Tripartite agreement inked for augmentation of water supply to Kma

DIMAPUR, JUL 31 (NPN): | Publish Date: 8/1/2018 3:01:01 AM IST

A tripartite agreement on augmentation of water supply to Kohima was signed among Poilwa and Khonoma villages and the State government at State Banquet Hall in Kohima on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Neiphiu Rio said signing of the tripartite agreement was a red letter day for all. He expressed his gratitude to the villagers of Poilwa and Khonoma for being large-hearted and extending support and cooperation to provide water from Teupuiki and Dzupfu rivers. 
Stating that signing of the tripartite agreement was a historic moment for the government and the people of Kohima town in particular, he added that this action would send a message to the whole of Nagaland to be cooperative and supportive and also contribute and participate in developing “our State”.
The chief minister recalled that in 1977, the population of Kohima was 21547, which jumped to 1,23,114 in 2011 and was further expected to cross three lakh by 2050. He said the demand for water would continue to rise and that after 20 years 30 million litres per day would be required, which the water supplied from Jotsoma and Southern villages would not be able to meet. Expressing his happiness at the two villages burying their difference and for signing the agreement, Rio remarked that it was now the responsibility of the government to find the resources to bring water to Kohima. He added that it was a challenge for all to leave aside their differences and resolve local issues at the village levels.
Rio said he looked forward for continued support from both the villages in working together to make the dream come true. 
“It is God’s gift and it does not belong to anybody. And when we put these things in good use, it will benefit everybody – the government, villages and the people,” he added.
Concluding his speech, he thanked the two villages again for resolving their differences and signing the historic agreement, which would fulfil the dream of people living in Kohima.
In his speech, Poilwa village I chairman Daniel Zeliang said he was very optimistic that the tripartite agreement would herald a new beginning for prosperity and faster development.
He explained that Poimi Baudi Nagaland and Poilwa Village Council signed the agreement to bury differences between Poilwa and Khonoma and make use of the “God-given water resources” for the greater good of Nagaland.  
Deputy chief minister and home & national highways minister Y Patton, who too was present, expressed his gratitude to Khonoma and Poilwa villages for mutually agreeing to augmentation of water supply to Kohima town from Teupuiki and Dzupfu rivers and signing the tripartite agreement. Expressing happiness over the agreement, he said hitherto several attempts on water supply to the State Capital had failed. He hoped that this tripartite agreement would turn into a reality. 
Patton pointed out that people from remote areas and other districts wanted to settle in Kohima but were discouraged at times due to scarcity of water. He wanted the State government to remain firm and stand on the assurances given to the two villages.
Speaking on behalf of Khonoma Village Council, Huzo Meru thanked Almighty God for the momentous occasion, where they could come together in unison to create a history for the welfare of people. He said water crisis in Kohima was without exception and that its residents had been suffering untold miseries for decades due to water scarcity.
He said after Rio took over as the chief minister, the proposal for tapping water from Dzupfu river was initiated and pursued earnestly. And Khonoma people had no objection to water supply for Kohima and did not ask anything in return, he added. 
He explained that due to some undesirable factors and boundary disputes, there was a stalemate for quite some time. He mentioned that attempts were made during the tenures of TR Zeliang and Dr. Shiirhozelie Liezietsu too.
On receipt of the proposal, several meetings were held at various levels, during which there were hiccups, obstacles and staunch opposition. However, the agreement for augmentation of water supply to Kohima was finally given consent and approved at a general meeting held at Panchayat Hall, Khonoma on July 28, he added.
Meru thanked Rio for his “persistence, bold decision and magnanimity” in making the “auspicious occasion” possible. He also thanked adviser to chief minister Viketol Sakhrie for taking care of the logistics and carrying out all preparations and communications pertaining to the water project.
Giving a brief introduction about the water project, Sakhrie said the project was simple but very significant. He remarked that had it not been a divine intervention, the project would not have been possible. 
Stating that good sense prevailed in spite of hurdles and obstacles, he also thanked the leaders of the two villages. He attributed the success in signing the deal to them for having a strong conviction to materialise the project into reality.
Chief secretary Temjen Toy chaired the programme, while State chaplain Rev Kuzierang Thou invoked God’s blessing on the occasion. 

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