Dr Toshimanen Ozukum
HoD, Directorate of Municipal Affairs
The Municipal Affairs was a cell in the Urban Development just like the then Town Planning was a cell in the PWD Department. Towards the end of DAN 2 Government, the Advisory members of the 3 Municipal Councils and 16 Town Councils on July 16, 2012 suggested for a separate Directorate of Municipal Affairs for better and smooth functioning of the Municipalities in Nagaland.
Consequently, the DAN 3 Government bifurcated the Municipal Affairs Cell from the Urban Development and created a separate Directorate of Municipal Affairs vide notification NO AR-3/GEN-103/2003 dated 1st April, 2015. On June 3, 2015 it became a full-fledged Department and inaugurated on June 8, 2015 by the Chief Minister, TR Zeliang.
The Department now looks after 3 Municipal Councils, 29 Town Councils and 5 Urban Station Committees. In spite of the little family feuding in the NPF party, this is one of the achievements of DAN 3 Government for which the people of Nagaland are very grateful.
The following charter of duties is assigned to the new Department of Municipal Affairs:
1. Framing of Municipal and Town Council Rules
2. Constitution of State Election Commission
3. Conduct of Municipal Election
4. Financial Reforms of the Municipalities
5. Transfer of Powers and Functions to the Urban Local Bodies
6. Finance Commission /State Grants to Urban Local Bodies
7. Preparation of Master Plans of Municipal and Town Councils
8. All other CSS within the Municipal and Town Councils jurisdiction
9. HUDCO related affairs pertaining to Municipalities
10. Purchase of machineries for the Municipalities
11. Street Vendors, Night Shelter, Slums, ISHUP
The Department has successfully implemented construction of storm water drainage in Kohima under JNNURM amounting to Rs 30 crores which has been accredited the best workmanship in Hilly States which will remain a showcase for other States in the country. Other multi-crore projects implemented by the Department are:
(i) Wokha Infrastructure Development
(ii) Construction of Kohima Super Market
(iii) Housing for Urban Poor in Medziphema and Tseminyu under RAY
(iv) Construction of Rental Housing in Chümoukedima
(v) Development of City Center in Medziphema
(vi) Construction of Working Women Hostel in Dimapur
(vii) Storm Water Drainage in Shamator
(viii) Construction of Modern Aabattoir in Mokokchung and Kohima
Other projects in the anvil are Development of City Center at Kohima old Secretariat Complex and Kohima Metro Cable. The Department is the State Level Nodal Agency for Kohima Smart City. Initially, there was hard completion as only 100 cities had to be selected. Therefore the department involved all the stakeholders and organized essay completion, marathon race, logo competition, my vision of Kohima Smart City etc and submitted the first DPR Plan of Action However Kohima was not selected in the first round. Therefore, the Chief Minister TR Zeliang encouraged the Department to work harder and so organized State Level Consultative meetings involving all the Legislators and AHoDs and HoDs. Thus, Kohima was selected in the second round of inter —State Competition for which million dollar thanks to all who has helped to win in the competition.
The Government of India has sanctioned Rs 107 crore for development of Kohima Smart City and thanks to Chief Minister TR Zeliang who has released the full amount. The Department has credited the full amount on October 4,2017 into the account of the Kohima Smart City Development Company Ltd in HDFC bank Kohima. This amount is to be utilised only for works and not for any other purpose. The Central government has released Rs 2 crore for A&OE and the State matching share of Rs 2 crore has also released and now available in the Company account.
In the original DPR prepared by the empanelled Voyance company actually the Directorate of Municipal Affairs is proposed to be the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) as the Directorate has a full-ledged Engineering wing which implements all multi-crore projects in the State. However, in 2016 Kohima Smart City has been registered under company Act and so it is now become a company which functions under the direction of the Board of Directors.
Lastly, the Directorate of Municipal Affairs is also implementing PMAY Housing for All (U) in all the 23 Municipalities approved by the Ministry. Other remaining 9 Town Councils have also been submitted to the ministry for approval is awaited. This scheme will benefit 36884 beneficiaries. The Directorate has submitted proposal to take up under Kohima Smart City the three projects abandoned by the Urban Development Department namely, Multi-level parking at old Medical Directorate and NST station and the Cultural Hall. The Directorate has convened a meeting of the Kohima Municipal Ward Panchayat Association Executive members and discussed the matter relating to acute problem of vehicle parking which illegally encroach the right of the way and create artificial traffic congestion.
The Ward Association has been entrusted to locate plot of land in all the wards so that development of vehicle parking can take up under Kohima Smart City Mission.lt appeals to all the citizens of Kohima to cooperate so that together we can make Kohima really a SMART CITY.