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Time for Nagaland to take the road less travelled

Jonas Yanthan

Water! Water! Water everywhere but not a drop to drink may be said as Roads! Roads! Roads everywhere but not one road worth calling it a road is the mess of Nagaland. The recently held colloquium on road connectivity that concentrated on new National and State Highways and nothing about the much needed revamping and polishing of the existing dilapidated village and District roads was not only trying to build castles in the air but also an exhibition of the superfluity and emptiness of the Government of the day. The colloquium lacked logic. First thing first was missing.


Talking about Projects like airport in Kohima and new Highways for Nagaland is simply fanciful thinking for now since its prerequisite implies that all our internal connectivity in all the Districts are furnished. In the same note, even the Prime Minister’s recent idea of a bullet train though good is also still at a superstructure realm since the need of the people of India is not bullet trains but improvement of the existing train services countrywide to the best possible. By installing a bullet train in a particular area will not ease the transport problems of the country.


One of the major reasons why Nagaland has landed into development chaos is due to the absence of the much needed ‘roadmap’ of development. By roadmap, I mean that every Minister should have the vital statistics of the entire State of one’s portfolio on one’s table indicating what needs to be done urgently. Lack of a roadmap has led to piece meal and fragmented activities letting the State to what we are today. The other reason that contributed to the chaos is the wrong priorities of the Cabinet, especially the leader of the House.


Factually speaking, Nagaland is just a hand palm size with a handful population of a colony of a city in India. In comparison to the staggering ever increasing fund allocation and expenditures reported on paper and statistics the State should have developed by now. But instead of developing, Nagaland has become a white elephant. This is a glaring example of inefficiency and greed for money prevalent among the Ministers, bureaucrats and technocrats and lack of vision for common good.


The road ahead for progress requires realistic planning taking into account the ground realities based on the immediate need of the people i.e. infrastructure and not superstructures like Airports and new Highways. Another important factor is for any planning, it must be for all the Districts. What we see thus far is full of disparity among the Districts in development opportunities. The reason behind the disparity stems from prevalence of nepotism and favouritism in the mentality of the planners and decision makers. The deprived Districts must stand up against these injustices.


All Districts have the right to equitable opportunity of development because development of one District doesn’t mean development of the State. The villages are developmentally starved and for development to happen depend on what kind of MLAs the electorate vote and by what kind of Chief Minister, the MLAs choose. The Progress of a State depends primarily on the vision, energy and the enthusiasm of the Chief Minister. If a State is underdeveloped, it is because of poor leadership quality of a Chief Minister.


Election is a political final examination for all the constituencies and it is at our doorstep. Life for five years will be determined by this examination; the kind of representatives we vote. Don’t waste your precious vote and don’t sell your vote unless you want to remain poor forever. Choice is yours!