Mizoram hikes rice quota, wage to combat famine

The rice quota and wages of villagers working under government sponsored food-for-work programmes in Mizoram have been increased to combat the ongoing famine owing to gregarious bamboo flowering. The government on December 13 has decided to double the daily wages of villagers working under Bamboo Flowering and Famine Combat Scheme and give them an extra kilogram of rice.

Every villager will now get a weekly rice quota of 3kg. Mizoram is reeling under acute shortage of food grain due to the destruction of crops by rats, which multiply manifold by eating bamboo flowers.

The crisis has been compounded by destruction of crops caused by unprecedented monsoon rain this year, which also damaged houses, roads, fish ponds and paddy fields.

The Mizoram government has declared the state a ‘disaster area’ and sought an additional assistance of Rs. 180 crore from the Centre to mitigate suffering of the people. A meeting of the council of ministers that was presided over by home minister Tawnluia in the absence of chief Minister Zoramthanga decided to instruct deputy commissioners of all district to release relief funds soon.

Meanwhile, a five member inter-ministerial team from the Centre has arrived in Aizawl to inspect the damage caused by the monsoons.

Veejay Chhetri