By : Pradeep Pareek
Dimapur(Nagaland), April 06: The maiden visit of the state chief minister Neiphiu Rio today to the district headquarter town of the Mon district in the eastern sector of the state bordering Myanmar-- after assuming charge of the Peoples Democratic Alliance regime-- had so many announcements of developments in the field of sports, tourism, infrastructure and others.
Addressing the 27th anniversary of the Konyak Gazetted Officers’ Union at the Council Hall, Mon Town today, the Chief Minister conveyed Aoleang greetings and recalled that it was on 13th February this year that the election campaign of the NDPP-BJP alliance was launched in Mon town. He expressed his delight on returning to Mon town as the chief guest for the first time after forming the PDA Government.
“I recollect how the NDPP and BJP launched our election campaign in this hall and by the grace of God and your support we could come back to run the affairs of the Government. I hope our partnership will continue so that we can continue to serve the people,” he stated.
Rio said that it is the combined endeavour of the present Government to serve the people and reiterated to bring change in the next five years be it in infrastructure, sports arena, tourism, agri and allied sectors.
Congratulating the KGOU for its consistency during the last 27 years in leading and guiding the Konyaks, Rio appreciated the KGOU for enhancing its responsibilities and applauded them for observing the anniversary under the theme ‘Resilience for sustaining excellence’ which, he said, is the need of the hour.
Acknowledging the founding members who came together with a vision to promote culture and tradition, foster unity and oneness and to serve the people, the Chief Minister hailed the KGOU as the pillar of support for the Konyak Union, the KNSK, Konyak Students Union and also various agencies including the Church. “You have been taking a pro-active role in shaping the future of our society. You are the cream of the society and the hope of our people and I am happy that you are gaining more momentum and having more commitment to serve the people,” Rio said.
Drawing attention to the low literacy rate of Mon which is the lowest in the State, Rio challenged the KGOU to endeavour to increase literacy so that the district can come at par atleast with the state and the national level for which the people have to partner with the Government particularly in the field of education to bring quality education to the area.
“It is also commendable to learn that the KGOU has taken the initiative to improve the quality of education in Mon. The literacy rate of Mon is only 56.99% against an average of 79.55% for the State of Nagaland. The challenge before us can be seen from the fact that the literacy rate of our State in 2001 was 66.59% - around 10% higher as compared to the literacy rate of Mon in 2011,” the Chief Minister stated and lauded the KGOU for its initiative to start coaching for central and state services examination for the aspirants.
The Chief Minister also appreciated DC Mon, Thavaseelan K, for his “humanitarian service” in taking the initiative with the help of NCS/NPS/IAS/IPS officers posted in Mon district to have free weekly classes for civil service aspirants. “We must take full advantage of this initiative,” he said.
Stating that one of the important needs is the addition of the Science wing in Wangkhao Government College, Rio called upon all the stakeholders to work towards the same to benefit the students of the district.
Highlighting the eagerness of various corporates and charitable institutions like Tata Trust, Reliance Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, BMW Foundation, and John Deere Foundation to come and work in Mon as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility work, Rio advised the KGOU to leverage the opportunity and extend its support in working out plans in the field of education, health, skill development and livelihood & employment generation.
Stating that the Government will be meeting with various corporates soon, the Chief Minister revealed that an Australian company is willing to provide free air ambulance services but for which the Government and the public have to extend cooperation for a 500 metre runaway.
Highlighting key focus areas of the PDA Government, the Chief Minister stated that the Government will focus on promotion of Tourism which can add to the economy as also create jobs for the people. “My government has decided to promote the tourism sector. Hornbill Festival is world renowned and so we decided to have mini hornbill festival across the districts.
To this end, the Government has decided to build Convention centre and tourist guest house in Mon Town and many other areas in Eastern Nagaland districts so that basic amenities can be available to the tourists.
In addition to this the Chief Minister also laid emphasis on air connectivity within the State for which the plan has already been submitted during his earlier tenure as Chief Minister.
Also included in these projects is the Foothill Road (Express Road) to Mon without going through Assam, as well as the railway line to Tizit. The Chief Minister hoped that these projects will soon become a reality. He further urged the people to come forward to give land for such projects. “If you want development, you should cooperate with the government.”
Stating that Mon is doing well in cardamom and some crops, the Chief Minister stated that soil conditions of various areas should be tested so that cultivation of favourable crops will become economically viable. “The Govt gives agri loans, crop insurance etc. You can have contract farming and crop price protection so that the fluctuation of prices does not affect your farming project,” Rio stated and asked the DC to make an assessment report with all the departments of the economic condition of the people of the district and how the Government can do more for the people so that better change can be brought about.
The Chief Minister also expressed his desire to construct a special dedicated football ground with all modern facilities in Mon in order to promote sports in the district.
Also speaking during the function, DC Mon stated that the district administration was focusing on seven priority sectors – health, education, agriculture, livelihood and employment generation, water and sanitation, infrastructure (telecom, power and roads) and financial inclusion with focus on seven groups namely women, children, youth, differently abled, elderly citizens, PLHIVs, Drug and Opium addicts etc.