Amicable settlement of Naga political talks must for lasting peace: Governor
Kohima, January 26
Nagaland Governor P B Acharya while expressing that peace is a pre-requisite for progress of any society, today maintained that in order to bring about lasting peace in the State, the ongoing (Naga political) talks between the Government of India and the Naga underground factions have to be brought to an amicable settlement. Addressing the 66th Republic Day function after unfurling the Tri-colour at Secretariat Plaza here, the Governor said, “Even as the peace talks continue, the civil society yearns for a peaceful and enabling environment for progress”.
“The State Government as facilitator will continue to pursue for an early solution to the Naga political problem to bring permanent peace in the State,” he said.
Maintaining that by and large, the law and order situation in the state remained peaceful, he recalled “there were incidents of violence and tension along the inter-state border with Assam, particularly in Ralan area of Wokha district, but timely intervention by the district administration and police in the Disputed Area Belt and meetings between the Chief Ministers, Chief Secretaries and the Commissioners of the two States helped prevent further escalation of tension”.
Maintaining that the Naga people mostly depend on agriculture, he said the productivity of food grains has increased from 700 kgs per hectare in 1963 to 2,267 kgs per hectare in 2013-14.
He however said that despite the progress, the state remains deficient in rice production. The vision 2025 aims at overcoming this deficiency and achieving the dream of ‘food for all’.
“As highlighted by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the State in December last year, the potential of organic farming, a natural strength of the North Eastern region, requires to be tapped by our farmers,” he said.
Expressing that irrigation is critical to agriculture, he said 155 minor irrigation projects have been taken up for completion during this year for creation of irrigation potential of 8,835 hectares at a cost of Rs 112 crore, 13 new projects have been sanctioned under the Integrated Watershed Development Program covering watershed area of 53,000 hectares for implementation in next 5 years.
He said horticulture offers income generating opportunities to the farmers and the focus this year is on establishing two centres of excellence – one for flowers in Hamlu Hangphoi village in Mon district and the other for temperate crops in Pfutsero in Phek district while five farmer schools will be set up for imparting technical know-how.
Meat being an important part of diet of the people of Nagaland, the Governor said efforts are being made to increase meet production through peoples’ participation. The production of fish is expected to reach 7,700 metric tons this year, he said.
Expressing that the State is blessed with rich biodiversity, he called upon the people to guard against its degradation with combined efforts of all stakeholders. He acknowledged Old Jalukie Joint Forest Management Committee for receiving the India Biodiversity Award 2014 in co-management category. Under the flagship National Afforestation Program, 4000 hectares will be afforested this year in the State, he said.
In the education sector, he said the younger generation must receive quality education for which the State Council of Education, Research & Training is making efforts to improve quality of teaching by conducting teacher eligibility tests and establishing study centres to train 500 teachers in 3 years.
He said that the Public Health Engineering Department aims to provide 84 Not Covered or Partially Covered habitations with drinking water supply this year while 36 habitations having water quality problems will be provided with water treatment units. “50,000 individual household toilets and 153 sanitary complexes are targeted this year under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,” he said.
In industries sector, the Governor said that assistance has been provided for setting up of 20 food processing units while the State Vision Document on food processing industries has been prepared. He also revealed that the Ministry of Textiles has accorded in-principle approval for setting up of Apparel and Garment Manufacturing Unit at Dimapur.
On road sector, the Governor said that maintenance and repair of roads in district and sub-divisional headquarters has provision of Rs. 45 crore this year under the 13th Finance Commission Awards while an amount of Rs. 30 crore is earmarked for the year for foothill road connectivity.
He pointed that availability of electricity is the key driver of the economy, however a major challenge is to plug commercial losses. An IT project is under implementation in 9 towns of the State to improve management of energy audit and accounting, he said.
Asserting that steps for harnessing sustainable renewable energy are also being taken, he said 1 MW hydro project at Tsutsung river in Mokokchung district and 300 KW project at Noi roi river in Peren district are nearing completion.
The Governor expressed while most of the population lives in rural areas, the state is rapidly urbanizing. Nagaland recorded the highest rate of urbanization at 66.70% in Census 2011, he said and this requires sustained efforts in providing urban infrastructure and services.
He also highlighted the achievements of the State in health sector, sports taking care of senior citizens, other weaker sections and initiatives under DUDA and BADP to cater to the needs of the people living in remote, inaccessible and difficult terrain of the international border.
Highlighting some of the initiatives and achievements as well as the challenges the state have to meet, he mentioned that that the State is passing through financial difficulties, but expressed the hope that the Fourteenth Finance Commission will be favourable to the State.
The Governor also called upon the people of the state to work together towards realizing the vision for a better future for themselves and posterity.
“As we embark upon the journey of another year of our Republic, it is time to take stock not only of our achievements but also of the challenges that lie ahead,” said
The Governor also took salute from the 15 march past contingents including police, security forces, NCC, Scouts & Guides and school students while also presenting awards to police and administrative officers for their services.
Chief Minister TR Zeliang along with his cabinet colleagues and legislators also joined the celebrations.
Colourful cultural dances, exhibition sum sale of agri and allied sectors and philanthropic services by various organisations, tug-of-war and football exhibitions marked the celebrations.