Annual Report of the SPV

[Period 2012-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 & 2016-17]

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction:

In pursuance of the directions of the Ministry of Environment & Forest issued vide letter F.No.8-64/2007-Fe dated 22-04-2010 on the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in I.A. Nos.1868, 2091, 2225 -2227, 2380 & 2568 in the Writ Petition (Civil) No. 202 of 1995 with T.P (C) No. 277/2010 dated 12-04-2010, a Committee known as the Special Purpose Vehicle for the development of the Lafarge Umiam Mining Area was constituted by the Govt. of Meghalaya, Forest & Environment Deptt. The Society known as the Special Purpose Vehicle Society has been constituted/established by the SPV under the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court as above with the aim and objective to undertake development activities in the mandated area including the development of health, education, economy, irrigation and agriculture in the areas affected by mining activities undertaken by the Lafarge Umiam Mining Pvt. Ltd. The Society was registered under the Meghalaya Societies Registration Act XII of 1983 – [No.SR/SPVS -2/12 of 2012] and came into being on 1-3-2012.

The operational activities of the SPV Society are limited to the area covering the elakas/villages within a perimeter distance of 50 kilometres around the mining area undertaken by the Lafarge Umiam Mining Private Ltd. (LUMPL). This approximately corresponds to the surface area of about 200 sq. kms. The order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India states that the development works would be carried out in the project area of 50 kms. The Committee of SPV examined the matter in-depth and was of the view that going by the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the area was taken as a linear distance and if taken the outer circular perimeter of the project area as 50 kms, it would correspond to a geometrical radius of 8 kms or an area of 200 sq.kms and presuming that the above interpretation is valid, the area of operation of the development projects would cover the elakas (traditional local administrative units) with a total of 55 villages including hamlets. It was further decided by the SPV Committee that the core areas which have been affected by the mining activities of the LUMPL should get priority treatment in the implementation of the various development projects. As far as information from LUMPL is concerned, apart from other areas, the following villages have been identified which need to be considered as core areas viz. Shella elaka, Nongtrai elaka, Dewsaw elaka, Tyngnger elaka. The area is by and large, coincident with the river Umiam basin bordering Bangladesh. It is generally acknowledged that the area is one of the most difficult parts of the State for implementing any development programmes because of its remoteness, inaccessibility and unfriendly terrains. For the implementation of the different programmes & activities, these are being guided by the spirit of the guidelines of the approach paper which lays down the approach to the development of the area.

The people living in the mandated area of operation traditionally, are cultivators, as such, they are acquainted with certain agricultural practices relating to the plantation of some horticultural crops. The area is endowed with a favourable agro-climatic condition for the growth of various horticultural crops such as khasi mandarin orange, pineapple, black pepper, pepper long, areca nut, betel leaf, bay leaf, jack fruit citrus species which have got a direct bearing on the economy of the people. Over the years now there has been a sharp decline in the production, the main reason is the so-called ‘citrus decline’ which is attributed to gross neglect of the citrus orchards, etc. Modern scientific cultivation practices shall be required to be introduced for the improvement in production substantially and there is a need for adopting scientific rejuvenation programme to cover the area with improved package practices. Thus, training in livelihood activities to encourage the people of the area in cultivation with scientific methods and practices for the proper growth of agri-horticultural crops has been considered a priority. To motivate and encourage the farmers to ensure successful implementation of livelihood activities on horticultural crop plantation, training cum awareness programmes, have been arranged and conducted time to time by the SPV Society in consultation/collaboration with concerned Department of the State Government to prepare training manuals with up to date technical inputs available on various horticultural sectors. We have also made a tie-up with the Institution such as ICAR, KVK and other locally available training institutions for providing the need resource supports in the training. 

Similarly, as above, training cum awareness programmes have been made in respect of other livelihood activities viz., animal husbandry and veterinary in consultation/collaboration with the concerned Department of the State Government. The SPV Society also had made a tie-up with the Rubber Board of India where a batch of trainees (beneficiaries) in rubber plantation has been deputed to the Regional office of the Rubber Board of India, Jagi Road, Assam for exposure to the techniques of rubber plantation. Rubber plantation is a new type of activity (plantation) in the area and this will need monitoring and guidance to be made to motivate and encourage the farmers in this new area of plantation. A group of trainees have also been deputed to the ICAR for exposure and training in beekeeping and management.

Tea plantation has been taken up by one beneficiary viz., Iaineh Multipurpose Co-operative Society at Saikarap (Mustoh) in the Mustoh-Shella area. This is the first project of tea plantation in the area. The project has been implemented initially covering an area of 10 hectares at the sanctioned amount of ₹ 23.80 lakhs. It is proposed to extend for another 10 hectares. The project has been done in collaboration with the Tea Development Centre, Department of Horticulture, Meghalaya. The project is found to be encouraging and successful. Hands-on training on various aspects of cultivation shall be needed from time to time. The members of the Society have been deputed to visit certain Tea unit factories in Assam for exposure to the techniques of tea plantation and processing. The SPV Society is now planning to extend the plantation for another 10 hectares and for setting up of a tea processing unit connected with this project with the aim in view to generate employment and income.

2. Organisational set up (SPV Society):

The SPV Society has the General Body, the Board of Directors and the Management with the CEO to function as the Chief Executive of the Society.

To provide a link between the Management of the SPV Society on one hand and the village authorities and their people on the other, Local Project Implementation Committees (LPIC’s) have been established. Each LPIC has a Chairman, a secretary and 3 members including one woman and one youth. The members of the LPIC shall be selected by the concerned village authorities for a term of one year at a time and the selected persons as recommended shall be submitted to the Society for acceptance. All schemes/proposals for implementation are normally to be submitted through the respective LPIC who will scrutinize the proposals and then to recommend and submit the same to the SPV Society for consideration.

3. Audit:

The SPV Society has appointed the Chartered Accountant to conduct an internal audit of the accounts of the SPV Society. The Accountant General (Audit) Meghalaya has conducted an audit on the accounts of the SPV Society for the years 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and general audit of the SPV Society for the period from 2012-13 to 2015-16. Copy of the Reports of the Accountant General (Audit) Meghalaya is at the Annexure ‘A’.

4. Implementation of Programmes/Activities (2012-13 & 2013-14):

The SPV Society began its functioning with effect from 01-03-2012 with CEO as the executive head of the management. The management initially made extensive touring to the areas of operation to discuss with concerned village authorities and the general people to have firsthand knowledge about their needs and aspirations. The Society could then prepare the Work Plan and budget for the year 2012-13 based on the expressed needs of the people of the different villages/ localities as reflected in the applications submitted by them. Necessary guidelines have been framed relating to the constitution of the Local Project Implementation Committee (LPIC) as mentioned in the foregoing paragraph. Over and above guidelines and rules and regulations have been framed setting the necessary procedures for starting and implementing the development programmes and activities. 

For the year 2012-13, annual Work Plan & Budget was prepared for an amount of ₹1861.20 lakhs (including the provision of ₹ 103.45 lakhs for Administrative Esstt.) On the recommendation of the Board of Directors and the General Body, the Budget was approved by the SPV Committee and funds could be released to the SPV Society only in December 2012. Because of the delayed budget, much headway could not be made regarding the implementation of the programmes and schemes during 2012-13. The actual implementation of the schemes & projects under the Budget (2012-13) was executed during 2013-14, i.e., the execution of the schemes and projects of 2012-13 was carried over to the year 2013-14 and being implemented together with the schemes and projects of 2013-14. The AWP & Budget for 2013-14 is for ₹ 3008.96 lakhs (including the provision of ₹93.00 lakhs for Administrative Esstt.)

The utilisation of funds was made for a total amount of ₹ 1084.12 lakhs on the implementation of the programmes and activities plus 145.83 for Administrative Establishment during the period 2013-14 which amounts to 25% of the funds released. As reflected in the statement above implementation of certain schemes such as sanitary latrines (sanitation) and drainage, irrigation and others have not been made during the period for some technical problems and circumstances. Steps have been taken by the Society for the implementation of these schemes in the ensuing years. In respect of infrastructure community projects, such as halls, village playgrounds and school buildings implementation and execution of these projects are being made through the local village authorities and school management authorities. Other projects viz., water supply and roads etc. implementation is entrusted to the Meghalaya Government Construction Corporation Limited (MGCC) as per the terms of the Agreement/ MOU entered into. Funds are being released in instalments depending on the progress of work. So also in respect of livelihood projects funds to the beneficiaries are released in instalments. 

4 (1).  Impact assessment:

During the Period survey has not been taken to assess the impact of the operation of the Society in the area. However, we have unverified feed-backs from the local people and other sources indicating that the local people have overwhelmingly welcomed the activities of the SPV Society. Implementation of the infrastructure projects and other livelihood projects are going satisfactorily well. The Society has felt upon the need to conduct survey and impact assessment of the operation in the area.

5. Implementation of the programmes/activities (2014-15):

Most of the projects taken up during 2014-15 are the on-going/continuing schemes which have been started during the previous year (2013-14) and being carried over for implementation together with those as per the AWP for 2014-15. The programme on sanitation viz., construction of sanitary latrines (carried over from the previous year) was taken up during the year.

During the period (2014-15) the schemes taken up for implementation are mostly continuing project/activities started from previous years. Excepting one project, viz., construction of approach road at Nongtrai, all new projects as per the AWP for 2014-15 were not taken up for implementation. It was felt upon the need to survey the preparation of village development plan and need assessment.

For the ongoing projects, field visit and inspection were being conducted by officials of the SPV Society time to time so also in respect of the livelihood project taken up by the beneficiaries in different villages against the amounts of financial assistance given to them. Progress and performance are reported to be satisfactory. However, proper monitoring of the projects and activities need to be made.

The SPV Society felt upon the need to revive the traditional embroidery activities known as the ‘Khneng Embroidery in the Shella-Mustoh area with the aim in view to improve the livelihood and economy of the people in the area. For this, a tie-up was made with the North East Food Agro-Biodiversity Society (NESFAS) to conduct awareness and training to equip the people with the method and technology relating to this trade/activity.

6. Implementation of programmes/activities (2015-16):

Most of the projects taken up during the period (2015-16) are the continuing schemes which have been started during the previous years as per the approved AWP which are being carried over for implementation together with those as per the approved AWP for 2015-16. The new projects that were taken up during the year (2015-16) include (1) construction of roads:– to provide better road connectivity for the development of the areas 6 (six) numbers of road have been taken up. Implementation of the road project has been entrusted to the State PWD as per the plan & proposals submitted by the Department. (2) Infrastructure development projects: 9 (nine) numbers of different infrastructure development projects at Nongtrai have been taken up. These projects are partly implemented by the Village Authority and by the Meghalaya Govt. Construction Corporation Ltd.

Regarding the livelihood project/activities viz., (i) Horticulture Plantation (ii) Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, projects taken up are mostly continuing schemes from previous years. Overall implementation was found to be satisfactory. In respect of horticulture plantation, because of the long gestation period, the impact of the schemes against the amount of assistance given to the beneficiaries cannot immediately be assessed. Field inspection and monitoring on the implementation of the projects are being conducted time to time by SPV Officials jointly with the members of the LPIC’s.

Tea plantation project that was taken up by one Society viz., Iaineh Multipurpose Cooperative Society (10 units) covering initially an area of 10 hectares is found to be quite encouraging which has been done in collaboration with the Tea Development Centre Deptt. of Horticulture, Meghalaya. In AH & Vety scheme, piggery is found to be doing quite well as people are used to this type of livelihood. In poultry also the scheme is satisfactorily well.

For the construction of roads & infrastructure projects, execution of which is entrusted to the State PWD and Village authority & MGCC, funds are released in instalments depending on the progress of works & requirement. Inspection and monitoring are being constantly made.

6 (1). Survey & Assessment:

To survey need assessment and preparation of village development plan, the work was entrusted to the State Institute for Rural Development (SIRD) of the Govt. of Meghalaya which has submitted the report.

7. Implementation of the programmes/activities (2016-17)

Implementation of the programmes and activities taken up during 2016-17 are mainly continuing schemes & projects. No new projects/schemes have been taken up during the year.

8. Livelihood projects/activities:

Concerning the livelihood projects/activities (i) horticulture crop plantation (ii) animal husbandry & veterinary activities, the overall implementation of the activities is by and large satisfactory. In respect of horticulture crop plantation because of the long gestation period, the impact of the schemes cannot be assessed immediately. However, implementation of the projects are being consistently monitored and necessary training is being conducted time to time to equip the farmers with the modern knowledge and method to ensure successful implementation.

9. Tea plantation project:

has been taken up by one beneficiary, viz. Iaineh Multipurpose Co-op Society at Saikarap (Mustoh). Tea plantation is aimed to cover an area of 20 hectares. Plantation covering an area of 10 hectares has been completed and the condition of the crop planted is found to be good and quite encouraging. This project has been done in collaboration with the Tea Development Centre Deptt of Horticulture, Meghalaya. Hands-on training on various aspects of cultivation shall, however, be needed from time to time. The plantation is proposed to be expanded for the remaining 10 hectares of land. It is proposed to set up a tea processing unit connected with this project. It is anticipated that the plantation will yield green tea leaf of around 1,60,000 kg annually when fully mature which can sustain the viability of the project with the mini processing unit proposed to be set up to bring about the economic development of the area.

10. Tomato plantation at Laitkynsew: 

This is an experiment/pilot project taken up by the SPV Society to improve the production of the local variety of tomato being grown at Laitkynsew i.e., to extend the harvesting period, etc. this being an experiment, procurement of low-cost polyhouses was considered necessary to provide rain shelter for proper growth of the plantation, also water tanks to provide irrigation facilities with the proposed project. In the course of implementation of the project, it was found that the local variety of tomato is not suitable in such condition. The plan is being considered to experiment with the application of polyhouses in respect of other items of plantation such as capsicum, beans etc.

11. Rubber plantation

Rubber plantation is a new type of activity (plantation) in the area. It is felt upon the need to have proper monitoring and guidance/training to be made by the State Soil and Water Conservation Deptt. to motivate and encourage the farmers in this new area of plantation. Matter in this regard is being taken up by the SPV Society with the State Soil and Water Conservation Deptt. to take steps for the development of rubber plantation in the area.

12. AH & Vety projects/activities:

In this sector, the scheme of piggery is found to be doing well as people are used to this type of livelihood, similarly in poultry, the scheme is found to be doing satisfactorily well, against the amount of financial assistance given by the SPV Society to the beneficiaries.

About the implementation of the different livelihood projects/activities against which financial assistance was given to the beneficiaries, the concerned Department of the State Government will conduct study and evaluation of the activities taken up & for submission of report accordingly.

13. Infrastructure Project: 

Construction of roads and other big projects have been entrusted for implementation to the Chief Engineer, PWD (Roads) and the Meghalaya Government Construction Corporation Ltd (MGCC). For other infrastructure projects viz., construction of community halls, playgrounds, school building, footpaths etc., these are entrusted to the concerned village authorities (durbars) and the school management authorities for implementation under the monitoring and supervision of the BDO’s concerned & officials of the SPV Society. Inspection and monitoring regarding implementation & progress of works are being constantly taken up. Status on implementation of these projects is given in the foregoing para above.

14. Survey and Assessment:

The work for the conduct of Need Assessment and preparation of Village Development Plan (VDP) in the area of operation of the SPV Society had been entrusted to and conducted by the State SIRD. To have further detailed information and particulars in this regard, the matter is being referred back to the SIRD to give a presentation showing a comparison between the State Census data and the SIRD Report.

15. Training:-

In respect of livelihood projects/activities viz., horticulture crop plantation, tea plantation & rubber plantation and also animal husbandry and veterinary projects and village & cottage industries projects/activities, the amount of financial assistance are given/released directly to the concerned beneficiaries. To motivate the farmers to ensure successful implementation of the various livelihood activities, training –cum – awareness programmes have been arranged and conducted time to time by the SPV Society in collaboration with the State Horticulture Department and AH & Vety Department and also with the ICAR & Rubber Board (Assam) where the beneficiaries are called/deputed for undergoing the training in different activities. SPV Society has also made a tie-up with North Eastern Slow Food Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS) for conducting awareness programme and training to revive the traditional embroidery activities in the Shella-Mustoh areas.

Graph showing sector-wise expenditure for different years :