Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Bring in skilled foreign zoning officials for newly approved districts

As a concerned Naga who has travelled to all post seven districts of Nagaland to witness no convenience in geographical planning even in the extensions of areas by the district planning or urban development, I strongly believe that we, imperatively, seek outside help. In setting up a new town or city, we all know that a Zoning Commission is most vital. We have District Planning and Urban Development, I suppose.
These departments have played significant roles in Nagaland but never in larger scale such as in zoning out a new districts or cities. And as human principality goes, mistakes are assuredly prone to happen – a very costly one that cannot be rectified in our community. Once the foundation is laid, buildings built and roads constructed, its hard for the Government to even ask for an inch more, no matter the amount of recompense, from us Naga landlords.
Well drawn professional and conforming map of city zoning is the bedrock that essentially defines the safety, comfort and convenience of lives dwelling in it. Since half a century back, European and westerners have been following a pattern of mapping out a smart city whenever and wherever they built new towns. Here, everything is pre-determined: from drainage lines to straight roads despite topographical issues in order to be able to see hundreds of meters away ahead and not short zigzagging roads which is a recipe for motor accidents; appropriating houses in blocks and ensuring desired distances between houses; interconnecting roads from every right angle, meeting at the end of every block, touching every house’s lawn and space by metalled roads.
Roads doesn’t have to be two or four lanes given that many of the new districts are mostly hilly. As long as roads are interconnected at every end of a block, there will be no hassle even if one-way protocol is validated as a driver will only be circling only few hundreds of meters to arrive at one’s designated place – unlike the one-way in Kohima and Tuensang, if you happen to overshoot your car by mere twenty feet from intended diversion, woe to you as you will have to circle half of the district in the menace of jams, specifically in Kohima to reach one’s missed former forked juncture.
What zoning authority basically draws is a suitable blueprint in conformation to geographical features of the intended location. In a viable flat land, all they do is set up a certain pattern where sections of blocks compromising of houses, markets, medical establishments, law enforcement etc are all symmetrically situated in a square or rectangular block, parallel with roads, commutable roads on all four sides. This sort of outline serves it dwellers to their best advantages. Every emergency services are not left in confusion and services are immediate because of the ergonomic design and outline.
When there arises the need for extensions, permits are issued with complying form that new buildings are laid in the same pattern with the initially settled degrees, so no matter how many additional buildings are erected, conveniences of dwellers are untouched.
More importantly, I plea to our State Government to spare no costs. Some of the new approved districts have the compositions that can be accredited as tourist spots for Indians and foreigners alike. There should be no dread that can stop some of these new districts to be created in ways that symbolise Shimla or Mussoorie, the pinnacle spots for tourists in India.
Let’s return to basics. What elements does these tourists spots have in common? Well, foremost of all, they have mountainous views that city dwellers from plain areas pay hefty sums for views alone. Secondly, we have milder and colder weather throughout and beautiful monsoons. There may be lack of snowfalls but given the habituation of wealthy Indian, from major parts with unbeatable summer heat, having the tendency of seeking hilly resorts and towns with cool summer breeze, it’s a gospel truth that we can convert these new districts into tourist friendly towns.
Since Bhartiya Janata Party ousted the Congress Party in the Central Government, the Central has been setting its sights on Northeast India with a notion to set up major tourist spots. Nonetheless, people from our regions haven’t been able to conceptualise defining projects that are deemed worthy in the eyes of the Central Government to sanction enormous tax payers’ rolls.
Fortunately, we have this blessings at the right moment, like manna from heaven, where we can zone our new hilly and mountainous districts with the intend to make it tourist friendly.
I’d urge Elected Ministers, Advisors and MLAs from these newly approved districts to approach the Central Government provisionally with the centerfold of touristic district in mind. Here, I would suggest seeking helps from foreign zoning officials who are specialized in outlining towns in mountainous regions. It would be an additive premium if skilled landscapers are also added in the mix.
It would be a given fact that the Central would definitely sanction such projects if the State Government draws out a plan with the help of formerly mentioned veterans and submit over. Also, it would be a definite matter of killing two birds with one stone.
Forgive me if my article started with a head of a horse and ended with a body of a donkey. Never intended this outcome but my brain took a complete U-turn, involuntarily.
Viketo Nihokhe Sumi
Purana Bazar, Dimapur

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