Mizoram govt fails to combat Mautam: Cong

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Aizawl, Dec 14(UNI) The opposition Congress today said that Mizoram is on the brink of famine as the "corrupt" MNF government "failed" to combat the devastation by 'Mautam' (bamboo flowering) related rodents despite sufficient central funds.

The state is on the brink of a food crisis despite sufficient central funds to meet the situation arising out of 'Mautam', the opposition alleged.

Godowns all over the state have insufficient rice stocks while poor villagers were facing a starvation-like situation due to inadequate supply, Aizawl district Congress committee said in a statement today.

''Even Governor M M Lakhera has requested the Centre to increase the supply of rice to the state which clearly proves that the Mizo National Front government has misused the Centrally-sponsored Baffacos (Bamboo Flowering and Famine Combat Scheme) funds,'' the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Governor told reporters here that the Centre's reluctance in giving more aid to Mizoram was because of a wrong conception given to it by the state government when it formulated Baffacos.

''There was a communication gap between the state and the central governments which was made apparent to me in the two recent meetings with the Prime Minister and the union agriculture minister in New Delhi,'' Mr Lakhera said.

The state had showed the reasons to the Centre that Baffacos would prevent 'Mautam' problems and this perception had caused the Centre to be skeptical about implementation of the scheme, the Governor said.

However, it was too late to combat the famine because the scheme's objective was to diversify crops and provide other means of livelihoods in the rural areas. Had it been implemented five years ago the scheme would have helped in combating the problem facing the state now, Mr Lakhera said.

UNI

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