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Govt. serious to resolve border disputes with sister States: Nagaland CM

CM speaking during the Debate and Adoption of the Motion of Thanks to the Governors Address

KOHIMA, MARCH 21: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio while asserting that the State Government is serious to resolve the inter-State border disputes today there are some positive developments with the Assam Government to decide the dispute outside court.
“Nagaland Government has been taking up the border issue with the Union Home Ministry and also both Assam and Manipur and we are coming to a good understanding”, Rio told the State Assembly on Monday.
He said this while appreciating the concern of the members on the inter-State boundary dispute with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Myanmar during the Assembly debate on the vote of thanks to the Governor’s address delivered to the House on Saturday.
“Things have been taken positively and the Government is dealing with the sister States”, he said.
Making a comment on the total bandh imposed on Manipur-bound vehicle by the Southern Angami Public Organisation (SAPO) within its jurisdiction sharing border with the neighbouring State in Southern Angami region of Kohima district, Rio said “It is unfortunate that SAPO has decided to take up bandh and it is a matter of concern”.
He appealed to the leaders of both the States to come together and resolve the matter.
SAPO has imposed bandh on movement of vehicles to and fro Manipur, including passenger and goods carriers, from 1 a.m. Monday till 12 p.m. Wednesday protesting the non-withdrawal of Manipur Government’s armed personnel at Kezoltsa and continued violation of the standing agreement with Tenyimi Public Organisation till any final verdict is served on the disputed land.
Rio also informed the House that Nagaland and Assam have also discussed oil and natural gas exploration along the Disputed Area Belt (DAB).
The Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has replied positively to his letter on February 7, said Rio.
He also told the House that the two Chief Ministers have deliberated on petroleum exploration and sharing of royalty with Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Harjeet Singh Puri on October 11, 2021.
“As Assam is showing its magnanimity and though the border dispute case is in Supreme Court, we had communicated and during our discussion we decided that we must settle the issue out of court with mutual understanding”, he said.
The Nagaland CM also said that it has also considered that the stakeholders or the indigenous people on both sides should sit together to resolve the dispute without the third party involvement who do not know anything about the border dispute.
“There are positive developments and the Nagaland Assembly select committee will continue to pursue the border issues seriously”, he affirmed.
On the Naga Political issue, Rio said the Naga legislators as facilitators of the prolonged issue and also separately as political parties have made efforts to have consultations with tribal organizations, civil societies and NGOs and all stakeholders for an early solution to the problem while also passing resolutions outside and inside the Assembly for early resolution to the protracted issue which is honourable and acceptable to the people.
Rio also appreciated the concern of MLAs Imkong L Imchen and Yitachu on creation of new districts, especially Meluri in Phek, Mangkolemba in Mokokchung and Tobu in Mon district.
Reiterating that demands for creation of new districts has been denied upholding the Government policy and principle of no further division of single tribe districts, Rio however said that if Nagaland accepts implementation of delimitation of Assembly Constituencies justice can be met for all.
Regretting that the Government had overlooked Meluri Sub-Division while recently creating other districts, Rio said Meluri has about 30,000 population with 19,202 electorates of which 13,466 are Pochury while few villages and 5,743 voters are Chakhesang.
He requested the Pochury people to be patient.
On Hydro Power projects, Rio said the Government is trying to complete the small projects and take up new projects so that the State can not only be self-sufficient but have surplus power to generate revenue by selling to other States.
On construction of the Foothill Road from Tizit in Mon to Peren district which would ease Nagas to travel within the State without touching Assam, as expressed by MLA Dr ImtiwapangAier, Rio said this area are rice bowl and rich in mineral deposits and it very important to have the connectivity. But this has taken a back-seat due to fund constraints and the State Government has taken up with the Centre to consider it as a National Highway project but approval of the Prime Minister is awaited.
Rio thanked the legislators for expressing their appreciation and remarks on the steps taken by the Government and also for the useful suggestions for better functioning of the Government.
The Chief Minister assured the members that their suggestions and comments have been taken note of while measures would be taken positively to deliver the goods to the people.
Earlier, NPF MLA Imkong L Imchen, initiating the debate, asked the position of the Government on the creation of new districts.
Saying that development has to reach the doorstep of every person, he said more districts are immediately imperative on the part of the Government, especially Meluri Sub-Division, which should have been created a long time ago as there are many rational reasons including size and remoteness as well as mineral deposits.
If it is upgraded to a district, so many economic benefits would be accrued not only for Meluri but the State as a whole, he said.
Imchen also highlighted Mangkolemba and Tobu’s demands for districts. Therefore if justice has to be delivered it has to be done timely in goodwill without letting people resort to agitation, he said.
MLA Yitachu while appreciated the leadership and the Government for organizing the 9th March consultative meeting involving all political parties, tribal hohos and civil societies, said it was a very good initiative, which has given a clear view of the ongoing political dialogue.
Supplementing Imchen on upgrading Meluri Sub-Division, he however, appreciated the Government policy not to divide any single tribe district.
In pursuit of providing administration at the doorstep of the people, the Government should live up to the expectations of the people, he said.
On Nagaland-Assam border issue select committee, Yitachu welcomed it but said all these years the Government has been saying about borders with Assam but what about those with Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Myanmar. In many of the bordering villages, though the villagers are in Nagaland their cultivable land is on the other side, he said.
Government should initiate the right to have their own land in other States and country, as it has nothing to do with the inter-State boundary but individual and village community land, he said.
On the Rural Development Department notification that VDB Secretaries should be Class-10 pass, he suggested that it should be brought down to Class-8 and provide special computer training to solve the problem of villages. To this, Rio asserted that the Government will consider.
Yitachu also requested the Government to provide more funds to the Department of Underdeveloped Areas (DUDA) saying that this is one Department which works for all in the international border and unless funds are poured out development will be hindered.
The MLA also requested the Government to consider regularisation of the 145 Assistant Professors and teaching faculties in schools in order to create congenial atmosphere for quality education in the State.
On this, the Chief Minister responded saying that the matter is in Court with some organizations demanding that all posts should be filled through competitive exams and it is taking some time but would be considered.
(Page News Service)