Delay in solution hampering progress: CM

Delay in solution hampering progress: CM
Neiphiu Rio
DIMAPUR, FEB 24 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/24/2021 12:53:13 PM IST

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio reiterated that the unresolved Indo-Naga political imbroglio remained as the most important issue for Nagas.

He said this while addressing the silver jubilee celebration of Eastern Naga People’s Organisation (ENPO) at Tobu Wednesday. Rio remarked that prolonging political negotiations, delay in finding an early solution and continuation of deadlock have created hurdles and challenges in achieving progress and development.

While noting that Naga society was bogged down due to the political conflict, Rio stressed that it was high time to break free from the shackles of conflict and violence so the society too could join rest of the global community in seeking the common goals of human progress

Rio said though adversaries have kept the Nagas divided and manmade boundaries kept “us separated from each other”, Nagas desire to live under a common administrative umbrella as members of the same family. He said this desire was democratic and must be pursued in a peaceful manner, while calling for renewing efforts towards unity and oneness. 

The chief minister also appreciated ENPO for its participation and contribution during the consultative meet on the Naga political Issue held at the State Banquet Hall in Kohima on October 15, 2020 where a seven-point resolution unanimously adopted . He said the resolution served as precursor to the four-point resolution subsequently adopted by Nagaland Legislative Assembly on February 18 during the recent budget session. Rio described the October 15 meet as an encouraging where the spirit of unity was achieved amongst the civil society organisations and tribal hohos. He said this unity has also made even elected representatives to rise above party affiliations to speak in one common voice that Nagas want unity and reconciliation and for all stakeholders of the political movement to rise above differences and work for one common Naga cause.

On the economic backwardness of Eastern Nagaland, Rio said the area required special focus which should be brought at par with rest of Naga society as early as possible. In this, Rio said investments in infrastructure, improvements in human resources and creation of facilities to improve the capacity of population were just some of the many urgent needs. 

Towards this, he said the government had in the past decade-and-a-half, undertaken several measures to address these needs, which included creation of three districts and new administrative circles, institution of a dedicated development department and increased funding for development. 

Further, he expressed happiness that the foundation for a new medical college in Mon would be laid in the next few days. On this he sought the cooperation of all so as to make this long-cherished dream a reality in the earliest time possible. 

Rio pointed out that the proposed medical college could only function with proper faculty and staff, and so stressed that efforts must begin to ensure that a conducive social environment was created so that Mon became a viable place for professionals to come and work. 

He reminded that final approval and sanction for a medical college required fulfilment of several criteria but was happy that those criteria could be fulfilled due to full cooperation of the people of Mon, sincere efforts of the State government departments and support of the Government of India. He congratulated and thanked all those who made this possible but cautioned that the real journey has only just begun.

Citing the reservation policy, he insisted that it should be ensured that the targeted sections at the grassroots were benefited, and not the creamy layers. Rio also called for introspection on whether some of the initiatives aimed at empowering the people had served the purpose effectively. 

He said meritocracy and use of modern technology were the only ways to combat governance challenges and urged upon the youth to support good governance initiatives, strengthen measures aimed at rewarding merit and play the role of responsible citizens that keep policymakers and implementers under check. 

In his speech, Rio also dwelt on the history of eastern Nagaland when it was declared as an un-administered in pre-Independence days when the British had declared it an Excluded Area. Subsequently, an administrative centre was established at Tuensang and the area, including present-day Mon, Longleng, Kiphire and Noklak districts, was brought under North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) as Tuensang Frontier Division. 

In 1957 the then Tuensang Frontier Division was merged with Naga Hills district of Assam in 1957 to form an administrative unit called Naga Hills Tuensang Area (NHTA), whose administration was the responsibility of the governor of Assam and under the control of Union ministry of external affairs. He recalled that there were only three districts then in Nagaland – Kohima, Mokokchung and Tuensang. 

Presently, Rio said erstwhile Tuensang district has been made into five eastern districts of Tuensang, Mon, Longleng, Kiphire and Noklak comprising of 28.8% of the State’s population (7,71,344) and 36.34% of the State’s geographical area (6027.3 sq km). He said the literacy rate of the five districts was 68.7%, which was lower than the State’s literacy rate of 79.5%. 

He also lamented on the performance of government schools in the state, which were lagging behind when compared to rest of the country. He pointed out that government schools in Delhi achieved 98% pass percentage in board exams due to sincere efforts made by government teachers. He said that such a feat could be achieved in the State if the assigned works were executed sincerely. 

He also encouraged individuals, organisations and churches to give focus on setting up private educational institutions in the area, to help equip young minds to face the outside world with ease and new perspectives. 

Rio also expressed appreciation on ENPO and citizens of eastern part of Nagaland for inviting him to participate in the organisation’s silver jubilee celebrations and also congratulated ENPO on the occasion of its silver jubilee.

-Tags:#CM Rio

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