Rio seeks NITI Aayog support to improve connectivity

Rio seeks NITI Aayog support  to improve connectivity
Neiphiu Rio (file photo)

Dimapur, June 17: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has sought continued support of Government of India to Nagaland and the North East for improving connectivity – roads, railways and air – and also Internet connectivity for better physical integration with the mainland.
This, the CM said, would go a long way in making the North East an equal partner in the transformation of the nation to a New India by 2022.
Speaking at the 4th meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog today, the CM reminded that States like Nagaland, with difficult terrain, have special needs with respect to building infrastructure and ensuring sufficient resources for the development needs of the people.
“This has been further aggravated by long periods of insurgency. However, with the prospects of the final settlement to Naga political issue being near, people of the State, are looking up to Government of India for providing support for its growth and development,” he said while expressing confidence that under the leadership of Prime
Minister Modi, Nagaland will very soon be an equal and proud partner of a resurgent India.
Touching on the various agenda points for the meeting, the CM said Nagaland is a predominantly agrarian State and share of agriculture and allied sectors in State’s GDP is almost 30%. Around 70% of the people are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, he said.
“In order to ensure that farmers incomes are doubled – we need to provide market linkages for the produce, as also train farmers in packaging and preservation of fruits, flowers and vegetables,” he said adding support for processing the organic produce of the State will also help augment incomes and help the State move up the value chain.
On health care, Rio said Nagaland has a shortage of specialist doctors and even with Prime Minister Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, the State will need tie ups with super speciality hospitals as also support for air ambulances for people to access quality health care.
On Aspirational Districts, the CM urged the Niti Aayog to include Mon district in the Aspirational Districts Scheme, along with Kiphire District, which is also included in the scheme.
On special development needs of Nagaland, Rio sought support for Greenfield Airport for Kohima, with Kohima being the only State capital in the country without an airport. He also sought economic package for ENPO areas for creation of infrastructure, hospitals, training institutes to help them catch up with rest of the nation.
Rio also sought sports package for Nagaland. He informed that Nagaland is commemorating the birth centenary of Dr T Ao, India’s first and only Olympic football captain, this year and is setting up a Football Academy in his honour. He also urged the Government of India to provide support for setting up of sports infrastructure in the State, which he said would help channelize the energy of youth in a positive manner.
(Page News Service)