Post Mortem

Nagaland and beyond

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/7/2019 12:16:33 PM IST

 I had recently been to Shillong/Cherrapunji and had dropped in to NEC to say hello to the Secretary NEC and the Financial advisor, NEC. In the course of discussion, it transpired that today the NEC is no longer having any autonomy as it used to have before the Doner Ministry came into existence. The Governing council NEC consists of the CMs and Governors of the NE states whereas the Chairman was the Minister of State, Doner, Government of India. Realising this anomaly,  the Union Home Minister of cabinet rank was made the Chairman by the last NDA Government. But no other changes seem to have been made in terms of budgetary support or the system of taking decisions. Nagaland is the only State that has no regional or national institution. All other NE states have some national or regional institutions. We had missed having the Regional Medical college at Dimapur because we could not give the required land in the early seventies. Incidentally, NEC was established in 1972. After Assam, we were one of the first to get Statehood in 1963. Where did we go wrong ? let us ponder ! The setting up of the ministry of DONER does not seem to have brought any improvement, rather there seems to be more confusion. For example, no ministry is clear about the NLCPR (Non lapsable pool of central resources) which was meant to specifically develop the NE states. By its nomenclature, it is clear that these funds do not lapse at the end of any financial year and comprises of 10% of the budget of many of the central ministries. Even if there was noble intent to focus on the development of NE, the ground realities are very far from satisfactory. The just presented union budget seems to make higher allocations for DONER ministry and hopefully it would also mean higher allocation for NEC. The much hyped Act east policy does not seem to have any mechanism for implementation. The UPA Government had coined it as Look east policy. The only change seems to be the nomenclature. we are happy with increased allocation presented by the Union Finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman and hope that it will result in actual accelerated development in the Northeast in general and Nagaland in particular. I take this opportunity to make a few suggestions particularly for Nagaland.

1. There has never been any officers from Nagaland posted in NEC or DONER since inception. As a regional agency for development it would be fair to have officers representing different member states whether as Member, Secretary, Advisor or in other capacities. It is not that efforts have not been made by officers from Nagaland in the past but unfortunately none have been considered thus far.

2. The Tri-lateral highway from India to ASEAN countries is under construction through Assam and Manipur, this is most welcome but it would be good for the Government in Nagaland to make all out efforts to plan out a route through Nagaland as it has a large international boundary. The present route is starting from Porbander in Gujarat and traverses several states in India and touches Guwahati  via Silchar ( Doboka road) on to Moreh in Manipur to Bagan in Myanmar and is to go up to Mae Sot in Thailand. There is a road approved by NDA Government from Dimapur to Pangsha via Zunheboto which is already notified as national highway but the works are yet to be taken up. This road could perhaps be linked up with the Tri-lateral highway somewhere in Myanmar. The present Government must take this up in all seriousness as this will be a vital road especially for the future and the coming generations.

3. Another important road linking all International trade centres-Avangkhu-Pangsha-Longwa, on the international boundary on the eastern sector of Nagaland known as the Trans- Eastern highway has been approved by NDA Government when shri Nitin Gadkari had visited Nagaland in 2015 and has been declared as national highway by gazette notification by GOI. No activities are known till now. This needs to be taken up in right earnest. 

Let me confine only to this issues for now.

H. K. Khulu, concerned 

senior citizen, Nagaland

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