Steps to check illegal migration to Mizoram: Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi Monday said the central government was aware of illegal migration into Mizoram and would take steps to tackle the problem.

Aizawl: Congress president Sonia Gandhi Monday said the central government was aware of illegal migration into Mizoram and would take steps to tackle the problem.

"Suitable steps would be taken to deal with the problems of illegitimate immigration of foreigners from across the international borders," Gandhi said while addressing an election rally at Lunglei town, 190 km south of Aizawl.

She said: "Efforts would be made to solve border issues with neighbouring countries and other northeastern states."

Mizoram has an unfenced international border of 404 km with Myanmar and 318 km with Bangladesh. The northeastern mountainous state has an inter-state border of 123 km with Assam, 66 km with Tripura and 96 km with Manipur.

Mizoram has border problems with Assam and other northeastern states.

The Congress chief said that after exploration of natural gas deposits in the state, additional employment would be generated for unemployed youth. "Revenue from the sale of gas would be shared equally by the centre and the state," Gandhi said.

According to an estimate of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, a huge area of Mizoram contains deposits of natural gas, first discovered in 2011.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson said that the under-construction Kaladan, Tuirial and Tuivai hydro-power projects and the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transport Project with neighbouring Myanmar would be completed soon, creating more employment for youth.

Well equipped sports infrastructure, including women`s hostels, would be set up in all district headquarters to help students, sports persons and working women, the Congress chief said.

Appreciating the musical talent of Mizo youth, Gandhi proposed the setting up of a convention centre which would train musicians and hold concerts.

Referring to the UPA government`s flagship programme, Food Security Act, Gandhi said: "It would not only curb malnutrition, but also ensure that poor people both in rural and urban areas could avail food at a cheaper price."

Saying that the UPA government was aware of the high prevalence of cancer and other diseases in Mizoram, the Congress president announced that a 100-bed cancer hospital equipped with state-of-the-art technology for diagnosis and treatment would be set up.

Gandhi, accompanied by Mizoram Chief Minister Lalthanhawla, AICC leaders Ambika Soni and Luizinho Faleiro, went to the mountainous Lunglei by helicopter.

She returned to Delhi after the election rally.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is expected to address several election rallies in poll-bound Mizoram later this week.

Election to the 40-seat Mizoram assembly will be held Nov 25. Mizoram is currently ruled by the Congress.

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