Efforts paid dividends in peace: Nagaland Governor

Kohima: Nagaland Governor Nikhil Kumar today said the state government had all along pursued the twin objectives of development and security that paid dividends as the state witnessed "much improvement" in law and order front.

Addressing the house on the opening day of the budget session here, he said the state government had coined the slogan, peace for development and development for peace.

It was a matter of satisfaction that barring a few incidents of inter-factional violence, the state was by and large peaceful during the year, he said.

The Governor pointed out that while police and security forces worked tirelessly to maintain peace, the efforts from tribal hohos, Churches and civil societies, specially the Forum for Naga Re-conciliation, yielded good results.

The overwhelming response to the conclave organized by the FNR at Dimapur on February 29, he said, was a strong indication of the people’s desire for peace and re-conciliation. He informed the house that the government accorded special attention to expansion and modernization of state police forces for which the state had been receiving funds from the Centre under police modernization programme.

Highlighting the activities undertaken by various government departments during the current year and outlining the future programmes, the Governor told the house that it was unfortunate that the state could not harness its potential even as Nagaland is blessed with vast mineral resources.

However, it is encouraging that a healthy debate is taking place on the future direction for exploration of mineral wealth", Kumar observed, informing that a Cabinet Sub-Committee was working actively to evolve a consensus on modalities for production of oil and other minerals so that the people derived the maximum benefits.

The Governor said under the new state coal policy, seven coal mining leases and 60 coal prospecting licenses had been issued so far and 17 mineral check gates had also been set up.

The Governor also informed the house that the government accorded top priority for attaining self sufficiency in agri and allied sectors, particularly to achieve food security for all. To achieve this goal, the respective departments have undertaken and implemented various schemes across the state, he said.

For improvement of surface connectivity, the Governor said, Rs 358 crore was invested covering 535 km of roads under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources while under PMGSY and Bharat Nirman, Rs 355 crore had been sanctioned for construction of 954 km of rural roads.

Kumar informed that under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North-east, double-laning of four important roads, covering 329 km, was in good progress.

The Governor said his government had accorded special thrust on accelerating development of rural areas as vast majority of people live in villages.

For further improvement in implementation of various schemes, the government created 22 additional rural development blocks, taking the total number of R D blocks to 74 in the state, he informed.

He informed the members that under MGNREGA, about 3.66 lakh job cards had been issued, generating 228 lakh man days of employment while under Indira Awas Yojna, nearly 9,000 houses had been constructed for BPL families.

The Governor said the government also successfully implemented SGSY scheme and Backward Regions Grant Funds scheme, informing that the SGSY had now been redesigned as the National Rural Livelihood Mission and the same would be launched in the state in the next financial year.

The Department of Under Developed Areas (DUDA) implemented a large number of projects in border districts and other identified areas, he said, adding that during the current year projects Rs 100 crore was being implemented under three major programmes in backward areas.