By Imna Longchar
Kohima (Nagaland), Nov 9 : The People’s Bridge, a 70-feet bridge over Yinjung river in Tuensang district, was inaugurated by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Tuesday at Hotel Vivor in Kohima.
The ‘People’s Bridge’ is a joint initiative of Eleutheros Christian Society (ECS), communities, Hans Foundation, different government departments including PWD, RD, PHED, the Assam Riffles, Border Roads Organization (BROs) and others.
This convergent effort has led to the construction of 10Km link road and the 70-feet bridge built at a cost of Rs.1.20 Crore within 16 months.
Congratulating all those involved in the project, Rio said that this was possible because of convergence of state funders and the community.
He expressed hoped that the bridge will further join the people of the region and bring harmony, stability and prosperity.
Emphasizing on the strength of the community, Rio said unless a community has the “sense of ownership”, it is impossible for any development and that one should utilize the “strength” of the community.
“I have seen so much strength in our community,” Rio said adding that such an initiative is possible because of the unity of the people and the convergence of various government departments and agencies.
Stating that “convergence” is an answer to our people, the chief minister pointed out that it should be an “eye opener” for all and should be implemented in all the districts of the state.
He also opined that all the administrators and government officers should take the responsibility, converge with other departments and particularly with community so that developmental activities could take place for which he further said his government would support the venture.
Meanwhile, principal secretary, PWD (R&B), Nagaland, Menukhol John, highlighted how the project started with the need to access healthcare services in the rural area.
He recalled how the ECS and the National Health Mission (NHM) in 2010 had deliberated on how the people and the government could contribute in making healthcare services at Longpang PHC accessible to the villages around it.
He informed that the PHC has gone on to become the only PHC in the entire country where doctors and nurses are appointed by the community and salary comes from the health department.
The public-private partnership model between the health department and the community now provides round-the-clock services in the 20-bedded hospital.
Menukhol later informed that the PHC has achieved 100% institution delivery till date.
During the launch, Shalendra Katariya, from the Hans Foundation, announced that Rs 6 lakh would be further donated to construct culverts along the stretch.
He also informed that the Hans Foundation envisions building two state-of-the-art health care services in the state.