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Need to solve urbanisation woes in Nagaland — Rio

By Our Correspondent Updated: Oct 03, 2019 1:34 am
Neiphiu Rio addresses the gathering at the state-level programme on urban missions at NBCC Convention Centre in Kohima on October 2.

Our Correspondent

Kohima, Oct. 2 (EMN): The Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday said that people tend to “abuse” and blame the government but one should know that it is the image of the citizens. He added that it would be unfair if public expect government to clean the dirt.

Rio was speaking at the state-wide mass shramdaan on plastic waste as part of “Swachhata Hi Seva-Cleanliness is Service 2019” campaign in Kohima on October 2. He requested the people to actively participate in the campaign and help the government in keeping the town clean.

Angikaar campaign launched

Along with the rest of the nation, the Chief Minister also launched Angikaar campaign at a separate event held at NBCC Convention centre in Kohima on Wednesday

Angikaar is a three-month-long campaign envisaging at mobilising Pradan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) PMAY (U) beneficiaries for social-behavioural change. The campaign, which will culminate on December 10 2019, also aims at assisting PMAY (U) beneficiaries through a series of IEC activities covering 12,389 beneficiaries in 14 towns of Nagaland.

It seeks to address urban issues like waste management, health, water and energy conservation by converging with various urban missions and schemes of other central ministries such as health and family welfare, environment, forest and climate change, new and renewable energy, petroleum and natural gas and power.

Rio congratulated the department of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs for taking up initiatives to address the problems in the urban areas through various flagship schemes and missions.  Expressing concern over issues of increasing rate of urban population, he said provision of quality and adequate housing to the urban dwellers have become urgent.

“Since Nagaland achieved statehood in 1963, the total population had increased by 5.3 times in terms of absolute number while urban population increased by 18.4 times, which is remarkable,” Rio said.

“At this rate, it is expected that by the next 20 years or so, half the population of Nagaland will be living in towns and cities. Therefore, there is an urgency to have a new perspective on our priorities in providing urban amenities to the urban dwellers,” he added.

Conversely, he said that Nagaland has recorded highest urbanisation rate in the nation during the last two consecutive Census 2001 and 2011 at 69.44% and 66.70% respectively; whereas, during Census 2011, the rural areas recorded a (-) 14% negative growth rate.

Urban areas being the centre of economic activities are crucial to the economy of a state for poverty alleviation and inclusive growth. He said that urbanisation has a great influence on climate change and therefore, energy-efficient housing, measures to reduce traffic and vehicle emissions besides promoting non-motorised transport has become an urgent necessity.

“The challenges to bring development and providing basic livelihood to the people of the state have been difficult and marred with various impediments. But together with the cooperation of all the stakeholders, we hope to build sustainable towns and cities,” Rio said.

He also highlighted the flagship schemes and programmes for urbanisation including Smart City Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Housing for All (HFA-Urban) and Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) to address the problems of the urban areas. Under the smart city mission, he said Kohima smart city has been ranked as the first among the ten Northeast smart cities. Under this project, a “100 days Smart City Special Initiative Campaign on Sanitation” with special focus on awareness creation of plastic pollution and waste management with special emphasis on waste segregation and moving towards the practice of zero waste have been implemented.

INR 257.91 crore-worth projects in Kohima

The advisor for Urban Development and Municipal Affairs, Neikiesalie Kire presented the status of the ongoing urban projects, missions and schemes in the state.

On Swachh Bharat Mission, he said the mission has assisted individual households for construction of 16,015 individual toilets in the 19 ULBs over the past five years through the municipal and town councils. It has also assisted the construction of 235 community toilets in the 19 ULBs during the past five years, he said.

For the solid waste management, the advisor informed that the department had procured and distributed 54 machineries and vehicles to the municipal and town councils for collection and disposal of waste. He added that more effort is needed in the area of waste management.

Despite Kohima being selected as one of the 100 smart cities in the second round of selection, implementation of the projects could only begin in October 2018 owing to certain technicalities, he said.

So far, 10 projects amounting to INR 257.91 crore are in progress and five projects under DPR preparation stage, out of which one project—construction of Kohima Smart City & KMC office — is expected to be completed by mid-October, he said. Preliminary works for installation of the prestigious Integrated Command & Control Centre (ICCC) project is underway and at least one track of the project is expected to go live on December 1 2019, he informed.

He also updated that under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Housing for All (Urban) Mission in the state, 12,389 people have benefitted through the first instalment of the central subsidy to 14 towns by the Department of Municipal Affairs. Under the ‘Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme’, beneficiary will be given a home loan on interest subsidy for acquisition and construction of house. Till date, 23 beneficiaries have availed home loan from the Primary Lending Institutions (Banks), Kire said.

Meanwhile, the 100 days challenge award for best sanitation was awarded to ward -11 of Kohima, while the best eco activity was bagged by the Kros College, Kohima.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Oct 03, 2019 1:34:40 am