Guwahati: Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has said that he would be able to stop insurgency in the northeast with bamboo cultivation.
Speaking at a function to celebrate Green Mizoram Day on June 11, the chief minister said he would transform the entire region with his visionary bamboo project if funds were granted by NITI Aayog.
“Why would the region’s youth take to guns if we provide them enough money, and bamboo will be the cure to all the underground maladies the region faces,” Zoramthanga said, while highlighting that 3-4 bighas of bamboo plantation can fetch more than Rs 50 lakh.
Zoramthanga, who leads the Mizo National Front (MNF), a constituent of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA, said he would take up his bamboo policy in the next NITI Aayog meeting.
The Mizoram Congress has termed the chief minister’s remark as the MNF’s ‘bamboo hangover’.
“Bamboo hangover still haunts the MNF. During their underground days, bamboo shoot and tender bamboo were the main source of protein. The MNF chief has been nostalgic about the bamboo since the last 20 years. It’s up to the NITI Aayog now,” said Sanzuala Hmar, chairman of the communication department, Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee.
“Zoramthanga is completely obsessed with bamboos. During his previous term as chief minister in 1998-2008, he had imported what we called Japanese bamboo, which was an utter failure,” added Hmar.
Meanwhile, the budget for the financial year 2019-20 was presented by Zoramthanga, who is also the state finance minister, at the Assembly in Aizawl on Thursday.
The total proposed budget is Rs 10,692 crore. The MNF’s flagship Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP) has been sanctioned Rs 750 crore.
“In the field of agriculture, forest and skill development, and for the overall development of Mizoram, the budget is oriented in such a way that we will try to motivate people, so that production and per capita income go up to lakhs of rupees,” said the CM, adding that his government would plant as many bamboos as possible under the SEDP scheme.
Regarding the earlier Congress government's New Land Use Policy (NLUP), Zoramthanga said that while the NLUP was money-distribution oriented, the SEDP would mobilise people to work for production.