Post Mortem

Potential connectivity, travel and transportation

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 10/24/2019 11:53:44 AM IST

 India, Myanmar, and Nagalim should all be well connected without anyone infringing on the others’ sovereign rights. But since both India and Myanmar have imposed themselves on Nagalim, all have suffered political unrest and economic losses thus far. From the perspective of the Nagas, to remain under India and Myanmar is to suffer suppression at all levels and in all fields of endeavor, because the Nagas inevitably face structural exploitation in any relationship of unequal representation. Even for a simple thing like traveling to other countries, their chance of getting visas has always been minimal since they cannot enjoy the status of an independent nation. Only by taking full control of their own affairs can they have maximum access to international travel, foreign aid, and international trades as they can have direct relationships with other nations. For these reasons, and more, the Nagas must exist as a free nation and a strong ally to both India and Myanmar because their destinies must be intertwined for the sake of regional peace and common prosperity.

As a people whose homeland is surrounded by India on the east, Myanmar on the west, China on the north, and Bangladesh on the south, the Naga people are strategically placed right in the center of the world’s most populated nations. As this centric location is Providential, the Nagas are possibly destined to be nation that could bless their surrounding nations by being a commercial hub, a global peace center, and, yes, a “shining city on the hill” as in the days of King Solomon. But to achieve all these goals, the Nagas must initially focus on infrastructure building for connectivity, travel, and transportation.

First, they need to build world-class roads which are spread all over Nagalim and beyond. As the Naga homeland is full of mountains and prone to mudslides, they should have a lot of tunnel roads to cut straight across mountains and flyover bridges to cause the least amount of disturbance to natural landscape. Indeed, good roads, like everything else, will cost a lot initially, but overtime they will save more money. In case of toll roads, for example, any invested money for construction can be recouped within a few years and thereafter can continuously generate income flow for years to come. Other benefits of having good roads are as follows: (1) less vehicle accidents and road fatalities, (2) huge savings on vehicle maintenance due to less vehicle breakdowns, (3) faster delivery of services, (4) timely transport of perishable goods, (5) boosts to farm products, (6) commercial boom as a result of easy access to markets and burgeoning trades, (7) tax benefits to the government from increased commerce, (8) easy access to work and back, (9) huge reduction in the amount of time wasted due to traffic jams, bad roads, or lack of roads (e.g., if 10,00,000 people waste an extra 2 hours per day, that would be a loss in national productivity of 20,00,000 hours per day. If the average Naga earns Rs.100 per hour, that comes to a loss of Rs.20 crore per day to the Naga people!), and (10) more productivity as workers can report on time because the roads are good or freed up.

Second, the mountainous terrains of Nagalim is ideal for aerial cable cars to transport people. As for transportation of organic produce and goods across hilly areas, there can be innovative means such as: (1) the ‘Gravity Goods Ropeway’ at Punglwa village in Peren district, (2) mini-trains propelled by motor engine, (3) good carriers pulled by balancing weight with cable ropes or by steel wire rope pully system, and (4) roadways alongside Doyang River, Tizü River, Barak River, and Chindwin River to ensure shortest possible routes for transportation.

Third, every village should have access to helicopter services. In this age of advanced technology, our innovators should come up with mini helicopter which can fly almost like a bird and is affordable to the common people to own one. Furthermore, every district within Nagalim ought to have a small airport for light private jets to land.

Finally, it is absolutely essential for Nagas to have two international airports for commercial planes: one airport somewhere in Dimapur district and the other one could be the upcoming airport at Yannwee, close to Htamanthi town, in Myanmar-occupied Nagalim, which could hardly take 20 minutes of flight time between the two points. As for flights from Dimapur to other destinations, here are some estimate flight durations: to Kolkata – 1 hour (h) 35 minutes (m); to Delhi – 3h; to Chennai – 3h 20m; to Bangalore – 3h 35m; to Mumbai – 3h 30m; to Kathmandu (Nepal) – 1h 40m; to Dhaka (Bangladesh) – 1h; to Yangon (Myanmar) – 2h; to Kunming (China) – 2h; to Hong Kong (China) – 3h; to Singapore – 3h; to Bangkok (Thailand) – 2h 50m. In other words, the flight duration to Kunming, the modern capital city of Yunnan province, will be almost like traveling to Kolkata or Kathmandu. Similarly, Nagas traveling to Hong Kong, Singapore or Bangkok will take only as much flight time as traveling to Delhi. Thus, the Naga people have the potential of easy access with many southeast Asian countries.

Unfortunately, many Nagas have become content remaining under the dominion of India, although the Indian masses don’t accept them as Indians but rather discriminate them on the basis of their race, food habits, culture, and religion. Despite having to frequently face this sort of unfair treatment, the Nagas should never, of course, pay them back in kind. Instead, they should always accept every Indian with love, as Jesus would do. That said, the Nagas should also realize that their sibling nations are living in the north, east, and south of them. And accepting all these socio-political realities as they are, the Nagas must take their place in the comity of nations and connect with all those around them.

Mazie Nakhro

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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