Kohima: Mirror of Nagaland
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he capital, Kohima, has been expanding in fits and starts with certain discernable developments. Colonies are increasing by leaps and bounds. The new ones have developed on planned lines with comparatively broader roads especially towards the north from Billy Graham Road to Thizama where the village and 4th NAP HQ is located, and the southern part.
However, the main Kohima town remains clustered although there have been some vestiges of improvements like sidewalks or footpaths. Its main problem has been that when Kohima town was first conceived over a century ago, perhaps no one had ever visualized that it would one day acquire various distinctions. Located on a saddle about 5,000 metres above mean sea level, it looks picturesque with varying and contrasting features.One of Kohima’s distinctions is its history as a battlefield where the Allied Forces had managed to push back the Japanese invasion during World War Two.
The town that came up at the base of the village is the core of what is now the capital of Nagaland. What has been a shortcoming since the early days are the narrow roads and streets which cannot be widened beyond some limits because solid buildings have been constructed on both sides. Yet it can pass muster.
What is of more concern in today’s context is the pitiful condition of the sanitation aspect. Of late, the Kohima Municipal Committee (KMC) ensures that garbage are collected at various localities at prescribed times and for which proper disposal sites have been constructed. Eventually, despite the lack of civic sense of many of its denizens, the capital has just become the first city in the country to have a fully decentralized sanitation service (DSS).
In the second phase of the DSS programme, pick up trucks have been distributed to nine wards on November 20 in addition to those ten trucks already extant since the first phase began two years ago in August 2011, thus enabling DSS to cover all the nineteen wards as of now. The objective has been to ensure that Kohima becomes “garbage free town” and was jointly launched KMC and DPDB (District Planning and Development Board).
Accordingly, The KMC had a coordination meeting with the members of Pnchayats, women and youth organisations of all the 19 wards. CEO, KMC Elizabeth had emphasized the importance of segregation of wastes at source as the present method doing so transfer points is unhealthy. The habit of dumping of wastes into streams and drains is still practised in many parts of the capital and should be stopped.
In the process the value of becoming environmentally conscious would take precedence in the general outlook. For this, all concerned must involve in ensuring a viable system such as collection of wastes from the doorsteps. Kohima as the capital is also part of the mission for capital cities of the country.
Also, the State Investment Programme Management Implementation (SIPMIU) is undertaking activities and ongoing projects. The encouraging aspect includes solid waste management through compost plant, sand fill, waste recycling centre, better water treatment plant and water distribution network etc.
It is a matter of concern that we have been compelled to go into such aspects as sanitation especially in the urban areas. Lack of proper sanitation sense basically stems from lack of civic sense of many citizens. Most Nagas use to construct houses but with no proper toilet facilities. In fact, there are more buildings with very poor sanitation outlets. Whatever few toilets there are on roadsides have no proper drainage.
Not only Kohima but all urban as well rural areas must be motivated with more civic sense and such projects will hopefully reach them also. There is a writing on a wall below the old Secretariat, Kohima as follows: “The difference between Singapore and Nagaland is civic sense.” There is another slogan painted on a wall opposite the Red Cross building which says; “Kohima is the Mirror of Nagaland.” Let it be so.