Thursday, August 18, 2022

Development of Diphu on fast track

Correspondent/Staff Reporter


With a population of 63,654 according to 2011 census, Diphu the headquarter of Karbi Anglong district, located some 53 Kms away from Dimapur, is experiencing fast-paced development as the BJP-led government under chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, is determined to turn it into a model hill district in Assam.
Recently, Himanta had even compared the pace of development in Dimapur and Diphu.
The Assam government has established several projects and also plans to provide good connectivity by land, road and air to ensure that the district in general and Diphu in particular will be accessible for trade, commerce and tourism.
As it is, the national highway-NH 329 links Diphu with Guwahati and NH 29 links Diphu with Dimapur (via Manja and Bokajan).
The Assam government has proposed construction of new airports in Karbi Anglong and Silchar, along with three new heliports at Nagaon, Geleki and Haflong. Assam presently has six airports.
Providing required land for development in Karbi Anglong is not an issue and neither is prompt eviction of encroachers a problem.
INSTITUTES: Diphu has a medical college with intake capacity for 100 medical students. It became fully functional on November 25,2019. It is the seventh medical college in Assam. The list of full-fledged professors is impressive as also of associate and assistant professors etc manning various departments.
Nagaland has started two district medical colleges-Kohima and Mon and both still under construction.
According to Phenpiga Rengma, newly elected member of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council(KAAC) who spoke with Nagaland Post here, some of the major developmental projects proposed under the jurisdiction of KAAC include Agricultural College, Forest College, Hotel Management College, Central University, etc. It may be noted that Diphu has an engineering and law college and a campus of the Assam University at Diphu. These institutions will attract many students from neigbouring states like Nagaland, Manipur or Arunachal Pradesh.
SPORTS: Even in the field of sports, the Assam government has ensured that the demands put forth by the KAAC is met with least delay in order to promote sports culture among the youth.
Diphu has well developed and modern Karbi Anglong Sports Association (KASA) stadium and has been allotted an additional Rs.102 crores to increase seating capacity from 9000 to 25,000 .A huge indoor stadium is also coming up having six world class Badminton courts.
There are also over all 26 small stadiums across the district under the jurisdiction of KAAC, each constructed at a cost of under Rs.10 crores.
There are plans to transform Diphu, Dhansiri and Bokajan railway stations(three major points located at Karbi Anglong) with ultra modern facilities, more train stoppages and several passenger platforms. Bokajan is growing as a transportation and storage facility point for various items bound for Nagaland and Manipur.
Diphu and Bokajan and to an extent Dhansiri station, will eventually surpass Dimapur in the near future since the district council is ready to provide more lands for developments. This will enable construction of better passenger facilities and eventually make them important points for passengers. On the other hand, due to non-availability of land, development of Dimapur station will be restricted and it will end up as a feeder station.
According to NFR officials, the shrinking railway land, or in other words, encroachment has come in the way of expansion plans forcing projects to die premature deaths on the drawing board.
What bedevils development in Nagaland and Dimapur in particular, is not lack of funds but lack of transparency, accountability and political will to deliver justice to the future generation. In the case with Dimapur whether it is expansion of airport or railway station development has been severely hampered by encroachments and allotments of lands by politicians. Due to failure of the state government to act with a firm resolve against those blocking development, the future looks bleak and time is running out for Nagaland.

An aerial view of the main street in Diphu at night.

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