Mizoram: Over 9,000 pigs have died due to African Swine Fever
African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to wreak havoc in Mizoram, with 10 out of 11 districts currently affected by the dreaded swine fever. Over 9,000 pigs have died in three months, according to the state’s animal husbandry and veterinary science department.
According to data released by the department on Sunday, at least 152 villages or local areas in 10 districts are currently affected by ASF, which has claimed a total of 9,172 pigs since March, causing monetary losses to the tune of over Rs. 36.68 crore.
Besides, the unusual death of 699 pigs was reported outside ASF infected areas, it said. Though the cause of death is suspected to be ASF, it is yet to be confirmed, the department added.
The official data also said that 1,078 pigs have been culled so far to prevent the disease from spreading further.
The first pig death due to an unknown disease was reported at Lungsen village in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district bordering Bangladesh on March 21.
After testing negative for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) and Classical Swine Flu (CSF), the pig samples were sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD) in Bhopal, which confirmed the cause of pig deaths as “ASF” on April 16.
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Though the spread of ASF in Lunglei district now became less severe, it began to ravage Aizawl district, which borne the brunt of the pig disease with 3,454 pig deaths so far, according to the department joint director (livestock health) Dr Lalhmingthanga.
So far, the ASF has killed 3,092 pigs in Lunglei district, 684 in Mamit district, 939 in Serchhip district, 320 in Lawngtlai district, 334 in Khawzawl district, 83 in Hnahthial district, 257 in Champhai district, 8 in Saitual district and 1 in Siaha district, he said.
Only Kolasib, which borders Assam, is the ASF-free district in the state, he said. Lalhmingthanga said that a special diseases investigation team, which visited Lungsen village during April 5-8 found that pigs are illegally imported from Bangladesh through villages like Tipperaghat and Khojoysury located near the Bangladesh border.
Illegal pig traders use Lungsen village as a stock point for keeping the animals before moving them to Lunglei market, he said.
He said that the president of the Rolui village council informed that the outbreak of an unknown disease killed several pigs in Bangladesh villages along the India border in February 2021.
Lalhmingthanga further said that the ASF outbreak in Aizawl district and east Mizoram’s Champhai district is believed to be caused by pigs or pork imported from Meghalaya and Myanmar respectively.
He added that the state government will urge the Centre to give compensations to the culled pigs.
Mizoram CM urges Modi to give free Covid vaccines to 11 Special Category states
Aizawl, June 1 Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide free Covid vaccines to the 11 Special Category states which have poor resources.
In his posts on different social media platforms on Tuesday, Zoramthanga said that he has written to the Prime Minister on Monday requesting his intervention for the government to buy the entire vaccine requirements and make equitable distributions to all the Special Category states.
“I also requested to all the Chief Ministers of the northeastern states to take a similar line of action, so as to present a united front to the government of India,” said the Chief Minister, who is also the President of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF).
The MNF is a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and an anti-Congress alliance of regional parties — the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).
The Mizoram CM said that while most parts of India appear to have reached a stage where the new cases of Covid-19 are declining, northeast India is still witnessing an increasing trend of new cases.
He said that the pandemic puts serious stress on the resources of the country and this has far more severe impacts on small states with small resource bases like Mizoram.
“On top of this, we are now required to buy the vaccines for 18-44 years age group, which puts more stress on our meagre resources. I also requested that the special category states like Mizoram are provided with vaccines free of charge by the government of India,” Zoramthanga said.
According to NITI Aayog, the eight northeastern states, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand were earlier granted special category status.
Special category status for plan assistance was granted in the past by the National Development Council to the states that are characterised by a number of features necessitating special consideration from the centre.
Also Read: Breaking Assam Covid doctor thrashed by locals; Police nab one
Aizawl to be in railway map in next couple of years: NFR
The Mizoram state capital Aizawl will be on the railway map in the next two years. The construction of 51.38 km long stretch of the broad gauge railway line between Sairang and Bairabi is likely to be completed by December 2023.
The Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) official said on Friday that construction work is in progress and almost all the tenders for various works have been finalised.
The 51 km line long broad-gauge line will consist of 55 bridges of which six are tall bridges having a height of more than 70m and 32 tunnels. According to an official of NFR, 89.55% of earthwork, 37% of major bridges and about 73.26% of minor bridges have been completed. 21% of the construction of cut and cover tunnels has also been completed, he added.
Besides Bairabi, the railway line will pass through four stations- Hortoki, Kawnpui, Mualkhang and Siarang.
Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, Mizoram’s Chief Secretary on Friday visited various construction sites to take stock of the progress and interacted with railway officials. He shared positive feedback with the NFR officials and urged them to accelerate the construction. He said that the project will play an important role in unlocking the untapped economic potential of the state.
The foundation stone of the Sairang- Birabi broad gauge line was laid down by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first term in November 2014. The project was started in 2015 and was initially scheduled to be done by 2018.
The project could not be completed on the scheduled time because of several hurdles, including hilly terrain, deep valleys and gorges, frequent landslides, short duration of working season due to monsoon and lack of labour and construction materials in the state.
Mizoram's Capital Aizawl Records Best Air Quality Among 119 Cities
Mizoram's capital Aizawl recorded the best air quality out of 119 Indian cities on November 29 (Sunday), according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.
The 24-hour Air Quality Index of the northeast city was recorded at 14 at 4 pm on Sunday, followed by Meghalaya's capital Shillong at 25 and Karnataka's Mysuru at 34.
Expressing happiness, Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga tweeted several images of the scenic state saying that it’s a natural bliss. He wrote: “Mizoram’s capital Aizawl records best Air Quality Index of 14 among 119 cities. #cleanair #naturalblessing #CentralPollutionControlBoard.”
COVID-19: Lockdown in Aizawl Extended
In orer to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the lockdown in Aizawl was extended till November 9.
The decision was taken at a meeting among health officials, the doctors’ association, NGOs and churches, an official said.
The lockdown is scheduled to be lifted at 4.30 am on November 9, the official said.
Earlier, the lockdown was imposed in Aizawl municipal area on October 27 to break the chain of transmission.