Nagaland State’s capital, Kohima, has gained an infamous distinction of being the second most ‘unlivable’ city in India ranking 110 out of 111 cities on 13th August’2018 on its Ease of Living conducted under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India.
The Index aims to assess the ease of living of citizens living in the cities across three pillars of quality of life; economic ability; and sustainability, 14 categories (Education, Health, Housing & Shelter, WASH & SWM, Mobility, Safety & Security, Recreation, Economic Development, Economic Opportunities, Gini coefficient, Environment, Green spaces & building, Energy Consumption and City Resilience) and 50 indicators.
It is observed that the dismal ranking in 2017-18, was not necessarily because of the lack of facilities and infrastructures but mainly because of lack of co-ordination between departments, lack of data in the departments or late submission of data which made compilation- sorting – final uploading very difficult.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched another Assessment under the Ease of Living Index 2019 for 117 cities including all the 100 Smart Cities in India, where Citizen Perception Survey has been added as an integral component to help directly capture the perception of the Citizens with respect to Ease of Living in their cities. The Citizens Survey has been assigned a weightage of 30% under EOLI and will go on till the 29th of Feb’2019.
This time round for the 70% of the Assessment, the Government agencies have extended their fullest cooperation and Kohima is expected to fare better in the overall ranking. The Data collection from the government departments, compilation and final uploading has been completed and the Ministry portal has also closed on the 14th Feb’2020.
Recognizing the importance of Citizen Involvement in making practical policy for any city, the Kohima Smart City is putting in a lot of emphasis in Awareness Creation on the Citizen Perception Survey.
The Citizens participation in the Ease of Living Index Survey is very encouraging. While the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs had created a benchmark of at least 1% of the population to participate in the online survey, Kohima City could achieve the 1% mark (i.e. 1076 people) by the evening of 8th February. As on 18th February afternoon it stands at 1574 people. Though the target was achieved, the Kohima Smart city has continued to create Awareness and reaching out to all sections of the society to ensure maximum participation and coverage and thereby create a sense of inclusivity which is often absent in many policy making approaches.
Till date the Kohima Smart City in collaboration with the Green Team Kohima who have been engaged as EOL Volunteers has organized Awareness Programmes in 8 Colleges, reached out to all 19 Wards and taking to survey to the streets covering Street Vendors, Daily Wage Labourers, Shopkeepers, Senior Citizens, etc. The Office has also launched the Inter Ward Wall Painting Competition under the theme #MyCityMyPride and Signature Campaign with the Pledge “I Pledge to take responsibility towards making Kohima a Clean, Green and more Livable City”.
The Office is also creating awareness through Newspaper Ads, Radio Jingles, Radio Interviews, Whatsapp Messages, Telecast of Video Promos on Doordarshan Kohima, and Social Media Platforms. Hoardings have been put up in prominent locations of the town and all the 19 Wards with the QR Code which can be scanned and the link to which citizens can log in. Posters have also been put up in strategic locations including Banks, ATM Kioks, Post Office, Commercial Areas, Market Places, Bus & Taxi Stands and Educational Institutions and Bus and Car Stickers are also being issued . The Signature Campaign was also conducted in the Angami Sports Association Wrestling Meet on the 12th and 13th of Febryary’2020. Awareness Programmes and Signature Campaign will further continue in the Sekrenyi Festival – the major festival of the Angami Naga of Kohima District.
The response shown by the 19 Wards and the initiatives taken up by the wards is very encouraging. Several Wards have tailored the awareness programmes for maximum outreach in their respective localities like Mobile Signature Campaign on Wheels, Voice Appeals by prominent citizens, Public Announcement through Loudspeakers, etc. Citizens of all ages including a mother carrying her child were seen stopping to append their signature on the Banners.
The Office is appeals to all Citizens to participate in the online survey, recognizing that Public opinion is imperative towards making practical policies for the City. Every opinion matters and we can make every opinion count. And for that to happen we need to give our feedbacks. The Survey has a set of 24 questions around the areas of Education, Health, Safety, Recreation, Water, Electricity, Environment, Emergency Services, Employment, etc. and will involve only about 5 minutes. Since it is an online survey, he appeals to all IT Savvy citizens to reach out and help those who are not IT literate.
Kohima Smart City Development Limited
* Disclaimer. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and participants on this page do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Nagaland Page.