Aizawl: The Mizoram goverment is making massive effort to achieve topmost literacy rate and cleanest state in the country, said governor PS Sreedharan Pillai on Monday.

“The government is currently launching ‘Total Literacy Drive’ targeting areas with low literacy rates in Lunglei, Mamit, Lawngtlai and Aizawl districts as well as the ‘Special Eradication of Illiteracy Project’ under the flagship programme Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP) to achieve topmost literacy rate in the country,” Pillai said while delivering his maiden speech on the first day of the budget session on Monday.

With a literacy rate of 91.3%, Mizoram ranked third in the country after Kerala and Lakshadweep, which bagged first and second, respectively, according to 2011 Census.

Serchhip and Aizawl districts are the two most literate districts in the country.

Pillai said that the government is also making effort to make Mizoram the “cleanest state in India”. He said that Aizawl city was selected as one of the ‘Smart Cities’ under the nationwide Smart Cities Mission.

According to him, at least 23 notified urban towns have so far been covered under Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) by focusing on cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation.

He said that the government is also making effort to reduce poverty and vulnerability of the urban poor by providing them access to gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities.

The state government also set up state level and district level coordination committees for doubling farmers’ income by 2020 to alleviate the problems faced by farmers, he said.

Citing that the state government is giving top priority to provide excellent primary health care to the people, the governor said that an improved Mizoram state health care scheme has been launched.

The health care scheme, which seeks to provide health insurance of Rs 2 lakh cover in a year to beneficiaries, especially economically backward classes, was launched in October first last year.

Pillai also expressed concern about the alarming spread of HIV/AIDS in the state and called for concerted efforts to check the spread.

“AIDS has become a serious problem, which needed to be tackled on a war-footing. We need more aggressive and collective efforts from the government, the churches NGOs and all voluntary organizations to the check the rapid spread of the deadly disease,” he said.

Highlighting about the economic achievement made by the government, the governor said that Mizoram has been witnessing remarkable economic growth in recent years and is moving towards a self-reliant state.

According to him, the state’s economic growth in last year was 14.82%, which was one of the best among the states in the country. He said that the government has implemented its flagship programme- Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP) to ensure growth in various sectors.

At least 14 boards have been created for successful implementation of SEDP, which aims at accelerating progress in key sectors and transforming Mizoram into a welfare state.

Pillai said that the government is also taking up several projects to generate more electricity through solar power and Hydro-electric power, he said.

Highlighting the development of tourism, the governor said Mizoram is a hot-spot for tourism and establishing an excellent service industry, which will generate wide employment. “The total recorded tourist arrival during 2019 was 1,42,353, which is 63% higher than the previous year,” he said, adding that the state have huge potential for eco-tourism and rural tourism.

The budget session of the state assembly begun on Monday with gubernatorial address from the governor. Chief minister Zoramthanga, who also holds finance portfolio, will present the state budget on Wednesday.

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