CPO, PPK urge Governor to help expedite Indo-Naga peace talks
DIMAPUR, SEPT 15
Chakhesang Public Organization (CPO) and Pochury People’s Forum (PPF) have requested Nagaland Governor Dr Ashwani Kumar, as representative of Government of India (GoI) and constitutional head of Nagaland, to “press” the GoI to expedite the peace talks and bring them to a logical conclusion.They also expressed concern over the protracted talks between the GoI and the Naga National groups for over 16 years without conclusion till date. In the process, “this has brought about great hardships on the general public due to reasons best known to all.”
This was stated in a memorandum submitted to the Governor on Friday (Sept 13) when he was visiting Phek Town along with his Lady Wife and entourage.
The memorandum also cited three projects topping the list of priorities for the Governor to take up. The first was establishment of a Central Forest Institute within the district. It stated that “the rampant deforestation and environment depletion had taken heavy toll on forest resources, bio-diversity and economy of the State. Besides, “the present technologies advocated in the State are not conducive for a fragile eco-system like ours.”
The importance of developing new technologies to protect, preserve and promote the standing forest resources have been emphasized the world over especially in the face of alarming global warming.
The people of Nagaland are traditionally forest dwellers. Their economy, culture, and tradition have always been in harmony with nature. As such, the scopes for forestry research in the virgin forests of Phek district are immense, the memorandum said.
The second priority is to recommend up-gradation of single-lane 107 kms road from Akhwego to Avangkhu, to two-lane. Avangkhu has been identified as one of the International Trade Centres. Vision 2020 of Government of India (GoI) has laid emphasis on Look East India Policy.
In this emerging socio-economic vision, Phek district, particularly the Pochury area which covers over 1060 sq. kms of the district’s 2026 sq. kms will open up its mineral rich ground for international trade route to traverse through it.
As such, Phek district will become the gateway to provide India with the transit corridor for international trades with South East Asian countries. The district is projected to become the potential nerve centre for the nation’s economic activities in trade and commerce, the memorandum said.
Signed by Presidents of CPO and PPK, Sovenyi and Ghachu respectively, the joint memorandum also disclosed that as part of this development initiative, the construction of a two-lane road from Avangkhu (India) to Lehshi (Myanmar) has started on a war footing and progressing well.
The memorandum further emphasized maintenance and improvement of national highway (NH) 150 which is the only BRO road connecting the district with the State capital and Manipur State. Approximately 750 kms in length, this road is the longest in N-E India and has been proposed for upgradation to two-lane.
Failure to maintain and improve this road by BRO has been causing untold sufferings to people of Phek and Kiphire districts. Hence the request to take it up with MoRTH (Ministry of Road Transport and Highways) for approval of the new proposal at the earliest, the memorandum added.
[tabs type=”horizontal”][tabs_head][tab_title]Plea for implementation of Tizu Hydro Project [/tab_title][/tabs_head][tab]The Lozaphuhu Village Council has submitted a memorandum to Nagaland Governor Dr Ashwani Kumar requesting him to intervene with the State Government for the proposed Tizu Hydro Project to start flowing. A copy of the memorandum which was received here said that the State Government had proposed to take up the project which has a potential for generating 15 MW of electricity, in 1988. The project site is located about 14 kms East of Lozaphuhu Village which in turn is 4 kms East of Phek Village. Accordingly, the survey and investigation, feasibility report and the detailed project report (DPR) were carried out by the Power department and submitted to the Government for onward implementation. However, further action has not been taken so far, the memorandum said. Jointly signed by Village Chairman, Suvehu Vese, Head GB Vesatso Rhakho and VDB Secretary Khusuzo Khamo, the memorandum also pointed out that Nagaland requires about 120 MW during peak demand hours whereas, the availability is about 80% of the requirement including State’s own generation and power purchase from all sources. The memorandum further said that if the proposed project is “re-initiated” and taken up, the State Government as well as the general public will be benefited to a great extent “as our State requires additional power supply. Moreover, this would improve the State’s revenue besides creating job avenues.” In the event of the project being taken up, the village is committed to fully cooperate with the Government and render all possible help. The memorandum added. The memorandum was submitted when the Governor, his lady wife and entourage visited Lozaphuhu Village, on Friday afternoon (Sept 13). The visitors were treated to a view of about 13 villages to the East and a brief glimpse of the peak of Mount Saramati from the viewpoint of the local Church. By a quirk of nature, some villages are seen well in the mornings while others are better seen in the evenings. President, NPF Phek Division, Chivoto Nienu who hails from this village, was the moderator during the visit. He gave a brief account of Jessami and Mathikhru villages which were invaded and smashed through by the Japanese Army en route to Kohima. Some British Army survivors who were injured had managed to escape into the hill forest within the jurisdiction of Lozaphuhu Village and were taken care of by the villagers. After Indian Independence, when insurgency started in the late 1960s, the Indian Army armed with Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 happened to order Mathikhru villagers to do help in manual labour. At that particular time, the villagers were celebrating a feast and when they did not immediately obey, the Army separated the adult male population and massacred them, Chivotso Nienu narrated. Then the visitors were treated to the usual Naga traditional welcome plus two folk songs in action. The men’s group attired in traditional attire rendered a part of cultivating process with the plow while singing along to keep them in josh (enthusiasm). The women’s group rendered a rare spectacle of spinning cotton into threads for weaving cloth along with the usual song accompaniment. The Governor was so pleased he insisted on posing for photographs with both the cultural groups as well as the young students. Then the entourage was shown a traditional hut which is now about 60 years old but retains remnants of the local cultural aspects. While the Governor had earlier said that Phek was the cleanest Town in Nagaland, in the VIP Visitors’ Book he wrote: “Lozaphuhu: The cleanest Village in Nagaland.”[/tab][/tabs]