AIZAWL, Aug 15 (PTI): Independence Day was celebrated in Mizoram with gaiety and enthusiasm amid tight security today with Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla asserting that the New Land Use Policy (NLUP) has brought development in the state.
Addressing the people at the Assam Rifles ground here after unfurling the National Tricolour on the occasion of the 71st Independence Day, Lal Thanhawla denied the allegations by some critics that NLUP was a failure.
"I would like to remind the critics of NLUP that several long gestation crops like orange, areca nut, rubber and others need seven to eight years to yield results for sustenance of the beneficiaries," he said.
The chief aim of the NLUP, the flagship programme of Lal Thanhawla government for the past nine years, is to develop and provide all farmers of the state suitable, permanent and stable trades.
The chief minister said that as per the Economic Survey report 2015-16, production of rice had gone up by 31.54 per cent in spite of reduction of 'jhum' (slash and burn method of shifting cultivation) area by about 40 per cent.
He also claimed that there was a phenomenal increase in production of broom grass by more than 22 times.
"When NLUP started, production of input supply was less than five per cent in almost all sectors," he said, adding that by the end of 2015-16, most of the sectors have achieved self-sufficiency in quality input supply which was a highly commendable achievement.
Outlining the state government's achievements, Lal Thanhawla said that the 60 megawatt Tuirial hydel project would be commissioned during this year.
He said that Mizoram continued to be one of the most peaceful states in the country as concerted efforts to maintain peace by the law enforcement agencies, the NGOs, the churches and the general public.
Lal Thanhawla also read out the pledge for building a New India by 2022, which would be clean, free of poverty, corruption, terrorism, communalism and casteism and wished that that secularism be included in it as it has become extremely important in the present situation.
Meanwhile, celebrations at Saitual town was cancelled due to a bandh called to press for a separate state and Deputy Speaker R Lalrinawma who was to unfurl the national flag had to return to Aizawl.
The bandh in the town and nearby villages was called by Saitual District Implementing Demand Committee (SDIDC) for a separate Saitul district, which was sanctioned in a cabinet meeting in 2008.
After Lalrinawma was stopped by SDIDC, he authorised sub-divisional officer, civil, R Vanlalsawma to unfurl the tricolor but a large number of people congregated in front of his official residence to stop him from hoisting the flag.
The agitators dispersed only after Lalrinawma and Vanlalsawma agreed not to hoist the national flag and the deputy speaker returned to Aizawl without entering Saitual town.