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Nagaland’s urban population see boom

Minister for Urban Development and Higher & Technical Education Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu seen here releasing the Provisional Population Totals Paper-2 in Kohima on August 5. (DIPR Photo)

Kohima | August 5 : The growth rate of urban population in Nagaland stands at 67.38% in Nagaland which is much higher than the national growth rate of 31.80%. This was stated in the ‘Provisional Population Totals Paper-2 (Volume 1)- Rural and urban distribution: Nagaland’ brought out by Directorate of Census Operations Nagaland and the same was formally released by Minister for Urban Development and Higher & Technical Education Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu here this morning at Hotel Japfu.
The publication said the reason behind such a high growth rate is because of the fact that after 2001 census, 11 new towns were notified by the state government and in addition 7 new census towns were identified. In contrast, negative growth rate has been recorded in rural areas of Nagaland at -14.59%.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Liezietsu said that data released today reveals just how fast the pace of urbanization has become. The minister said the rate of urbanization in Nagaland which stands at 28.97% is almost at par with the rate of urbanization in the country which is 31.16%.
“A few decades ago this would have been unimaginable. In fact, it is heartening to note that as the pace of development increases, urban centers have also increased in our state,” the Minister said adding that census 2011 reported the presence of 19 statutory towns and 7 census towns which is in sharp contrast to 8 statutory towns and 3 census towns reported in census 2001 in Nagaland.
The minister said the increase of 11 statutory towns and 6 census towns in one decade reveals just how fast the urban areas are growing in the state, adding it reflected the increasing migration of people from rural to urban areas in the state as well as migration from other areas of the state.

“With the influx of population to the urban areas, we will have to make a concerted effort to address the unique problems and needs of these areas of our state,” the minister said adding that the census data reported this time will make the state to appreciate the urban problems which necessitates on the need to frame a policy for urbanization in the state. “Our state is still a growing state and, therefore, it is not late to start planning for our growing towns. In the process of planning, we must also ensure the balanced growth and development to equally benefit the people of different areas,” Dr. Liezietsu said.

Recalling the recent provisional population totals of Nagaland released by Nagaland’s governor Nikhil Kumar in April this year, the minister said the total number of population of 2011 was less than the population total of 2001, which shows a negative growth rate of 0.47% during the decade from 2001-2011. “We are proud people and we are always proud to talk about our history. In fact, many writers write so many good things about the Nagas of their courage, of their honesty and so on. But I will put in this way that all these good writings about the Nagas are about our forefathers which do not cover the present generation and, therefore, there is nothing to feel proud of for these compliments,” the minister said adding “We are aware that the figure of the 2001 census was highly inflated in some districts. That shows that Nagas, unlike our forefathers, have become insincere and dishonest for personal gains.
Dr. Liezietsu was encouraged by the literacy rate for the urban areas of Nagaland which is recorded at 90.21%, which is well above the national literacy rate of urban areas, which has been recorded at 84.98%. “While this is good and reflects well on the human resource potential of our state, it also means that we must create more employment opportunities to absorb the skill manpower we are generating,” the minister said adding that this responsibility must not rest with the government alone. We must encourage all entrepreneurship and creative ventures that will help in channelizing all skills and knowledge we posses into productivity for the state.
Earlier, presenting rural-urban distribution of population of Census 2011, V. Hekali Zhimomi, IAS, Director of Census Operations (DCO) Nagaland said the proportion of rural population declined from 82.77% to 71.03% in census 2011. She said fast urbanization is taking place in the state. The improvement in sex ratio is largely in urban areas for both the overall sex ratio as well as the child sex ratio. She also stated that the improvement in literacy in rural areas is more than 2 times than that of urban areas. Improvement in female literacy has been recoded in both rural and urban areas.
Zhimomi said the sub district level data will be ready by next month which will be followed by village wise data. She hoped that the data will be used for a realistic planning process for the future of the state. Final population will be released next year after scanning of census schedule, data capture by using ICR technology and proceeding completed.