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Thursday, December 14, 2017

In total chaos 

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 11:44
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Rs 500 for 1000 litres of water - State capital Kohima is reeling under severe drinking water crisis since November. The crisis has been exacerbated for the common man with almost all water tankers and small time make-shift water suppliers being booked by hoteliers and other in the hospitable sector since the Hornbill Festival began on December 1 last, leaving the middle and lower middle class families high and dry. Now every winter, complaints of water shortage are not new in our part of the world. Over the years we have seen water tankers doing brisk business selling water to water-starved citizens in Kohima and other parts of the State. There has been protest against the Government's inability to provide safe drinking water to all, but no one is listening. It is as if we have a Government who seriously believes that their duty is not to serve the people of the State but to serve tourists/visitors for the 10-days duration of Hornbill Festival every year. We have had no roads since the end of 2016 edition of the Hornbill Festival, but just before the start of this year's Hornbill Festival, the lipstick repair of roads were taken on in an unprecedented scale that on the morning of December 1 we were not even surprised to wake up to some semblance of roads in the State capital as well as in Dimapur. Now as has been experienced in previous years, these temporarily repaired roads will, at most, last for the 10-days of the Hornbill festivity, and after that we the people will be left to suffer till the next edition of the Hornbill Festival. Similar is the case with the power supply, and every other public utility services in the State. The problem here in our State is that our people have been sold dreams for decades, and then plans had been made overnight and then, rewards offered for proposals that never saw the light of the day. Our decision makers had developed a tendency of weak and short term planning without consultations or engaging of experts. Thanks to uncertain and inconsistent attitude of our politicians, the result can be seen in all kinds of protests and cries every other day. Now coming back to the water scarcity, there has never been a proper policy for regular fresh water supply for Kohima, not to talk of other districts. Official records might be showing around ninety percent covered area with fresh water supply, towns with water pipes, villages with hand pumps, fields with irrigation canals and treatment plants to clean water. But is it true? Do we really get clean water? And do we really have water pipes to reach homes in every districts? Have we not earmarked budget for water supply distribution or management? Legislature is a mirror of society where representatives are answerable to every action, past and present…… and future allocation is done on priority basis. Do we really get chance to do it in our legislature where we have often observed lawmakers talking trash, without any regard for this institution or the public who have time and again reposed faith in this institution. What kind of representation are they doing who revel in exploiting, scuffling and abusing only? Voters do not chose representatives to do bad politics or waste time of this institution or waste public money on settling personal scores on the floor of legislature. People send lawmakers to resolve issues facing public and not disappoint voters to disown this institution. The constant turmoil and political manoeuvring has left no choice to create alternate forum that could identify, discuss and resolve problems of common people who are going through hell. The distribution of water resources has been done in the past in such a way that we have not been able to protect our own rivers and streams. Water is a natural resource we are blessed with. And, we are the unfortunate people not able to plan, earn or enjoy it. Not even to provide water to majority of the population of the State. We as a community have reached the point of extinction because we have lost much more than land and resources. Our language, tradition, ethos, values and culture has come to point of becoming history, what has remained of this society is separatism, mainstreamism, liberalism, etc - all of us working within our self-created domains, built at the altar of egos and pride. Today water, the basic necessity of life, has become a big issue in our State, so has electricity. But unfortunately both issues get mixed up and become hostage to our politics. Can we not expect to resolve these issues with consensus of all? 

 


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