Act eastern Nagaland: Rio centres global spotlight on neglected region - Eastern Mirror
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Act eastern Nagaland: Rio centres global spotlight on neglected region

By EMN Updated: Apr 07, 2018 1:42 am
Neiphiu Rio speaking during a programme in Mon town on Friday.

Dimapur, April 6 (EMN): Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Friday announced a number of steps that the  Nagaland state  government would be taking to promote tourism in Mon as well as the rest of the eastern districts of the state.

‘My government has decided to promote the tourism sector. Hornbill Festival is world renowned and so we decided to have  a mini-hornbill festival across the districts. The government will support the tribal hohos to celebrate the tribal festivals which will be known to others as ‘Mini-Hornbill Festival.’

“That will attract tourists throughout the year wherein tourists can come and see our rich culture and tradition, witness songs and dances. The government will give support but the tribal hohos have to take ownership. Throughout the year, you should produce your handloom and handicrafts, and your crops so that during your festivals, you can exhibit your products and earn revenue,” a press release from the chief minister’s office quoted Rio as having said then.

Rio was addressing the 27th anniversary of the Konyak gazette officers’ union (KGOU) at the council hall of Mon town. The Hornbill Festival, he said, requires an investment of around INR 4-5 cr. but registers a turnover of around INR 51 cr.

Rio said that the government will train tour operators, tourist guides, and agents for which officers should document stories and legends of their tribes  to enable tourists to learn about the history and culture of the Naga people.

Toward this objective the state’s government has decided to build convention centres and tourist guest houses in Mon town and many other places in eastern Nagaland to ensure that basic amenities are   available to tourists. He emphasised on air connectivity within Nagaland for which a plan was submitted during his previous  stint as chief minister too.

The project includes the foothill road (express road) which will ensure road connectivity to Mon without passing through Assam; and the rail connection to Tizit, he informed. For these projects the people need to give land, he said. “If you want development, you should cooperate with the government.”

Also, Rio highlighted the ‘eagerness’ of various corporate and charitable organisations such as the  Tata Trust, Reliance Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, BMW Foundation, and John Deere Foundation to come and work in Mon as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. He advised the Konyak officers to ‘leverage the opportunity and extend support in working out plans in the field of education, health, skill development, and livelihood, and employment generation’.

Rio informed that the government will be meeting with various corporate groups soon. He  announcing that an Australian company was willing to provide free air ambulance service in Nagaland if they are  given a 500-metre runway.

Further, the chief minister expressed desire to construct in Mon  a ‘special dedicated football ground’  with all modern facilities  to promote sports in the district.

On the district’s low literacy rate–the lowest in Nagaland–Rio challenged the officers to work toward  improving the rate and bringing it at par with the rest of the districts. ‘The literacy rate of Mon is only 56.99% against an average of 79.55% for the state of Nagaland. The challenge before us can be seen from the fact that the literacy rate of our state in 2001 was 66.59% – around 10% higher than the literacy rate in 2011.’

Rio also appreciated the ‘humanitarian service’ of the deputy commissioner of Mon, Thavaseelan K,  for his initiative to help NCS/NPS/IAS/IPS officers posted in Mon district to conduct free weekly classes for civil service aspirants.

Also acknowledging that one of the important needs of the town was a  science wing at Wangkhao Government College, Rio said stakeholders should work toward meeting stated need.

Talking of serendipity, the chief minister reminded that the election campaign of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party-Bharatiya Janata Party combine started from Mon town.

In other matters, the chief minister sought to highlight the economic potential of cultivating cardamom in the region.  “The government gives agri (sic)  loans, crop insurance etc. You can have contract farming and crop price protection so that the fluctuation of prices does not affect your farming project,” Rio said and asked the deputy commissioner  to make an assessment report with all the departments, about the economic condition of the people of the district; and how the government may do more for the people.

Also speaking during the programme was Thavaseelan K. He said that the district administration was focusing on seven priority sectors–health, education, agriculture, livelihood and employment generation, water and sanitation, infrastructure (telecom, power and roads) and financial inclusion with focus on seven groups namely women, children, youth; and the differently-able, elderly citizens, PLHIVs, Drug and Opium users etc.

Others who spoke during the event included former minister MC Konyak (first general secretary of the KGOU) and Manlip Konyak, the president of the Konyak Union while T Manhom Konyak, chairman of the planning committee said the vote of thanks.

Those who attended the programme included ministers Metsubo Jamir and Paiwang Konyak, Advisors Noke Wangnao, Pohwang Konyak, Bonkhao Konyak, and Khehovi Yepthomi, besides a host of government officials and tribal leaders.

By EMN Updated: Apr 07, 2018 1:42:19 am