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NLA budget session begins, Gov appeals factions to desist from all hostile acts, utterances

Governor Nikhil Kumar address the 9th session of the 11th NLA at Assembly Secretariat in Kohima, Tuesday. (DIPR)
Correspondent Kohima, March 22 (NPN):
Published on 23 Mar. 2011 12:30 AM IST
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Nagaland Governor Nikhil Kumar reasserted the state government’s full support to the ongoing peace process and its commitment to facilitate an early and honourable settlement of the protracted Naga political problem.
Addressing the 9th session of the 11th Nagaland Legislative Assembly at the opening of the budget session Tuesday, the Governor in his 43-minute speech also appealed to the underground factions to desist from all form of hostile acts and utterances, which could fritter away the hard earned relative peace prevailing in the state.
At the same time he also expressed concern at the disturbing re-emerging trend of factional hostilities in the state’s northern and eastern borders which threaten to vitiate peaceful atmosphere in the state.
The Governor reiterated that his government would leave no stone unturned to maintain peace and tranquillity in the state and lauded the efforts of the government its agencies, tribal hohos, churches, civil societies and the NGOs especially the Forum for Naga Reconciliation, for the drastic reduction of factional clashes and civilian casualties in which the state witnessed the most peaceful periods in recent memory.
He also appreciated the role of the security forces, para military and the state police in maintaining law and order, and in ushering a climate of relative peace and calm in the state. Unlawful activities and crime have been dealt with firmly as a result of which crime has come down significantly he said but added that the presence of banned militant groups from outside the state and their activities within Nagaland continue to pose a challenge to our security agencies, specially in and round Dimapur.
The Governor also said that it has been his government’s endeavor to strengthen state police force on a long term measure and revealed that the construction of new permanent battalion head quarters, upgradation of the police hospital to the first referral hospital and provision of sophisticated security equipment are some steps being taken to modernize the police force. He also informed that Nagaland has also successfully raised and trained commando units to make the state better prepared in dealing with terrorist threats.
On ENPO demand
On the demand of the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO) to the government of India for a separate state comprising of the districts of Mon, Tuensang, Longleng and Kiphire, the Governor said the demand appears to have been made because of a perceived feeling of the neglect and lack of development in these areas over the last five decades.
“My government is aware of the feelings and genuine grievances expressed in the memorandum and will address them with sincerity and seriousness…. because of our conviction that mere development is not enough, unless it is also equitable and inclusive” he added.
He also revealed that under the normal state plan, an amount of Rs.24 crores has been earmarked during the current year for infrastructural development in the backward areas. Under the central programme of Border Area Development Programme an amount of Rs.25 crores has been allocated during the current year, for establishment of model villages, road connectivity, education, agriculture and allied sectors, health infrastructure and social sector exclusively for the seven border blocks – Phomching, Chen, Tobu, Noklak, Thonoknyu, Pungro and Meluri.
He also said that the Ministry of DoNER sanctioned several projects last year under the Special Infrastructure Development-- Rs. 64. 78 crores for construction of suspension bridges, construction and upgradation of roads and construction of schools, hostel and cultural halls in the four districts of eastern Nagaland – Mon, Tuensang , Longleng and Kiphire, implementation of all of which is making good progress.
He said that the government had taken special measures to see that Census 2011 was carried out accurately and that the 1st and 2nd phases was successfully concluded in all districts and congratulated all those who were involved in the Census drive. He also hoped that the Nagaland Census 2011 would be accurate, reliable and satisfy everyone concerned.
The Governor also announced that the “Year of Entrepreneur” would continue for the second year in a row. The department of Industries & Commerce has already selected 1000 educated unemployed youth for training and assistance under the year of Entrepreneur, he added.
Further he said that under Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme, 240 educated unemployed youth have been selected for self-employment. Naga Handlooms have carved a niche in the textiles market in India and abroad, due to their exquisite design, texture and color scheme. In order to harness the opportunities in this sector, Handloom Cluster Development programme is being implemented in Mangkolemba, Peren, Pfutsero, Tseminyu and Toluvi.
Health Sector: On the health sector, the Governor viewed that the state has registered significance progress with the support from the National Rural Health Mission. The mission recruited 7 specialists, 55 Medical Officers, 26 Dentists, 21 AYUSH doctors, 203 staff nurses and 364 ANMs while 9 more ambulances has been added to the fleet of referral transport services bringing the total to 66, the Governor informed. The Government has also successfully implemented the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), health insurance for the poor people with a total of 40,000 Health Card holders, entitling them to avail free medical treatment worth Rs 30,000 per year for a family of five and added that 80,000 more beneficiaries will be covered in the next three months.
Social Welfare: Under social welfare, many welfare programmes are being run effectively, providing financial assistance to the needy people in the vulnerable groups, said the Governor in his address.
On the issue of women empowerment Nikhil Kumar said that the department of women development has taken up a number of projects including Rural Women Livelihood Project, Textile Weaving and Promotion Project and setting up a ‘Centre for Women Development’ at Mokokchung through a partnership with Watsu Mundang.
Housing: On the department of Housing, the Governor informed that additional Nagaland Houses are being constructed at Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi in order to meet the growing demand for transit facilities in major cities.
Rural Development: On the Rural Development Nikhil Kumar said that a total of 335000 job cards have been issued during the current year, while employment equivalent to 112 lakh mandays generated. He also informed that the government of India has raised the unskilled wage from Rs 100 per day to Rs118 per day for Nagaland from the beginning of this year.
Power: Viewing power as the most critical input for all economic activity, the Governor said it was the endeavour of the government to plan for adequate generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. He also informed the house that the government has taken initiative to develop 140 MW Dikhu Power Project and 150 MW Tizu-Zungki Power Project. Touching on the Public Health Engineering Department, the Governor announced that 23 villages of the state are to be awarded with Nirmal Gram Purashkar for achieving 100% sanitation.
Higher & technical education: He said that the government was working to substantially increase the educational infrastructure in the higher and technical education and other vocational training institutes. As part of these efforts, the National Institute of Technology will soon start functioning at Dimapur.
The Nagaland Flying Training Institute was also likely to start soon at Dimapur including a new institute of paramedical education to be opened in the state with tripartite partnership among the Central and State governments and Christian Institute of Health Sciences and research, Dimapur.
He also said the government would be setting up five new polytechnics institutes, eleven new skill development centers, and a trainers’ Training Institute to train instructors of vocational education.
Later, the motion of thanks on the Governor’s address was moved by Neiba Kronu, MLA and seconded by Dr. Neikiesalie Nicky Kire, MLA. The NLA Speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie announced that the discussion will take place on March 24 and 25.
The session will resume on March 24 (Thursday), after a recess on March 23 (Wednesday).
Obituary Reference: Speaker Nagaland Legislative Assembly Kiyanilie Peseyie led obituary references for three former members who had passed away recently- former minister Huska Sumi, former deputy chief minister R.C.Chiten Jamir and former minister Khukivi Awomi at the beginning of the 9th session of the 11th Assembly on Tuesday.
The Speaker paid glowing tributes to the three prominent leaders who passed away during the intersession period. The house observed two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed souls. The Speaker further informed the house that the profound sympathy expressed by the house will be conveyed to the family members of the deceased by the Secretary NLA.
Govt focussed on agri and allied sectors: Gov
Governor said his government was giving more focus on agri and allied sectors by promoting technically sound, economically viable, environmentally non-degrading and socially acceptable use of land and other resources to promote sustainable development of agriculture. He said these were a paradigm shift from subsistence farming to commercial farming involving the whole farming community in all the potential areas of the state.
To achieve the vision of “Food for All by 2020”, he said that the Government was focusing on supply of quality seeds, expansion of the area under cultivation, double cropping, farm mechanization, tapping of irrigation potential , increased use of manure & fertilizer and location specific organic farming. Eight Krishi Vigyan Kendras and the Regional Centre of ICAR are providing extension services in this direction.
He said the 2nd NE Agri Expo organized in Dimapur in December 2010 was highly successful exposition which saw participation from five State Governments, several national institutions, buyers, sellers and other stakeholders.
To enhance meat and milk production in the State, he said that the department of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary adopted a new Public Private Partnership mode during the current year. He said the department also formed the Nagaland Livestock Development Board for better coordination of the various programmes being implemented in the state. Through the Indigenous Animal Conservation programme, the department adopted 25 villages for rearing and conserving elite Mithuns. Further, the department is up-grading the state Cattle Breeding Farm at Lerie into a Model Dairy Farm. Setting up a Veterinary College, an exotic pig breeding farm at Jalukie and a modern slaughter house in Dimapur, was also in the process.
State’s fisheries sector has great potential he said, with great variety of fishery resources in the state that remain untapped, the department is taking up intensive fish culture, paddy-cum-fish culture, and reservoir fisheries and integrated farming by launching a “ Fishery Mission “through Public Private Partnership”. The department has already helped in constituting 20 women Self Help Groups (SHGSs) involved in fishery activities.
The Governor said on Horticulture, the state has made rapid strides in recent years. Today, people in the state are moving to commercial horticulture as better market linkages are being established. Under the Horticulture Technology Mission and the state plan, certain potential horticultural crops are being promoted. The department has also recently introduced apples in Phek and Kiphire districts along the higher altitudes as a pilot project, since the conditions were similar to the apple growing regions of Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir. Commercial floriculture, an activity being taken up mostly by women, is now a good commercial preposition, with 50,000 – 70,000 fresh cut flowers being produced weekly during peak seasons.
On the current age of climate change and global warming, he said soil and water conservation has to play a vital role in conserving our natural resources, such as land, water and vegetation. During the financial year 2010-11, the Department has covered more than 13,000 hectares of land with soil conservation treatment and management of natural resources.
Further he said that the government launched two important missions, namely the: Bio- Resources Mission” and the “Honey Mission”, which were already making visible impact in their respective sectors.
He also stated that the department of Food & Civil Supplies supervises the distribution of essential commodities through the Public Distribution System (PDS). The department provides subsidized food grains to more than 75,000 BPL families, and for the very poor families, free food grains are provided to more than 47,000 families under Antyodaya Anna Yojna and to more than 6,000 senior citizens under Annapurna schemes. During 2010-11 the department completed the construction of 50 MT capacity godowns at Zunheboto, Chetheba and Sakraba.
He also said that the department of Irrigation & Flood Control plays a vital role in water resource management. The department has identified 177 minor irrigation schemes, with a target of 7953 hectares of irrigation potential to be taken up under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP). Under Flood Management Programme (FMP), protection of Tizit town and Naginimora town are being taken up, which are nearing completion. He also added that the department also has plans to develop a comprehensive database on hydro meteorological sector in the state.

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