RSVY > STRENGHT, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS (SWOT) ANALYSIS OF THE DISTRICT AND IDENTIFICATION OF CRITICAL GAPS.
Lawngtlai district has the following areas of advantages and strengths which
enabled it to propel itself on to a higher level of trajectory of economic
development if these strengths are fully exploited:
5.1.1 In this sector, the agro-climatic condition of the district favours
the development of all kinds of horticultural crops. This conclusion is drawn in
accordance with the findings of Agro-Climatic Regional planning (ACRP) exercise
undertaken by the Planning Commission since 1988. The ACRP take in to account
resource endowments, strategies for balanced regional development, comparative
advantages, and choice of priority activities for the region, infrastructure
needs and investment in its approach. The findings of ACRP regarding the
district points out that the strategies for agricultural development are through
soil and water conservation and settled farming. In addition, there has been a
paradigm shift in the State government’s Agriculture policy from the practice of
mono-crop cultivation of land use through shifting cultivation to
diversification of crops by introducing location-specific crops through settled
farming. A follow-up policy called New Land Use policy is chalked out and
implemented with limited success. However, the drawback of this new policy is
its adoption of the strategy of area targeting for the implementation zone,
which left out majority of the district of Mizoram including Lawngtlai District.
In recent years, the State Government is making great stride towards bringing
land under horticulture crops through a new policy –Mizoram Intodelh Project.
Even this policy suffered from certain limit like its outreach, especially in
respect of Lawngtlai District due to the latter inaccessibility, remoteness,
lack of good road infrastructure etc. Therefore, it is proposed that funds under
RSVY may be channelized towards development of horticulture in which it is
endowed with favorable climate and topography.
5.1.2 Another strength lies in the availability of
flat land for Wet Rice Cultivation. Out of the total flat land of 50000 ha which
constituted about 1 % of total geographical area of Mizoram, the district has
about 8993.17 hectares(as per the findings of State remote Sensing center
studies) of flat land .Most of these flat land are located in the western part
of the district where Tuichawng river,Chhimtuipui River, Ngengpui river and
Thega river traverse the land .Here Chamdur valley, Tuichawng Valley, Ngengpui
valley and Thega valley offer great potential for the development of WRC
provided they are equipped with good irrigation system and improved land
5.1.3 Another strength of the district is that it is well endowed with
good drainage system and abundant rainfall. Major rivers of Mizoram like
Chhimtuipui river, Tuichawng River, Ngengpui River and Thega River as well as
minor ones like Tuiphal, Sekulh, Chikhurlui and Sahri offer great potential for
development of minor irrigation. Moreover the region receives one of the highest
average rainfall in India at about 250-300 cm .Both this factor will play a
crucial role in the development of the agriculture sector of the district .
5.1.4 Another strength of the district is the possibility of transforming
farming practices along the lines of organic farming by using only manures since
consumption of fertilizers has always been negligible. Organic farming is a
production system that avoids or largely excludes the use of chemical
fertilizers, pesticides and growth regulators. Instead, it relies upon crop
rotation with leguminous crops, addition of crop residues, green manures, biofertilisers and biopesticides. The objectives of encouraging organic farming
in the District are to develop a sustainable agriculture system which maintains
soil fertility and ensures adequate food production. Besides it is well
recognized that organic products are preferred to conventional agriculture
products due to the absence of harmful chemical residues in it.
5.2.1 For development of infrastructure, the district strength lies in its
rivers where there is immense scope for the development of hydro electric power
projects. Chhimtuipui hydro electric power project is taken up by Central water
Commission .If this project is materialized, and then it will greatly boost the
productivity of the district which is currently at a very low level due to
inadequate power supply to producing units.
5.2.2 Another areas of strength is due to its
strategic location, the district has great potential for the development of
inland waterways along the Chhimtuipui river .This in turn will facilitate the
expansion of interconnectivity with neighboring countries like Myanmar.
Recently, there has been a proposal of waterway from Hruitezawl to Akyap Sea
Port for the facilitation of border trade with Myanmar. RITES Company had been
engaged to prepare detailed project report on this proposal .Another likely
outcome, if this project is successful, is that sea route from Hruitezawl to
Kolkotta can be developed and this will in turn bring about socio-economic well
being to the people through expansion of trade and services.
5.2.3 Another strength of the district lies in the
availability of fresh water sources like streams and rivers which are perennial
in nature for the expansion of rural water supply to interior part of the
5.2.4 Another strength of the district is the
availability of basic community assets like community halls and playgrounds.
According to the report of Mizoram Statistical Handbook, 2003, the District has
31 community halls where as Saiha has only 9 and Kolasib has only 19. The
district also has 61 playgrounds where as Serchhip has about 38, Saiha 23and
Kolasib has 34.This is crucial for the development of backward tribes who
constantly need social cohesion and cooperation in protecting and safeguarding
their interests. Most of the village studies conducted by Sociologists
established the correlation between community assets and social cohesion and
cooperation. The availability of community assets like community Halls provide
people a place for frequent interaction at a short notice .This in turn build
close intimacy, cooperation and cohesion among the people. However, it should be
added that, the present condition of all the community assets are in a very
pathetic state. They are very likely to be an economic waste unless a swift
intervention is taken through RSVY.
5.3. Administrative Set up:
Another great strength of the district is the presence of two Autonomous
District Councils viz.Lai Autonomous district Council (LADC) and Chakma
Autonomous District Council (CADC) in the district. These two Autonomous
councils along with the Office of the Deputy Commissioner and other line
departments acts as implementing agency, apart from other important functions,
of various Socio-economic development Programmes of both the State and the
Central government. Besides, these semi-government bodies along with the State
Government account for 85 percent of total workforce engaged in services and
continue to provide employment opportunities on a regular basis.
Despite all the areas of strength mentioned above, the district suffered from
various weaknesses .The following are some of the areas of weaknesses:
5.4.1. Agriculture: In this sector, the district faced
constraints in the form of:
High run off of water, increasing depletion of ground water due to excessive
exploitation, depletion of fertility of soil due to ‘jhum’ cultivation,
expansion of wasteland and inundation due to frequent change of course by the
5.4.2 Lack of quality seed and planting material.
5.4.3 Inadequate post harvest infrastructure and
5.4.4 Lack of systematic records of land and surveys
especially cadastral survey.
5.4.5 High cost of inputs, little scope for farm
mechanization, suitability of only minor irrigation and exorbitant cost of
5.4.6 Destructive practice of Jhuming cultivation.
5.4.7 Lack of accurate data on stock of inventory and limited
research and development activities by concerned departments.
5.4.8 Lack of rain water harvesting structures to supplement
meager water supply during lean season for consumption and agricultural
5.4.9 Lack of awareness on the part of the farmers regarding
seeds, soil conditions, weather etc.
5.4.10 Lack of proper land use planning.
5.5.1 The communication network especially the roads are in
bad shape. Even the roads which traverse through major economic centers like Lawngtlai, Bungtlang, Chawngte and Paithar are in dilapidated state. There are
certain economic centers which have the most deplorable road connectivity like
Chamdur, Vathuampui, Longpuighat and Vaseikai. Even Chawnhu village, which lies
adjacent to Lawngtlai town, continues to be deprived of good road connectivity
although it has great potential in coffee plantation. Most of the region where
WRC has been successfully practices on a limited scale still faced the problem
of good road connectivity which hampers their economic prosperity to a great
extends. Most of the villages in the western belt and within Chawngte Block are
inaccessible especially in rainy seasons due to frequent landslide and improper
management. There has always been a dire necessity to improve the road network
to help the people of remote areas of the district.
5.5.2 Even in health sector, the district lack minimum
facilities to cope with the problems in the form of communicable diseases as
well as water-borne diseases due to lack of proper sanitation facilities, safe
drinking water and basic health services. As is well known, the climatic
condition of the district, which is tropical in nature favours well for the
breeding ground of various diseases. Even the district capital has only
Community Health Center with accommodation capacity of 30 bedded which hardly
cater the need of the people. It has few medical equipments and is deprived of
necessary equipments like Endoscopy, Ultra Sonic Machine, Dental X-Ray machine,
Generator and host of items. The district is facing not of lack of knowledge and
skilled personnel but of minimum basic facilities and equipments and service
outlets to deal with host of diseases which take a huge toll on the lives of the
people especially children. The district has one of the highest child mortality
rates, maternal mortality rate, one of the lowest inmmunization coverage, and
low rate of institutional delivery. Another point which needs immediate
attention is lack of nutritional support to both the expectant mother and
children of the rural poor. ICDS has been actively making efforts in providing
nutritional support but the outreach is still very limited with few facilities.
The district has one of the highest incidences of malnourished children in
India. The district posed problem of lack of staff quarter to the present health
staff and limited outreach of sub centers.
5.5.3 In the power sector, the pace of distribution lines
penetration is rather slow. Due to negligence, most of the installed facilities
like wires get wasted and stolen. Also there is ignorance about economizing use
of power and this caused a huge drain on the existing installed capacity. Lack
of supply of power in the western belt and strategic locations where potential
areas have been identified for agriculture, horticulture, post harvest
infrastructure and waterways hampers the process of the much desired balanced
economic development of the district.
5.5.4 The current rural water supply system is insufficient
to meet the demand of the rural people. Lack of safe and clean drinking water is
one of the leading factors which are responsible of high death rate in the
remote region. The district frequently witnessed outbreak of dreaded diseases
like Cholera .In 2004, there has been incidence of outbreak of dysentery at Ngunling Khua where about 6 people lost their lives. Other diseases like
malaria, typhoid etc is still rampant in the district .The educational
institution, Anganwadi centers and Sub centers also do not have good water supply
system as well as storage facilities for certain necessary medicines like
vaccines. This is a serious concern for the welfare of women and children.
5.5.5 Another nagging problem is lack of social
infrastructures like vocational training institutes and hostel especially for
uneducated womenfolk and uneducated rural youth. They are backward due to their
low literacy, low social position, poor health etc. They have little
opportunities to support themselves. This calls for vocational training
institutes like Tailoring school and repair workshops as well as Hostel for Girl
child attending schools at the principal town so as to protect them from sexual
harassment and helping them get better lives.
5.6 IDENTIFICATION OF COMMUNITIES WHICH NEED SPECIFIC
The district is inhabited by various tribes such as Lai, Chakma, Pang and Bru.
The Lai tribe inhabited the more advanced area in the north and eastern part of
the district. The chakma inhabited the southern part. Bulk of the population of
the two autonomous District councils viz,. LADC and CADC are the Lai and Chakma
respectively. Since they had their own Autonomous Councils, they are
economically and socially developed than the other two. The pang and Bru
inhabited the western part of the district. Since the region is inaccessible due
to dearth of good communication infrastructure like roads, devoid of basic
social amenities like sub centers and primitive method of cultivation, they
remains backward for decades.
Most of the villages inhabited by these two tribes are
located at the low lying region between hill ranges, preferably near a river or
stream. Before the British period, Mizoram remained purely under the control of
chiefs with their separate jurisdiction of a few villages. There was a vast area
of deep forest which could not be easily accessed by a few inhabitants of the
region. Such places were therefore, free from the administrative control of the
Lai chiefs. This had provided a safe settlement for the Bru and Pang.
The reason why the Bru and Pang use to select village site in low lying area is
obviously due to their fondness of river, stream and brook from where they can
easily fetch fish, crabs, snails etc for curry. Also a settlement in a low place
gives them a less tiresome task of carrying jhum products and collection of
daily needs like firewood, and jungle fruits .They do not have any formal
proceeding required to be observed or performed in settling down at any place.
Their frequent migration from place to place caused formation of small and new
villages at various places making them inaccessible for the implementation of
various developmental activities.
Normally these tribes move to their jhum house where they
undertake jhuming cultivation .After harvest, either they go back to their
village or settled in other area. The idea of a temporary settlement in a jhum
house appears to be to avoid wastage of time and tiresome work of going and
coming between their village and jhum. Generally a family stay in their jhum
house from weeding season till finishing of harvest or sometime exhaustion of
all their produces. The late leaving of a jhum house is also to minimize the
load of jhum product which is being consumed at the jhum house itself. The more
they consumed the lesser they have to carry to their home. So during a period of
their stray in their jhum house, they vacated their house in the village and
live with all their cattle, fowls pigs etc. This state of living condition made
them to live a sort of nomadic life and a condition which no development scheme
can be undertaken. It is therefore, required to make them aware of the necessity
of having permanent settlement so that any development programmes can be
projected, implemented and monitored by the agencies of both the State and
Central Governments. There have been tremendous efforts from both the State and
two District Councils towards improving the condition of these two tribes. But
the success achieved is rather limited. They are the most backward tribes among
tribal of India and even though there is limited data to authenticate this
observation, their condition is deplorable and need immediate and specific
interventions towards their development.
5.7 IDENTIFICATION OF LEAD SECTORS AND CRITICAL GAPS TO BE
FILLED IN THESE SECTORS:
The District Level Committee on RSVY after much consultation and deliberations
arrived at a consensus in identifying the following sectors as Lead sectors and
calls for specific intervention from RSVY scheme to bridge the critical gap
between potential and actual in each of these sectors.
5.7.1 Agriculture & Allied Activities: Critical gaps to be
filled are in areas of land development, irrigation, intensification of land use
by introducing terracing, diversification of crops towards horticultural crops
and promotion of region-specific and crop-specific approach to farming. In
addition, emphasized is given on augmenting rural income through fishery.
5.7.2 Human recourses development: Critical gaps to be filled
are in areas of upgradation of educational institutions, provision of computer
and its accessories to selected High schools, establishing model village at
Laitlang through resettlement of five villages inhabited by mostly Bru and Pang
for their socio-economic development, providing livelihood support to farming
communities engage in other economic activities to supplement their income by
enhancing revolving fund and giving training in each specific line of activities
and Providing facilities to Anganwadi centers for the welfare of the children
and expectant mother.
5.7.3 Social infrastructure: Gaps to be filled in this
sectors are in areas of establishing community assets like playground, community
hall ,Auditorium, establishing vocational training institute, Rural water supply
and Establishing internet connection of V-SAT dish at District computer School
for school children, establishing information kiosk at selected villages, Town
development through retaining wall, clearing of drainage system, construction of
minor bridges as well as providing line departments with internet connection.
5.7.4 Health: In this sector gaps to be filled are
installation of medical equipment like Endoscopy, Ultrasonic Machine, Dental
X-Ray Machine, Generator etc, and construction of additional building at
Lawngtlai CHC, and strengthening of rural health delivery outlets so as to make
improvement in immunization coverage, lower infant and maternal mortality ratio
and behavioral change of the people towards health.
5.7.5 Road: In this sector gaps to be filled are in areas of
horticulture link roads, internal roads, habitation connectivity, upgradation of
existing roads and creation of connectivity that link up potential areas,
educational centers and medical outlets etc.
5.7.6 Upliftment of backward tribe: Under this sector, gaps
identified are laying out Resettlement plan for the socio –economic development
of backward tribes like Bru and Pang at Laitlang village by grouping five
hamlets. They will be provided with basic social services like, water supply,
community hall, sub centers and infrastructure like power supply and road
connectivity at proposed model Village –Laitlang. It was hoped that this plan
will bring about behavioral change among Bru and Pang from their living pattern
of nomad to a more settled farming communities.
5.7.6 Power: Under this sector, gaps to be filled are
extension of distribution lines to potential areas identified like Laitlang,
Tuithumhnar, Ajasora and installation of renewable sources of energy to selected
places within Lawngtlai and Chawngte.