Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Who can make Capital Kohima more smarter?

The drinking water is as indispensable as the oxygen we breathe. The Govt. of Nagaland is fully aware of the history of the Capital Kohima having acute scarcity of water and its citizens have to suffer from shortage of drinking water for not less than half of the year annually. Thousands of families have to spend so much money for purchase of drinking water which drains their meager income of many. Whereas, there is no dearth of water source by which the best quality and the requisite amount of water by gravity can be provided to the citizens of the Capital Kohima. Yet, the concerned authority has to firstly become sensitive to the plight of the inhabitants and secondly has to have the will power to take up the project with sincerity.
The very project of pumping water from Dzuu river to augment supply of water to Kohima has become a fiasco. In the first place, the State Govt. should not have opted for this project for two setbacks. One is the quality of this water that no matter how best it is treated with modern technology, for obvious facts that the waste waters from Southern Angami and Mao gate areas flow down to this river. Therefore such water would be unhygienic to the health in my belief. The second is the pumping system is never viable due to instability in power supply in Nagaland. Even otherwise, this project became a wasteful investment. This project might have benefited few individuals but the citizens of Kohima town have to bear the brunt of it. Also how many water supply projects Govt. of Nagaland had to beg from GoI particularly for the Capital Kohima and had to be ultimately orchestrated to become a flop?
Nevertheless, providing adequate amount of drinking water to the citizens of the Capital Kohima has to be a priority. Does the Govt. know that the citizens of the Capital Kohima are not sakuli (goats)? Without the availability of clean drinking water people cannot survive. Why the Govt. of Nagaland remains so insensitive to the basic minimum requirement of the citizens of Kohima town for decades together? In this respect, Kohima town is becoming more primitive than modern. As long as its citizens are forced to purchase water from private suppliers of water, the Kohima city is never smart but dull.
The Capital Kohima can become smarter provided its roads, both major and minor, are improved. Apart from few major roads, many of the interior colony roads which are equally the vital lifelines have been left abandoned for years. Had these interior roads not been inclusively projected for improvement when the master plan of the Smart City was submitted to Delhi? Or else, though sanctions given by GoI these deplorable roads were ignored due to pilferage of funds? Leaving these roads in pathetic condition, the Capital Kohima never becomes smart at all.
Besides, lest the sinking portions of the main roads, the damaged drains and the potholes are repaired, the city never looks smart. The carpeted roads remaining dusty during lean season is a health hazard. To have cleaner carpeted roads more freer from dust will definitely give smarter look to the Capital Kohima. As it is, the dust is not transported from distant places by the commuters. The dust is normally supplied to the carpeted road from the small uncarpeted spaces lying on both sides of the road between the footpath and the carpeted area and between the drainage and the carpeted road. It is proven that wherever these narrow left over spaces are carpeted, the road remains clean and free from accumulation of dust. Has the Kohima Smart City Development Ltd. found it too investment intensive to give holistic finishing to our roads so as to transform the grey color roads to asphalt color and clean look roads for the first time in Nagaland?
The Capital Kohima will become smarter if the avoidable traffic inconveniences caused to the commuters are mitigated. The Kohima Municipal Panchayats Association raised certain relevant issues in the same regard. Particularly one third/half of the width of the artery roads are permanently owned mostly by the vehicle owners all the time as they have parked their vehicles all along such roads. The biggest hurdle the commuters have to face daily is on the narrow lanes where the commuters are compelled to have just one way traffic due to permanent parking of the vehicles day in and day out if otherwise the road is wide enough for double traffic. Secondly, whether people paid heed to the order of the D.C., Kohima disallowing the dumping of construction materials on road by people as published in local dailies dated 3.10.2021?. Despite the given order, whether the concerned authorities are aware that people continue to defy the order as for artery roads are concerned. In both the cases, the arm-chair administration does not help in streamlining the anomalies. The Physical inspection of the said grey areas by the concerned authorities and to give necessary ratifications only can bring improvement. At the narrow lanes and sharp turnings, no parking be enforced so that such traffic hazards and accident prone spots can be mitigated. Show the presence of the administration practically in lieu of theory to make Kohima smarter.
Few years ago, a comparative survey on the cost of living amongst the cities in India was published in news papers, and Kohima town stood at the 4th most expensive place in the country. Subsequently, the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs released the Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020 which was published in Nagaland Post dated 5.3.2021 by which the Capital Kohima ranked 49 among 62 in EoLI Index ’20. According to this report, the KMC’s performance in Planning stood at 60 out of 100 and its governance stood at 45 out of 100. Indeed, it is a very poor performance. There are a lot to be said, and yet of all, in the interest of the poorer section of the citizens, my concern is Price Control. The local papers published the rates of vegetable of 17 items fixed by KMC on 1.9.2021. Since I never do the marketing, I do not know as to whether the traders do abide by the KMC’s rates as for those items. The KMC is expected to be vibrant in monitoring the rates of the essential commodities which tend to fluctuate in favor of the traders who by nature may like to make everyday a heyday lest the authority controls in the interest of the gullible consumers. Most of the time, the rates of the local vegetables are found to be unworthy of the rates the vendors do charge. If KMC becomes proactive, practical and meticulous in its effort to contain all people-unfriendly activities in the Capital, Kohima will definitely become smarter.
There is logic when the traders from Classic Club gate to Razhu Point, Kohima objected to enforcement of No-Parking zone in the said locality. The logic behind the objection is not exclusive in the interest of the traders alone but inclusive in the interest of the consumers too. Think for the aged and the Differently Able Persons and those who are unable to walk long distances while visiting the market as required. Any innovative policy so adopted has to give rational benefit to all sections of people and not otherwise. High profile and snobbishly pro-showbiz tends to be detrimental to the common welfare. What the general public require is the humble and down to earth benevolent actions. I do not comprehend what can be the exact benefit the local administration can accrue out of the enforcement of No-Parking zone in this particular locality. Not to rule the people but serve the people by which alone the Capital Kohima can become smarter.
Z. Lohe