Nagaland Governor La Ganesan, delivering his first speech at the 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Tuesday, stated that due to the unresolved Naga political issue, the smooth march of the State toward progress and development was being affected. He, therefore, stressed the need for an early solution through the peace process that is honorable, acceptable, and inclusive.
Meanwhile, the Governor mentioned that organic certification has been issued for a 23,000-hectare area in the state with the formation of 38 Farmer Producer's Organizations. He added that the 'Naga-integrated Settled Farming' to ensure sustainable livelihood for farmers and transform the present subsistence agriculture to commercial and sustainable agriculture was being initiated.
The Governor said 1.35 lakh Low Input Technology chicks were distributed to needy farmers from the State Poultry Farms which is expected to yield 337.66 tons of meat and 16 Mobile Veterinary Units were inducted. He mentioned that the State will be taking up new freshwater finfish hatcheries, new rearing ponds, and the development of ornamental fish units and integrated fish units.
The Governor said the State will be setting up soil testing labs in the newly created districts for the promotion and distribution of micronutrients, setting up of biofertilizers production units, and soil testing and analysis.
He spoke on the plan of the state to introduce the concept of the "Model Horticulture Village" wherein, one village each in all the 16 districts of the State shall be identified for the cultivation of a single fruit or spice crop based on the economic potentiality and agro-climate suitability in these villages.
The State government is facilitating the smooth transition of urban growth through the preparation of Development/Master plans and to make all cities/towns 'Water Secure'. He said that the State had achieved 100% online allocation and 100% supply chain management and has achieved more than 96% Aadhaar seeding for NFSA Ration cards. Through Targeted Public Distribution System, the Department is taking initiatives to cover five more districts namely Peren, Dimapur, Longleng, Mokokchung, and Phek in the state with Fortified Rice from May 2023.
He said that the Department of PHE under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), has provided a total of 2,22,583 Functional Household Tap Connections in the State, out of 3,69,794 rural households in the State. A total of 1,47,211 households are planned for coverage with drinking water supply under JJM during 2023-24. The PHE Department has also initiated the Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus activities to reinforce the capacity of individuals and communities.
La. Ganesan said that the Tourism Department besides successfully organizing the 23rd Edition of the Hornbill Festival registered a total of 1,40,299 tourist footfalls. He said that the Department has initiated 'Nagaland Off-Road' in collaboration with Wonder Beyond Boundary (WBB). The Department has also signed a Letter of Intent with Hotel Polo Towers Pvt. Ltd, Polo Grounds, Shillong for the re-development of Kohima Tourist Lodge into Star Category Hotel & Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation for the opening of a budget hotel in the State capital. He said that the Department also envisages taking up various Capacity Building programmes for Tourism stakeholders/unemployed youths by collaborating with Tata Consultancy Services and Verna Jyoti Educare as a knowledge and learning partner. The Government has identified the Ropeway project under the Parvatmala Programme for urban decongestion.
La.Ganesan said that the Department of Urban Development is undertaking Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) in Urban areas of the State. He said that under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) has completed 17 projects out of 27, with 10 projects on the verge of completion. He said AMRUT 2.0 has been launched recently to make cities/towns 'Water Secure' which will cover all 39 ULBs in the State.
The Governor also said that the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA) will implement the Disaster Risk Reduction roadmap for Nagaland with coordination with 60 departments from 2023 to 2030. The Department has also developed Nagaland State Disaster Management Information System (NSDMIS) to simplify the core operation of NSDMA and all aspects related to Disaster Risk Reduction in line with global frameworks.
The Governor said that the Department of Women Resources organized the 4th Edition of the MykiFest in December 2022. The Department also proposes to undertake community-based resource development programmes for women in the districts, initiation of new programmes targeting business start-ups by women entrepreneurs, short-term training programmes for young women in apparels and accessories production, food processing, and setting up of mini processing units for upgrading the skills of women cultivators.
He said that the department of the New and Renewable Department successfully commission Tsutsung Small Hydro Power (SHP)of capacity 1MW at Longsa Village under Mokokchung. The department also expects to complete the 5MW Solar Power Plant at Hovukhu Village under Niuland district during 2023-24 and convert 30(thirty) Government Offices in the state having Off-Grid Solar Power Plants to Grid connections.
La. Ganesan said that the Tribal Affairs Department is moving towards early completion of 10(ten) new Eklavya Model Residential Schools in Nagaland, the foundation stones of which were laid by the President of India during her visit to the State last year.
La. Ganesa said that the State government has decided to make power generation development a high-priority area to achieve energy self-sufficiency and is undertaking several hydro power projects like the 42MV Lower Tizu Hydro Electric Power (HEP) and 24MV Tizu Valley HEP. Further, to provide a stable power supply and strengthen the power transmission system in the State, the department has constructed Substations in various parts of the state bringing all districts under Extra High Voltage (EHV) Transmission System Build-Up and Strengthening project. In this regard, a 132kV Foothill Highway Transmission System Bulid-up and Strengthening project is being taken up for funding from the Asian Development Bank(ADB) in the proposed Foothill Highway area which has the potential for larger-scale economic development.
The PWD (National Highways), under the guidance and assistance from the central government, is committed to take every step to improve the road and infrastructure in the State. The Department will be taking up the widening of the existing single-lane road to the intermediate lane for a total length of 178km on NH-202, including the construction of a major bridge at Yei River, improve and widen the existing lane to intermediate lane road between Mokokchung to Charge, and strengthen existing pavement of NH-36 from Dilla Gate to Tragopan Jn (Dimapur city portion).
Under the PWD (R&B), the Governor said that the Department is presently taking up construction and upgradation of 1104km of roads at an estimated cost of Rs. 2014 crores, and out of the ongoing projects, 715km of road will be completed during 2022-23, 269km of roads will be completed during 2023-24, and 174km of roads will be completed during 2024-25.
The Governor then said that the government will continue to take steps for the early construction of the Foothills Road (Trans-Nagaland Highway), a 320-kilometre stretch of road, which will shorten the travel distance within the State and especially help the eastern districts to travel across the State without crossing inter-state boundaries; and connect economically important towns, boosting economic activities in a 3,000 sq. km mineral-rich region of the State. The DPR for Phase I and II of this proposed Road project has been submitted to the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.
Concerning Medical College at Kohima, the State Government is making necessary efforts to fully establish it and start it from the academic year 2023-2024, Ganesan said. He also said that the State government along with the Government of India will try converting it into a Central Institute such as the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) at Imphal, or AIIMS like Institute, which would provide sustainability, as well as address the various capacity constraints.
He said that the Department of School Education has been implementing many innovative projects for students across the State in association with leaders of the industry and NGOs. Under the World Bank-funded project, the Nagaland Education Project - The Lighthouse (NECTAR), Performance Incentive Grants are being made available to all the 1953 Government schools in Nagaland to strengthen the role of community and School Management Committees and School Development Committees.
On The Department of Higher and Technical Education, the Governor said that the Department is taking steps to implement NEP 2020 from the next academic session with guidelines taken from the Association for Career Technical Education (ACTE) model curriculum, upgradation of eligible Diploma Institute to Degree Engineering College. The State Government is also pursuing the establishment of Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER) in Nagaland which could give the State a national institute of importance and prove to be an immense help in promoting science and maths education and research in the entire region. The State Government has already acquired and earmarked about 200 (two hundred) acres of land for setting up the IISER in Sukhovi village in Chumoukedima district.
About the Social Welfare Department, the Governor said that the Government is implementing 'Mission Shakti'- which is an integrated women empowerment programme. He further said that this mission has two sub-schemes- 'Sambal', which is for the safety and security of women, and 'Samarthya' which is for the empowerment of women.
Ganesan further said that the Government remains committed to ensuring the maintenance of law and order for a peaceful atmosphere in the State and the proactive management of Law and Order with better Police -Public Partnership is a way forward in society. He also said that the State Police will improve the forensic capabilities for scientific investigation which will help in better presentation of evidence.
The privilege of hosting a Business 20 Meet (G20) at Kohima on 5th April 2023, will provide an immense opportunity to showcase our development status, infrastructure, rich cultural heritage, and diversity to the rest of the world. Therefore, he requested everyone's assistance and participation in the various G20 events in the State.
Ganesan then said that the Government of India has taken an initiative regarding the issues of the Eastern Nagaland Peoples' Organisation and through a team constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs is holding consultations with them. He said that the State government is committed to assisting the entire process to bridge the development deficit and bring these areas on par with the rest of the State at the earliest as possible.
Under the directions of the Supreme Court, the State Government to ensure democracy in our cities and towns has initiated the process for the conduct of the long-overdue Urban Local Bodies elections. These elections, and the constitution of the Bodies as per the provisions of the Constitution and in compliance with the directives of the Supreme Court, are critical for the equitable development, growth, and progress of our cities and towns. He urged everyone concerned to come forward and assist in the successful conduct of the elections in the interest of the people and the State.
The Governor called upon the August House to keep public welfare and their interest paramount while deliberating on any matter.