Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel in Mizoram

Aizawl: Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jal Shakti Prahlad Singh Patel on Monday blamed the Mizoram government for allegedly not implementing the Centre’s schemes up to the mark.

On his arrival here on Monday, Patel visited Zoram Mega Food Park at Khamrang, about 40 km from the state capital Aizawl. 

Zoram Mega Food Park is an integrated project which provides infrastructure and services for food processing across the value chain to maximize value addition and minimize wastage. The Rs 75 crore project is being executed under the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries. The Centre has already released Rs 45 crore for the project, according to Patel.

Although building infrastructure and other facilities of the mega food park is more or less good, it is painful to see the project not doing any work till now, he said.”We have released Rs 45 crores for the project. Although there are common facilities at the food park, it is painful to see that the project remained not operational even many years after it was launched,” Patel told a news conference here. 

The Union Minister also said that the implementation Centre’s ambitious Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) by the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga is also not up to the mark. JJM was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Independence Day in 2019. The scheme aims at providing potable drinking water to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.

Under this scheme, the Mizoram government is making efforts to provide household tap connections to more than 700 villages across the state. 

Quoting a report submitted by the Mizoram government, Patel said that only 6.8 per cent of the targeted villages have been provided with FHTC in 2019.

He said that the Mizoram government has implemented 70.46 per cent of the scheme till November this year and is planning to achieve 100 per cent by 2023.

The Union Minister blamed the state government for allegedly using plastic barrels as water sources against the guidelines of the scheme. He said water sources should be concrete water tanks as per the scheme.

He also said that plastic pipes were used in many villages in place of metal pipes.

Patel said that he will closely look into the implementation of and review the Centre’s schemes under his ministry.

Concerned state ministers and officials could not be contacted for comment. 
During his 3-day visit, Patel will hold meetings with officials to review the implementations of the Centre’s schemes under his ministry.

He will visit south Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district near the Myanmar border on Tuesday.

Patel will leave for New Delhi on Wednesday, according to officials. 

Also Read | Mizoram to host ‘Local Music Festival’ at Mizo Brewery

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