Kohima | January 8
70% of Nagaland State’s people live in rural areas. There has to be a clear strategy and approach for not only attending to their needs but to also plan the future of the State by including them.
This was stated in the Nagaland Vision 2030 document released in December last year.
“The crux of the Vision 2030 is based on transforming the economy of Nagaland through agriculture where the rural people, especially farmers who comprises 45.47 per cent of the total workers of Nagaland will have to play the central role,” the Vision document observed.
The progression from subsistence oriented agriculture to a market oriented economy will entail not only improvement of the agricultural production technologies but also the entire gambit of improving their living environment, it stated, adding that it will involve improving the various infrastructure in the rural areas ranging from the physical to social infrastructure.
“The rural areas of Nagaland will also have to keep up with the technological changes that are emerging in the world that can induce a paradigm shift in their outlook and way of living,” it observed.
The Vision 2030 stated that improving the quality of life and services to be delivered to 14,07,536 people living in 2,84,310 households inhabiting 1238 villages spread across the mountainous terrain will not be any easy task. The task is made all the more difficult as 1,57,118 are identified as BPL households.
For the way forward, it stated that poverty issues can be best tackled by first approaching the issues of productivity in agriculture that include livestock, fishery and even sericulture over and above food grain production.
The Vision 2030 document has proposed the ‘Cluster Approach’ where convergence among the implementing departments becomes key to achieving goals.
The convergence of the rural development department with the other agriculture and allied departments is necessary in such a strategy which can be achieved through structural changes in the management of the agriculture and allied activities.
Stating that transport, communication and connectivity are the basic necessity for any development, it stated that the rural people have realized this and over the years there have been great efforts to get their villages connected by roads.
The recent advent of heavy earth moving machines such as bulldozers, JCB etc have caused frenzy for construction of roads resulting in network of roads in every nook and corner of the state.
Under the MGNREGA programme, 18,431 rural roads such as link/approach roads were constructed and construction of 29,915 roads is ongoing. Many villages have moved beyond construction of link roads to their villages and have started constructing agri link roads.
“Such programmes should be rationalized in the next five years. Statistically the road connectivity in the rural areas seems adequate. The issue is the quality,” the Vision document stated, adding that in most cases the roads are basically formations cutting and therefore are only fair-weather roads.
They are also prone to landslides due to the loose soil formation and heavy rainfall. The strategy in the next ten years will have to be improving qualitative aspect of the roads for which special attention needs to be given by coordinating the PMGSY and the MGNREGA as also drawing up a special rural roads programme under the state plan, it observed.