The people of Mizoram might face an acute famine due to a drastic reduction of the state's food grains quota by the Centre compounded by the impending 'Mautam' or gregarious flowering of bamboo.
Top officials of the state Food, Civil supplies and Consumer Affairs department told PTI that the Centre had reduced the state's quota of rice, the staple food of the Mizos, by more than 60 per cent from April this year.
"The quota would be further deducted as more than 12,000 metric tons was allotted in bulk as a buffer stock for the five-month monsoon season," they said, adding, "Even the allocation for Below Poverty Line families was reduced drastically last month."
State Food, Civil supplies and Consumer Affairs minister hasrushed to New Delhi to take up the matter and explain the gravity of the situation in view of the reduction of rice quota with the Centre on Monday.
"Wewere expecting the Union government to double the quota in view of the impending 'Mautam,' which results in population explosion of rodents causing mass destruction of paddy," they said, adding that the reduction at the beginning of the gregarious flowering of bamboo was 'totally unjustified.'
Meanwhile,an increase of the rodent population was reported from many areas in the state and destruction of paddy and other crops by bugs and grasshoppers were also reported. A significant increase in the number of bugs and grasshoppers is regarded as a prelude to a 'Mautam famine' by the Mizos.