Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio addressed the seventh meeting of the Governing Council (GC) of NITI Aayog, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 7th August, Sunday. In his speech, he briefly highlighted some developments made under his leadership and also proposed some new projects.
Rio began by lauding PM Modi for his outstanding leadership and also conveyed his gratitude to the Central Government for the liberal and thoughtful support to resource constrained Nagaland.
Rio, stated that the pressure of increasing population had disrupted traditional modes of cultivation but that the State Government, with support from the Govt. of India, had been consistently focusing on changing the agriculture practices while retaining their traditional organic nature. Such interventions had yielded good results. He pointed out, the model of Naga Integrated Settled Farming (N-isF) implemented in Botsa-Boke, and said that his government, plans to replicate this model in other parts of the state.
On Digital Agriculture, Rio said that states are required to have a Farmers database with dynamic linking to land records, Geo referencing of Village Maps and GIS Based Real Time Crop Survey, but this will be challenge for Nagaland because the landholding system of our state is very unique.
On the subject of education, CM said that the state has strongly embraced the core vision of NEP as manifested in the framework of NEP School, NEP Teacher and NEP Child in the state’s policies and programmes.
Rio announced that two New Model Degree Colleges will be opened from the next Academic Session 2023-2024 in Wakching under Mon District and Mangkolemba under Mokokchung District. He also said that the state is working to start the medical college at Kohima from the next academic session.
CM spoke about the challenges of urban planning, infrastructure, financing, and public service delivery in Nagaland. He said that measures had been taken to enhance the income of Urban Local Bodies (ULB). He stated that it may take some time for the people of Nagaland to accept property tax and therefore requested central Government to hold off property tax collection criteria in the state for a period of five years.
Rio expressed urgency to Centre for immediate sanctioning of the airport at Ciethu, Kohima. He added that the State Government had acquired 1013.72 acres of land at a cost of Rs. 18.06,50,000/- and this airport will stimulate development and add to the National GDP.
The Chief Minister, as called the 320.25 km Trans-Nagaland Highway or the Foothill Road crucial for transforming the economic scenario and also facilitate the productivity of agro-based industries in the State. This highway will connect seven out of Sixteen districts of Nagaland. He said that the government is also pursuing the railway line connecting Dimapur-Tizit a parallel along the proposed road. Rio pressed Centre to expedite the projects.
Further, Rio also urged for the sanction of funds for the Multi-Disciplinary Sports Centre of Excellence at Dimapur, which Nagaland is in immediate need. He said that the State Government had earmarked an area of 64.25 Acres for the Sports Centre and that it would lead the youth towards more fruitful way of life. He added that approximately Rs 157 Crores would be required for the completion of the project.
CM proposed six projects to strengthen Nagaland’s power system. He said that these projects would result in generating adequate power in the state and earning revenue by supplying it to other states.
The projects include Tizu Valley Hydro Electric project; Construction of 2×5 MW grid-connected Solar PV project at Sub Zhadima; 132 Kv Transmission system and Kv distribution strengthening & along the Foothill Road; installation of smart meters in three major divisions of Dimapur, Chumukedima and Kohima; electrification of Rural cluster of Farm areas for rural economy; and 11kv last mile connectivity under NERPSIP.