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State govt pushes VDBs to build rural areas

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio unveiling the monolith of the traditional gate to Khuochiezie (local ground) Kohima on February 20. (DIPR Photo)
Chief Minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio today said that the state government is giving priority to rural development. In an informal interaction with Media persons this morning during the Kohima District Village Development Board annual conference at the Kohima local ground, Rio opined that national political parties have their ‘high commands’ somewhere who ‘dictate’ without ‘knowing the ground realities.’. Yet, for the regional party, the people of the state are the high commands to demand their needs and the regional parties are well aware about the need of the people.

He asserted that the rural people are “our real high command” and “we are responsible for their development”. Besides the Rural Development, various government departments are taking up schemes and implementing several central schemes. Under the schemes, he said ‘much development has come to rural areas of Nagaland, which were never before.’

During the occasion some of the best performing VDBs of Kohima districts were honoured with awards. The VDBs are Khonoma village from Kohima Block, Zhadima village from Chiephobozou Block, Phesama village from Jakhama Block and Zisunyu village from Tseminyu Block. The VDBs were awarded cash of Rs. 25,000 each and a certificate. The longest-serving VDB secretary, of Sirhima village, Zeuvikuolie Kehie was also honoured during the occasion

Neiphiu Rio also called for judicious use of funds to expand ‘our’ way of living beyond the outskirts of the state capital. Thereby, he said Kohima and Tsemenyu will be “city” and establish satellite townships and sub-urban areas. To attain this goal, he said proper planning is required.

Reiterating for maintenance of transparency and accountability in every developmental works, he said “One should earn, save, invest and get multiplied to enjoy the fruits for many years”, adding that development, peace and prosperity will prevail amongst ‘us’. Rio also called upon the gatherings to uphold their ancestral character and identity such as honesty and reliability putting in more that Naga history, culture, traditions, dress and food should be maintained as “it is our identity”, he asserted.

Speaker of Nagaland Legislative Assembly Kiyanilie Peseyie said VDB is the most important semi-government implementing agency for carrying out developmental works in the rural areas. The speaker appealed for ‘clear accounts.’

In his brief address, Minister Urban Development Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu said the VDBs has a good report since the past 30 years. Criticism may surface yet should not ‘give up the good legacy of the future generation,’ the senior minister said.

Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development S Pangnyu Phom also said Kohima district is the most privileged district. It has 90 recognized VDBs and 53,160 job card holders. Phom asserted that the schemes should create a space ‘for the younger generations to survive out of it.’ The VDB should look for income-generating schemes and should be a role model for other districts to imitate, he said.

Phom also called for participation in the socio economic census which will be accounted for the next 10 years and also sought for support and co-operation to the state government.

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