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High Court stays disbursement of NLUP assistance

Mizoram

High Court stays disbursement of NLUP assistance

Aizawl, September 12:  More than a month after the Mizoram government failed to frame guidelines based on transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries under the state’s flagship programme – New Land Use Policy (NLUP), the Aizawl bench of Gauhati High Court has stayed the flagship programme and ceased disbursement of assistance under the policy following a PIL filed by a social activist, sources said on Wednesday

The high court on Tuesday issued an order putting a stay on the ongoing implementation of NLUP and stop disbursement of assistance under the flagship programme till the state government furnish proper guidelines based on transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries.

Earlier a social activist Vanramchhuangi aka Ruatfela Nu had file PIL at the Guahati High Court challenging the implementation of NLUP.

Vanramchhuangi alleged that thousands of eligible beneficiaries were deprived of assistance under the flagship programme due to the absence of transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries.

She also alleged that the state government acted in arbitrary and discriminatory manner by leaving out as many as six opposition MLAs for selecting beneficiaries, while all the 34 ruling Congress legislators and four others Congress workers were assigned to select beneficiaries from their respective constituencies and areas.

Following the PIL, the high court on 3 August issued an interim order directing the state government not to disburse any assistance under the flagship programme till it frame guidelines based on transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries.

Subsequently, the state government issued a notification on 10 August, which has been published in government gazette on 27 August, by which the guidelines for NLUP- New Economic Development Policy (NEDP) convergence scheme for livelihood project has been notified with immediate effect.

The applicant (Vanramchhuangi) counsel C. Lalramzauva on Tuesday submitted to the high court that the perusal of the government notification on 10 August does not show that the state government has framed guidelines based on transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries under the NLUP project as directed by the high court on 3 August.

  1. Lalramzauva also informed the high court that the criteria for selection of beneficiaries has not been reflected in the NLUP manual framed in 2009 according to which Village Level NLUP Committee (VLNC) will be formed in each village, consisting of Chairman and Secretary to be appointed by the NLUP implementing board.

The order issued by the Aizawl bench of Guahati High Court judge Michael Zothankhuma on Tuesday stated that the government should stop disbursing assistance under the NLUP programme till it produce proper guidelines on transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries under the flagship programme to the court and fixed the next hearing on 18 September.

NLUP is the Congress-led state government’s flagship programme that aims at giving all economically backward people sustainable livelihood by providing them suitable, permanent and stable trades.

The idea was conceived in 1984 and was implemented in a small scale during 1985-1992. The policy was again implemented in 2011 after the Congress came back to power in 2008.

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Mr. Khojol is a journalist based in Aizawl, Mizoram. He writes for various national and regional media houses. In his free time, he can be caught reading books and watching movies.

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