Hurdles impede urban development: Rio

Hurdles impede urban development: Rio
Neiphiu Rio (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, OCT 2 (NPN) | Publish Date: 10/2/2019 11:45:57 AM IST
Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio admitted that there were various issues confronting urban dwellers and observed that efforts at bringing development and providing basic livelihood to people of the State had been marred by various impediments.
He said at the State-level programme of Kohima Smart City Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) – Housing for All (Urban) on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at NBCC Convention Centre here on Wednesday. 
Referring to migration from rural to urban areas, Rio observed that Nagaland was no exception to this, adding the State recorded highest urbanisation in the country in the last two consecutive censuses of 2001 and 2011 at 69.44% and 66.70% respectively.
According to census data, there was only one town in Nagaland between 1901 and 1951, which rose to three in 1961 and the number remained steady till 1980. However, in 1981, the number of towns rose to seven, which increased to nine in 1991-2001. 
And as per the 2011 Census, there were 19 recognised towns in the State, Rio added. 
He said the total urban population in 1901 was only 3,093, which comprised a mere 3.05% of the State’s total population, and since then, the urban population had been rising steadily. 
This, he said, was alarming considering deficits in urban infrastructure, adding the rural areas recorded a 14% negative growth rate as per Census 2011.
Rio said 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. 
At this, he remarked, it was expected that by the next 20 years or so, half the population of Nagaland would be living in towns and cities. 
At the same time, he pointed out that there were many smaller towns that were mushrooming in different parts of the State without any planning. 
While urban areas were centres of economic activities, engines of growth and crucial to the economy of a State for poverty alleviation and inclusive growth, Rio said there was an urgency to have a new perspective on providing urban amenities to the urban dwellers.
As urbanisation had great influence on climate change, he maintained that there was an urgent need for energy-efficient housing, measures to reduce traffic and vehicle emissions besides promoting non-motorised transport. 
Towards this end, he said climate change perspectives had to be integrated within the broader framework of sustainable urban development and the much-needed holistic approach to participatory governance, urban environmental planning and management.
Highlighting the flagship schemes for urbanisation, Rio thanked Government of India for launching various missions to address the problems of urban areas. 
He expressed happiness over Kohima being currently ranked first among the top 10 North-eastern smart cities with launching of various programmes on sanitation, plastic pollution and waste management.
Emphasising on the need for behavioural change, Rio remarked “Together with the cooperation of all stakeholders, we hope to build sustainable towns and cities.”
He also released an anti-plastic theme song and 100 days promotional video along with cloth bags for all tax-paying households under Kohima municipality on the occasion, besides announcing the launch of five water ATMs for public use and 19 smart sanitation vehicles for all wards of Kohima municipality through Kohima Smart City Mission. 
He also gave away awards to winners of the 100 Day Challenge for Best Sanitation to Ward 11, PWD Colony and Best Eco Activity to Kros College.
Briefly highlighting the achievements under Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), urban development & municipal affairs adviser Dr Neikiesalie Kire said much more efforts were required in the area of waste management, adding extensive awareness programmes had been taken up under all urban local bodies to sensitise general public on various issues and menace related to waste
On Kohima Smart City Mission, he informed the gathering that due to certain technicalities in the initial period, implementation of projects could only begin in October 2018. However, till now, 10 projects at an estimated cost of Rs 257.91 crore were in progress and five projects under detailed project report preparation stage, out of which one project – Construction of Kohima Smart City & KMC office – was expected to be completed by mid-October.
On banning single-use plastic, Kire said that cloth bags were being distributed to all tax-paying households within Kohima municipality as an alternative. Cleanliness drives were carried out every Saturday covering all wards during the 100 days and tree plantations were also carried out with the support of All Nagaland Taxi Association at the solid waste management site, he added.
On PMAY - Housing for All (Urban), he said Central assistance would be provided to implementing agencies in States and Union Territories for providing houses to all eligible families by 2022.
And as the implementing agency, he said the municipal affairs department would be implementing two vertical components, namely beneficiary-led construction scheme and credit-linked subsidy scheme.
Till date, the adviser said 12,389 beneficiaries had been released with the first instalment of Centre’s subsidy in 14 towns by the department under beneficiary-led construction scheme, while 23 beneficiaries had availed home loan from primary lending institutions under credit-linked subsidy scheme.
Under Angikaar Campaign which was launched on Wednesday, Kire said 14 towns in the State had been selected that would cover 12,389 beneficiaries who availed the first instalment under PMAY (U) Mission.
CM launches mass cleanliness drive
Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio launched state-wide mass plastic waste Shramdaan as part of “Swachhata Hi Seva” campaign at Old NST here Wednesday morning.
During the launching event, Rio called for collective effort of the public and stakeholders to eradicate single-use plastic in the state.
The chief minister viewed that the cleanliness drive would not be possible without public participation and cooperation.
As regards, he sought cooperation from the public, wards and colonies to make the change in the society and achieve the desired target.
“God has created our planet so beautifully. Mother Earth can provide for all our needs but it cannot sustain our greed and it is because of our greed that today so many environmental issues are taking place,” he said.
Reminding that government was the image of the citizens, the chief minister asked the public to stop complaining, but to take initiative for the growth of the society. “If the state wants to take cleanliness drive, all the stakeholders have to participate to maintain cleanliness in the state,” he said. 
Rio also informed the state was working in all the sectors in order to improve the roads, drainage system before the hornbill festival. In this regard, he has asked the town dwellers to show the way to keep the city clean.
On the occasion, the chief minister also read out the pledge discouraging the use of single-use plastics and making use of alternatives.
The chief minister along with a few of his colleagues and other high-ranking state officials also took part in the collection of plastic waste in the state capital.
The programme was chaired by urban development joint secretary Elizabeth Ngully and invocation by Kohima Baptist Pastor’s Fellowship president Dr. Kevichalie Metha. 


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