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Urban Local Bodies must be empowered for better results: CEO KSCDL

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, MARCH 4: With Kohima still rooted at the bottom tier in the Ease of Living Index despite numerous initiatives launched by the Kohima Smart City Development Limited, its CEO on Thursday reiterated the need to empower urban local bodies for better results.

After being ranked the second most ‘unlivable’ city in India in 2018 on Ease of Living (EoL) assessment, Kohima saw a slight improvement to be ranked the 13th most ‘unlivable’ city in EoLI 2020 released today.
While the recent survey showed how much there is to be done, one positive finding in the 2019-2020 survey is that Kohima was placed 27th for ‘Citizen Perception Survey’ out of the 62 cities under the category of below one million population.
CEO KSCDL, Kovi Meyase told Nagaland Page, “The result is a little better than the last time. However, we have not been able to improve from where we are ranked at present for a variety of reasons but hopefully by the next round, different stakeholders would also show interest.”
Meyase also maintained that unlike other municipalities outside Nagaland, where the local bodies are empowered by the 74th Amendment of the Constitution of India, it is not the case in Nagaland.
The 74th Amendment gives constitutional status to municipalities and has brought them under the purview of judicial review. In other words, the State governments are under constitutional obligation to add this new system of municipalities in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The Act aims at revitalizing and strengthening the urban governments so that they may function as effective units of local government.
Meyase said, “There is this misconception that the Ease of Living Index and Municipal Performance Index is the sole responsibility of the municipality. However, this is not so.”
“There are sectors where the municipality does not have anything much to say nor do we have any control over it. The State Government has to relinquish certain powers to the Urban Local bodies in order for it to function effectively.”
He opined that the best alternative for Kohima to work its way up in the rankings in the case of EoLI and MPI would be to assess the governmental departments responsible for ensuring the indices are fulfilled.

Stating that the departments concerned will have to take a hard look at their role within their city, Meyase reasoned that when the roads are good, power supply is reliable and there is sufficient water for the people, it will also be reflected in the ranking of the city in terms of EoLI and MPI since those data will be used to determine the rank. (Page News Service)