AIZAWL, Nov 12 - Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla has expressed his satisfaction at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a college of horticulture in Mizoram. The MoU was signed at the committee room of the Directorate of Horticulture.
During an interaction with officials of the Central and State governments at his office after the signing of the MoU, the Chief Minister pointed out that following the promise of the then Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar, in 2011 to set up a horticulture college in Mizoram, seven sites were earmarked for the college, out of which one has been selected after the test results on land and water were sent to the Centre.
The Centre on July 21 this year approved of the site at Thenzawl. The Horticulture and allied departments did the necessary spadework and things have now been finalised, the Chief Minister added.
Thanhawla also stated that Mizoram has a climate conducive to grow all kinds of crops and fruits. He pointed out that avocados, kiwis, strawberries and other fruits, which fetch high prices in other States, grow in Mizoram.
Welcoming the move to set up the horticulture college in Mizoram, Thanhawla said that he would take steps to improve road connectivity, and the water and power supply.
Prof M Premjit Singh, Vice Chancellor, Central Agriculture University, Imphal, Manipur, B Lalhmingthanga, Secretary, Horticulture Department, R Zotawna, Director of Horticulture, and other important officials interacted with the Chief Minister.
Earlier, Mizoram Horticulture Department Secretary B Lalhmingthanga handed over the land lease for the proposed college of horticulture, to be set up at Thenzawl in Serchhip district, to the Central Government in the presence of Prof M Premjit Singh.
Representatives of the Central Agriculture University, Imphal, and officials of the Mizoram Government also signed an MoU in this regard.
Prof M Premjit Singh was happy over the selection of a convenient site for the college, which is not far from Aizawl. He said that he would visit again with engineers, and that a master plan would be prepared soon. Singh expressed the hope that if everything went according to plan, the college would start classes by July next year. The proposed college will aspire to be one of the best of its kind in India, he added.
Mizoram Horticulture Department Secretary B Lalhmingthanga said that the initiative for setting up the college of horticulture has been on since the past five years.
He thanked the Mizoram Chief Minister and Horticulture Minister, the Central Agriculture University, the Land Revenue & Settlement Department and village council leaders of Thenzawl.
In the first instalment, a sum of Rs 84.41 crore has been estimated. The land for the proposed college of horticulture measures 120.38 hectares.