Updated: September 27, 2021 9:28:08 pm
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday said he does not feel there is “unnatural population growth” in Tripura.
Deb’s statement came following a reference period notice by the Chief Whip and BJP MLA Kalyani Roy claiming that there is an “unnatural population growth” in Tripura. This is despite the fact that Tripura is the third smallest state in India and a population control law is needed to resolve possibilities of diverse problems in the future, she said.
However, Deb said the available data doesn’t reflect any “unnatural growth” in population in the state. But the CM also said that his government would take timely decisions to control the population if it is necessary.
“As per the NHFS-5 2019-20 survey reports, the total fertility rate in Tripura is 1.7. This means the birth rate for every woman on an average is less than two and it is less than the replacement level. So, there is no sign of unnatural population growth in Tripura,” Deb said.
He also said his government is already undertaking a series of steps to control population, including holding free regular laparoscopic ligation camps for women, vasectomy camps for men, and providing free contraceptive medicines and injections.
Roy had earlier said that Tripura, which had 36 lakh people according to the 2011 census, is estimated to have over 41 lakh people in 2021, as per UIDAI data.
She argued that the 13.5 per cent decadal growth rate calculated from this provisional data would mean that Tripura’s population will go over 47 lakhs in the next 10 years and above 1 crore by 2091. She added that the state, with its limited resources within its 10,486 sq. km area, might face problems of unemployment, food and living space due to the population growth.
Demands for a population control law in Tripura came after similar legislations were introduced in neighbouring Assam and Uttar Pradesh earlier this year.
Citing the law in Assam, Roy said Tripura needs a law which would allow each couple to have a maximum of two children.
BJP MLA Sudhangshu Das supported the Chief Whip’s notice and said that the population growth is fuelled by “people of a particular community with jihadi mentality usually have four wives and 10 children”.
“This mentality is aimed at belittling other communities. There are some people of this mindset in this state,” he said, adding that steps should be taken to “rein in this mindset”.
Das, who won from the Fatijroy Assembly constituency in Unakoti district in 2018 for the first time, had demanded the introduction of specific bills on population control and cattle protection in Tripura in July this year.
BJP MLA Dr Atul Debbarma said while birth rate has not been explosive in Tripura yet, population growth doesn’t match with birth rate projections. He also asked the government to check if there is any illegal cross-border immigration going on in Tripura.
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