TODAY -

Spot assessment must to reap fruit of projects
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: July 06, 2022 -



WHETHER it is implementation of schemes launched by the state government to combat the menace of poppy plantation or structural development projects undertaken with funding from the Union government, authorities concerned must initiate follow-up measures so as to ensure judicious execution of these schemes and projects.

Ever since the government launched war on drugs campaign following realisation about alarming instances of drug abuse and peddling, and plantation of poppies, there have been concerted drives to decimate poppy plantations and to provide alternative sources of livelihood to those villages which have publicly renounced poppy cultivation.

In the same way, acknowledging the economic backwardness of the state, the Centre has been allocating funds for various livelihood and infrastructure development projects with special emphasis in rural areas.

So far, distribution of horticultural and agricultural inputs to aid the hill district farmers in giving up poppy cultivation has been carried out in 4-5 hill districts with Kangpokpi joining the list on Monday when minister Nemcha Kipgen handed over horticultural inputs and crop saplings under the theme 'Cultivation of Horticulture Crops as an alternative for Poppy Cultivation in Hill Areas'.

The items distributed included 400 saplings of litchi, 15 bags of ginger, 80 bags of turmeric, 1500 saplings of lemon and 5000 saplings of pineapple to 60 beneficiary villages under Kangpokpi AC.

While it could be guaranteed that the beneficiaries would sell the distributed litchi, lemon and pineapple saplings for consumption the same cannot be said for ginger and turmeric which are commercially viable and profitable in any form, especially as they were distributed free of cost.

The various projects launched to combat poppy cultivation, which has become a social problem, must be made successful ventures without which successive governments will only face insurmountable challenges to save the future generations from possible miserable existence.

It is equally important that the multi-pronged approach involving various departments should serve the real purpose of convincing the villagers that there are various sources of livelihood other than relying on the punishable poppy cultivation.

The department authorities must also accord importance and study suitability vis-a-vis proposal by some farmers for providing commercially viable horticultural crops and plants like Kachai lemon, low-chilling apple, large cardamom and cashew nut.

However, the fruit of these endeavours could be reaped only if the department officials keep an update on whether or not the saplings and inputs distributed to the select beneficiaries are utilised in the right earnest.

For instance, when ministers and officials from the central ministries are periodically visiting the state to review status of centrally-sponsored projects there is no foreseeable reason why officials and subject experts of the state's department shouldn't carry out field inspection to not only oversee progress of the projects but also extend technical assistance and share expertise with the farmers.

In the formative period of any development project, the planning and feasible study may be carried out within the comfort of offices but when it comes to the implementation stage it is imperative that officials leave their comfort zone and make field visits if at all the various projects using public money are to be made successful.



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