been working constantly in battling further spread of the virus in cleanliness and sanitation sector. Safeguarding the well-being of sanitation workers has been the core concern and a tri-monthly Covid-19 package including masks, gloves, sanitizers, disinfectants, caps, garbage bags for Quarantine waste, etc. has been distributed in all urban towns of Mizoram, which has immensely helped in tackling the pandemic. In fact, it is found that the pandemic has brought about behavioral change regarding personal hygiene and has developed sanitation and cleanliness consciousness. Thousands of police personnel have been deployed for various Covid-19 related duties at international and inter-State borders, quarantine facilities and Covid Care Centres. The Fire & Emergency Services performed a commendable role by sanitizing and disinfecting Quarantine Facility Centres and Covid Care Centres as well as train wagons, passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles entering the State from outside. Mizoram Forensic & Science Laboratory also loaned its Automated Nucleic Acid Extraction instrument (QIACUBE) to Zoram Medical College (ZMC) to help in the fight against Covid-19.
- There has been no major law and order problem in the State. There have been a few incidents along Mizoram-Assam border, where tensions have been defused. Representatives of the Governments of Mizoram and Assam signed a ‘Joint Statement’ on 5 August 2021, whereby it was agreed to take forward the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Hon’ble Chief Ministers of Mizoram and Assam to remove tensions prevailing around the inter-State borders, and to find lasting solutions to the disputes through discussions. Mizoram Police also successfully performed election duties in Bihar, Assam and West Bengal. During the last one year, Rs.197 crores worth of illicit drugs and narcotics have been seized. Three (3) new Fire Tenders with High Pressure Pumps were purchased under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) at a cost of Rs.140 lakhs for the Fire & Emergency Services Department.
- Despite adversities of nature, numerous other challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers have sustained agricultural production. Under Agriculture Department, NABARD fund amounting to Rs.727 lakhs was used to boost up Wet Rice Cultivation (WRC) in available flatlands in all the eleven (11) Districts. Altogether, 841 hectares of land is ready for WRC, with an additional 357 hectares of land improvement done under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) Scheme with a fund of Rs.42.58 lakhs. Also, 388 nos. of Water Harvesting Structures have been constructed in various Districts under PMKSY. Integrated Training Centre (ITC) at Hnahthial has been upgraded to ‘School of Agriculture Science’. Since the scare of Fall Army Worm (FAW), which destroyed a large number of crops, the State Biological Control Laboratory at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Lengpui is being renovated and strengthened with a sum of Rs.131 lakhs from NABARD. Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Programme, financial assistance of Rs.6,000 each is being distributed to1,49,243 farmer families.
- The Horticulture Department continues work in its model Bamboo Plantation with Dendrocalamusbrandisii and Dendrocalamussikkimensis under the State Government’s flagship Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP). Also, during the current year, Govt. of India is promoting exotic fruits and has attached much importance to Dragonfruit cultivation. Known as ‘kamalam’ in India, States interested in taking up Dragonfruit cultivation have been seeking Mizoram’s advice, experience and technical guidance, etc. During the Covid second wave Lockdown, the Horticulture Department continued its ‘Fruits and Vegetables Supply Chain’ to make available fresh local produce, especially in the State capital. Huge volume of tomatoes, brinjal and watermelons produced from different Districts were collected and made available to consumers.
- While the pandemic threatened to derail the education process, the institutions and teachers quickly adopted new technology to ensure that there was no break in education. Tutorial classes were conducted for elementary and secondary students through DDK and private TV channels. One of the important outcomes of the online and tutorial classes was that the School Education Department could successfully conduct High School Leaving Certificate & Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examinations, 2021. Transport/escort facilities were provided to 810 elementary and 491 secondary school students in remote areas. Escort, transport and Reader allowances, Braille stationery materials, aids & appliances and girls’ stipends were provided to disabled students from classes 1 to XII. Vocational education was implemented in 16 high schools. Free Uniform was provided to 47,943 boys and 44,759 girls at elementary schools. Textbooks were provided to 93,252 children at elementary schools free of cost.
- The Department of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs continues to tirelessly carry out the vital responsibility of maintaining uninterrupted flow of essential commodities and civil supplies in the face of the prevailing Covid situation and the concomitant lockdowns enforced by the Government. Mizoram is a grateful beneficiary of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKAY) as a relief measure for the poorer sections of society during the pandemic, where the Central Government is providing 5 kgs. of Rice per person per month free of cost to all National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries, i.e., Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) & Priority Households (PHH). Under Phase-III of PMGKAY for two months during May & June, 2021, the Central Government provided 6,682 MT of foodgrains (Rice), which has already been distributed to all NFSA beneficiaries in the State. Further, under PMGKAY-IV for 5 months from July-November 2021, the Central Government has also allocated 16,705 MT of foodgrains (Rice) to Mizoram for further distribution.
- During 2020-21, the Planning & Programme Implementation Department allocated Rs.99 crores to various Departments for achieving the goals of SEDP. Of this, 23 percent was allocated for Road infrastructure, 19 percent for Health sector, 16 percent for Building infrastructure, 13 percent for Aviation, 8 percent for Education sector, 7 percent for Agriculture & Allied sector, 4 percent for Energy sector, 2 percent for Water & Sanitation sector, 1 percent for Rural Development and the remaining 7 percent for various other sectors.
- The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP), which aims to connect North East India with Kolkata through the Sittwe Port of Myanmar via the Bay of Bengal, is almost nearing completion within the Mizoram side. When completed, the KMMTTP will provide valuable alternate route and considerably cut down the distance between the North East and mainland India, which is currently connected only via the narrow Siliguri Corridor in West Bengal, also known as the “Chicken’s Neck”. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the Nation if special attention is given to the KMMTTP. In spite of the pandemic, the Public Works Department completed several works of formation cutting (405km), black topping (47.3km) and construction of cement concrete pavements (90km). With funds from World Bank, Asian Development Bank and NABARD, construction & repair works are being carried out on 82 roads across the state.
- The Power & Electricity P&E) Department has completed Tlawva Small Hydel Project (SHP) at an estimated cost of Rs 7,340 lakhs from NABARD. The Project will substantially reduce grid power import. Strengthening of 33/11kV Sub-Station at two locations with associated lines was completed at an estimated cost of Rs 572 lakhs, funded by NEC. Construction of 2×2.5 MVA, 33/11 kV Sub-Station at P&E Complex with associated 33kv line at Siaha and Lawngtlai with estimated costs of Rs 766 lakhs and Rs 678 lakhs respectively, both funded by DoNER, have also been completed.
- Under Jal Jeevan Mission, the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department has fully covered 59,514 nos. of rural households and 248 villages with Functional House Tap Connection (FHTC) upto June, 2021. Under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), one unit of Plastic Waste Management Unit has been installed at Aibawk Rural RD Block. Construction of Dam Reservoir and Development of Recreation Centre at Keilungliah as well as an Alternate Gravity Water Supply Scheme for Aizawl are also being executed. As many as 19 Water Supply Schemes under NABARD and 3 other projects under AMRUT are being taken up and are in good progress.
- Pit digging, farm ponds, gabion structures, staggered trenches, etc. have been constructed in all MGNREGA villages as a part of the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan-Catch the Rain’ Campaign. Also, 259 villages will be covered under Grey Water Management Campaign during 2021. Under Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM), Mizoram has been awarded thrice by the Ministry of Rural Development for exemplary implementation of projects and judicious use of resources under the Scheme. Mizoram State Rural Livelihood Mission has mobilized 10,143 households into 1,127 Self Help Groups (SHGs) across 26 RD Blocks, and total amount of Rs.933 lakhs in Community investment was provided to SHGs and village organisations. Under Farm Livelihoods intervention, 155 new villages covering 7,203 Mahila Kisans were entered, and 6,122 Nutritional Gardens were also set up. Physical achievements of Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (Watershed Development Component) during 2020-2021 are as follows:- 68 Self Help Groups were formed, 175 individuals and 759 micro enterprises were assisted, 752 hectares of horticulture plantation and 956 hectares of soil and moisture conservation was done, 1131 water harvesting structures were constructed and 296 water harvesting structures were renovated. Also, 473 hectares of wasteland was brought under productive use benefitting 6,320 farmers, and 265 hectares of additional area was brought under irrigation.
- The Urban Development & Poverty Alleviation Department continues to implement various flagship State Schemes such as Parking House Support Scheme (PAHOSS). Under the Special Assistance to State for Capital Expenditure, the Department has been awarded Rs.300 lakhs for the construction of Solid Waste Management Centre in five towns.
- The Fifteenth Finance Commission allocated Rs.93 crores to Village Councils in Mizoram for the FY 2020-2021, including those under the three Autonomous District Councils of Lai, Mara and Chakma. The Local Administration Department is implementing the grant for all 834 Village Councils in Mizoram. The Department has uploaded Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) of all Village Councils in eGramSwaraj application, which is a prerequisite for utilisation of funds under the Fifteenth Finance Commission Grant. 829 Village Councils (which is 99.4%) have been onboarded on eGramSwaraj for payment through Public Financial Management System (PFMS).
- During the financial year of 2020-21, the Transport Department submitted revenue amounting to Rs.3,354 lakhs. 25,816 vehicles were registered during 2020-21, and 13,334 Driving Licenses were issued. The Department currently has 36 serviceable buses, but due to the pandemic, these could not perform normal passenger services. They were, however, very useful for shifting of stranded people during lockdown to their respective places, as well as for transporting people to Hospitals and Covid Care Centres. In line with the advisory from Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, extension of validity of vehicle related documents and waiving-off of late fines due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, w.e.f. 1st February 2020 to 30th September 2021, was allowed by the Govt. of Mizoram. An agreement was also signed with State Bank of India to implement Online Payment System under Vahan 4.0 and Sarathi 4.0.
- In order to alleviate the financial hardship and plight posed by the pandemic, the Higher & Technical Education Department permitted a one-time reduction of admission fees in all Government colleges as well as technical and professional institutions under it.
- The Department of Environment, Forests & Climate Change strives to maintain sustainably high quality forest cover and effectively protect the amazing wealth of flora and fauna in the State. Despite the constraints faced due to Covid-19, the tree festival of the State was celebrated on Green Mizoram Day on 11 June 2021, and more than one (1) lakh saplings were distributed to the public across the State. Apart from making all efforts to avoid man-animal conflict around protected areas, an amount of Rs.34.44 lakhs was distributed to 126 families as compensation for damage caused by wildlife during 2020-2021. Further, Aizawl Zoological Park is being planned for modernization and is all set to provide habitat for two Royal Bengal Tigers. Botanical Gardens are soon to be set up in the State, which will not only generate awareness about nature and environment, but also provide recreational opportunity for the public and encourage eco-tourism.
- Between August 2020 and May 2021, the Department of Geology & Mineral Resources issued 109 new mining permits and 3 mining leases, and also renewed 412 mining permits. The Department grossed total revenue of Rs.527 lakhs from minor mineral investigations and petroleum licence fees. 48 landslide inspections, 148 house site inspections, 61 new quarry site inspections, preparation of 6 blast designs and 2 crackamite quarry designs were carried out.
- The Irrigation & Water Resources Department has been implementing 36 Minor irrigation Projects under ‘PMKSY-Har Khet Ko Pani’, which covers 1,723 hectares with total beneficiaries of 1,055 farmers. Central Assistance of Rs.765 lakhs was received during 2020-21 for these projects. Also, 13 Groundwater Irrigation Projects, covering 6 Districts of the State with a total estimated cost of Rs.1,604 lakhs, have been implemented under PMKSY-HKKP (Groundwater Irrigation). Chawmzau Groundwater Irrigation Project, Serchhip, which includes provision for construction of 31 tube wells to cover an area of 52 hectares has been included for funding under RIDF-XXVI (NABARD), and sanction of loan amounting to Rs.118 lakhs has been received from NABARD.
- During 2020-2021, the Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Department received Central Assistance of Rs.315 lakhs for setting up Piglet Multiplication Farms. With this fund, 10 units have been set up. Central Assistance of Rs.256 lakhs towards poultry farming for Rural Backyard Poultry Development (2000 beneficiaries) and Innovative Poultry Productivity Projects (600 beneficiaries) is also being well utilized. After the first case of African Swine Fever was reported on 21st March 2021 in Lungsen Village of Lunglei District, the disease killed 22,371pigs up till 12thAugust, 2021. It is of paramount importance that the piggery sub-sector recovers quickly from the outbreak and that the farmers are adequately rehabilitated.
- The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns have also badly affected the Fisheries sector. Inactivity in the Fish Seeds Farms has caused acute shortage of fish seeds and ultimately the overall fish production, which has witnessed a decline of about 38% from the previous year. The State Government is making efforts under its flagship programme of SEDP to ease the adverse economic effects on the fisheries sector.
- Sericulture Department is taking vigorous initiatives in 209 villages, involving 5,651 households and covering 11,404 sq.kms, under the Integrated Sericulture Development Project, Integrated Bivoltine Sericulture Development Project and Integrated Muga Silk Development Project. In fact, Mizoram has been awarded ‘Best Implementing State’ among the seven North-East States. During the current year, a new Silk Showroom has been opened by the Department from where various local silk products are being sold.
- Commerce & Industries Department has given its utmost priority to improve marketing aspect of Agricultural Produce by providing Physical Market Infrastructure and Marketing Policy. To protect the general interest of the native marginal farmers, action has been taken as far as possible for providing marketing channel in order for them to derive maximum benefit.
- The Labour, Employment, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Department is intensifying efforts for successful implementation of various welfare schemes to secure decent means of livelihood, particularly for unorganised workers within Mizoram. The Department has enforced many Labour Laws to administer social security for both unorganised and registered labourers and workers. The 2nd Phase programme of Livelihood Generation for Returned Migrant Workers due to Covid-19 was launched by the Mizoram Youth Commission on 19th January, 2021. 10,893 new workers were registered during April – June, 2021 alone. With effect from 1st April 2021, a new Covid-19 package in the form of Medical Assistance amounting to Rs.10,000/- and Death Benefit amounting to Rs.3 lakhs is also being provided to those registered workers infected by Covid-19 and to those who succumb to the virus. The total amount of fund sanctioned for the various workers welfare scheme during the current FY is to the tune of Rs.536 lakhs.
- Even in the midst of the pandemic, the Sports & Youth Services Department has completed a number of infrastructure projects around the State which are awaiting inauguration, such as Artificial Football Turf, Multipurpose Indoor Hall, Multipurpose Sports Complex, Youth Recreation Centre cum Amalgamated Office for Sports & Youth Services, etc. Ongoing works under the Mizoram State Sports Council include laying of Synthetic Hockey Turf and Synthetic Football Turf costing Rs.550 lakh and Rs. 500 lakhs respectively under Khelo India, and laying of Artificial Turf costing Rs. 682 lakhs under NEC. Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) fund amounting to Rs.16,751 lakhs has been received for construction of Residential Sports Schools at five towns. Our Sports Promotional Programmes continue to bear fruit and our sportsmen are bringing home laurels. Lalbuatsaihi won silver medal in the Asian Elite Boxing Championship in May 2021 at Dubai. Jeremy Lalrinnunga won silver medal in the World Junior Weightlifting Championship in March, 2021 at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It is a matter of pride for Mizoram that our State’s star hockey player Lalremsiami participated in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, representing India. For making it to the Indian Hockey Olympic Team, the State Government announced an award of Rs.25 lakhs, along with offer of a government job and a house site in her native town of Kolasib.
- The Tourism Department has been making endless efforts for development of tourism, focusing on post-Covid strategy for revival of tourism in the State by framing transparent policies, rules and guidelines and also by undertaking massive skill development programmes in tourism and hospitality services. Ministry of Tourism, Government of India also accorded sanction of Rs.3,994 lakhs on 31 March, 2021 for development of Convention Centre and Associated Infrastructure at Aizawl. Travel restrictions due to Covid-19 pandemic have led to a decline in the number of tourist arrival to the State, as well as revenue earned from tourism properties. Revenue earned by the Department has drastically declined from Rs.305 lakhs in 2019-2020 to just Rs.38 lakhs in 2020-2021.
- The Social Welfare & Tribal Affairs Department has been implementing the National Action Plan under the Drug Free India Campaign, which was formulated by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment for 2020- 2021, focusing on 272 vulnerable districts in terms of drug use in India. This campaign is being implemented in 3 Districts of Mizoram viz. Aizawl, Champhai and Kolasib. During the financial year 2020-21, total amount of Rs.69 lakhs as Grant-in-Aid to Voluntary Organizations (VOs) for welfare of Scheduled Tribes, and another amount of Rs.94 lakhs as Grant-in-Aid to NGOs and VOs were sanctioned. Senior Citizens’ Day Care Centres within Aizawl, Siaha and Lunglei Districts were provided Covid Care Package, which contains dry ration and sanitization kits. A total of 750 senior citizens benefited from this initiative. A total of 43 centenarians across the State were also given cash incentive on International Day of Older Persons.
- Under Women & Child Development, there are currently 2,244 Anganwadi Centres across the State. Through the Integrated Child Protection Services Scheme, the Department looks after 33 children’s homes, 8 observation homes, 2 special homes and 7 adoption centers in the State. It is functioning in all Districts of the State. The financial achievement during 2020-21 is Rs.19 crores in total.
- The Law & Judicial Department is implementing the Project of Scanning & Digitization of Case Records in 3 pilot project sites. The establishment of two (2) Fast Track Courts at Aizawl and Champhai for expeditious cases under Rape & POCSO Act and one (1) Exclusive Fast Track Court at Aizawl, which started functioning from January 2021, helped speed up delivery of justice. Between January – June 2021, seventy two (72) pending cases under Rape & POCSO Act were tried and disposed of accordingly.
- In order to boost up telecommunication, the Information & Communication Technology Department has formulated the Mizoram Telecom Infrastructure Policy for upgradation of mobile & internet connectivity. Mizoram Broadband Committee has also been formed under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary. Altogether, 41 villages have been provided internet connectivity through optic fibre under BharatNet, and V-SAT has also been installed in 408 villages. To tackle the hurdles brought on by the Covid second wave, Task Force on Mobile & Internet Services has been carrying on monitoring work. Under the IT Education Programme for Schools through 100% NEC funding in collaboration with the School Education Department, 71 selected High Schools/Higher Secondary Schools have been provided 7 Desktop Computer sets, 1 Multifunction Printer and 4 UPS each within this year.
- Various projects taken up by the Aviation Wing (GAD), namely, Isolation Parking Bay at Lengpui Airport (Rs. 625 lakhs), Apron Extension & Runway Safety Area at Lengpui Airport (Rs. 478 lakhs), Electrification of Doppler Very High Frequency Omni Range (DVOR) at Hmunpui (Rs. 171 lakhs) and Black Topping of Approach Road to original DVOR at Lengpui Airport (1.5 kms) have been completed.
- The District Council & Minority Affairs Department has received Rs.2,881 lakhs as 1st Installment for the Year 2020-2021 from the Ministry of Minority Affairs for various works in the three (3) Autonomous District Councils, such as Community Service Centre, Sports Complex, Girls Hostel, etc.
- The Taxation Department collected total revenue of Rs.67,782 lakhs during the financial year 2020 – 2021.