Poor focus on vision

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/28/2019 11:14:36 AM IST

 While the state government unfailingly rants about promoting tourism in Nagaland, the bare fact is that rail, road and air networks leave much to be desired and it will take more than visions to promote the tourism industry. Even as the winter festivities are already underway, there was much elation when Alliance Air introduced the four-weekly flights from Guwahati-Dimapur-Imphal. Currently, Air India operates only five-weekly flights while IndiGo operates daily flights to and from Dimapur. Train travellers at Dimapur face the “normal” problem of acute shortage of seats. They have to buy seats on quotas allotted to other stations. It was brought out in this newspaper that there are around 4000 to 5000 train travellers in Dimapur who have to fight out for barely few hundred seats and a few thousand seatless tickets. The state government has failed to acknowledge the important role of railways in complementing the efforts to boost tourist trade. There are more than 40 long distance trains between Tinsukia to Guwahati but only two originating at Dimapur. If there are thousands of passengers travelling by train from Dimapur which also nets the second highest revenue to the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR); it stands to reason that the need of the passengers should be considered. Passengers travelling by trains to and from Dimapur are not as much awed by the renovations and additions of the station building and platform as much as they are with being able to buy tickets. Online ticketing continues to be a diversion in the sense that it makes travellers think they will get tickets at the press of a button. However, online booking have not eased the constraint. In other states, additional trains would have been provided to tide over the festive rush for tickets. However, Dimapur, it seems, does not deserve either increased quota and least of all, additional trains. What passengers from Dimapur urgently need are few- increased quotas of seats to and from Nagaland’s only railway station that also caters to the need of passengers from nearby Karbi Anglong and Manipur; introduction of at least 15 trains emanating from Dimapur to cater to the growing number of passengers. It may also be pertinent to note, that systematic encroachment over railway lands in Dimapur has also caused severe limitations for expansion and development. In addition, if the plight of thousands of those travelling by train from Dimapur is pathetic; those travelling by air face another dilemma. For instance, the price of a one-3way ticket between Guwahati to Dimapur on the Alliance Air is Rs.1700. However, in view of the “festive rush”, presently the price has escalated beyond logic to a whopping Rs.8000+ owing to demands. This is a totally unfair and unjustified pricing which the airlines ought to intervene. The ongoing widening of the NH 29 to four-lane is another issue that the state government needs to accord as top priority. Even on air travel, the number of travellers has been on the increase and so it is but expected, that the state government convinces the central authorities to fairly consider the case of the state on merit. It should also be noted that the Modi government’s “Act East Policy” is relevant if it places promoting connectivity in the region as an important agenda.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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