FMR a ‘serious’ matter, government ‘alive’ to situation: Nagaland CM

Morung Express News
Kohima | February 27

Terming the Free Movement Regime (FMR) as a ‘serious’ matter for ‘our people’, especially those staying in the bordering areas, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today stated that his government is ‘alive’ to the situation and has written to the union government on the issue. 

With many expressing their concerns after the announcement by the Central Government for suspending FMR and proposal for fencing the border, Rio said that the State Government has conveyed its concerns to the former. 

The State Government has requested the centre for continuation of FMR, and sought for coming up with FMR regulations in close consultations with ‘us’, the affected people in the border areas, he maintained, 

This, Rio stated in concluding remarks in the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the Governor’s February 26 Address, would enable us “to suitably take concerns of everyone and ensure an arrangement of FMR which benefits all.”

The Motion of Thanks was moved by Moatoshi Longkumer and seconded by Sethronkyu.

On Naga Political Issue
Meanwhile, Rio acknowledged the concerns raised by various speakers on the urgent necessity of bringing about a peaceful atmosphere in Nagaland and taking Naga political issue to its logical and peaceful conclusion, in the spirit of give and take. 

To this, he reminded that the House had always given sufficient time for discussion during every session of the NLA, and even passed Assembly resolutions to press for an early and peaceful resolution of the Naga Political Issue. 

Consequently, he expressed hope that its collective efforts would bear good results adding: “We would be able to witness the final and peaceful resolution of the Naga Political Issue during the tenure of this House.”

Equitable road projects 
Reaffirming its efforts for equitable road projects across the State, the Chief Minister stated that “we are putting a lot of stress” on improving road connectivity in every part through various State and Central funding such as Annual Maintenance; State Road Development Program (SRDP) and Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment (SASCI).

“We are making all concerted efforts,” he claimed. 

On the concern raised by member, KT Sukhalu on the need to have well structured trainings for enabling the government officers, particularly the teachers who have always been in the field, Rio assured that it will continue to look into for further strengthening the training programmes for ensuring that the concerns pointed out are comprehensively redressed. 

Committed to equitable developments
The Chief Minister also affirmed that the State Government is committed to equitable development and spreading of resources equally in every part of the State.

With MLA Kuzholuzo Nienu raising the issue, he said, ‘All our plans and programmes are so designed for ensuring that every area or region needs are addressed.

For ‘backward’ regions or areas, the State Government  has strive to come up with even more resources, support and additional programmes so that they are able to catch up with the others, he added.

On MLA Achumbemo Kikon drawing the attention on the low level of development and low presence of security personnel in the border area, Rio maintained that police outposts has been opened and their presence are increasing in the past many years. 

“We are also fully alive to developmental needs of our people and the department concerned are trying to fill up the critical gaps in infrastructure and help bring rapid development in our bordering areas,” he assured. 

Rio also termed the human-animal conflict, especially wild elephant, a matter of serious concern and informed the House that a comprehensive action plan to ameliorate the situation has been prepared and under active consideration by the State government. 

Meanwhile, on the issue raised by member Imkong L Imchen on the road condition from from Doyang to Izheto Village (in VK area), he said that Department has recently issued LoA (letter of award) and work should commence soon. 

For the Mariani-Mokokchung road (from Sewak Gate to 63 KM Longtho valley), LoA for STMC (Short Term Maintenance Contract) was issued in February 2024 while a Project Management consultancy engaged by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) is doing survey works for diversion of highway from Changki village, he said. 

The alignment will be decided as per technical feasibility, he added.

On the need for taking further measures for improving the productivity of agriculture and strengthening the marketing of produce put forth by Nyamnyei Konyak, Rio stated that the Department of Agriculture is taking all such steps to take ‘our’ agriculture increasingly to higher levels, and the recent execution of MoUs by Farmers Producer Companies for supplying ‘Organic Foxtail Millets’ is a good step in that direction. 

In regard to Dikhu Hydro Power Project, Rio said, the department is actively working for resolving all the land issues and also seeking the active assistance and support from the villages’ concerned and tribal bodies to initiate the project at an early date. 

He also assured the House that the Police and all the departments concerned are taking action to make the State free of the scourge of drugs and narcotics, and further intensifying its efforts.

Tax Clearance Certificate will continue
On the issue of advance GST collection, Rio said the arrangement of Tax Clearance Certificate will continue with suitable modifications to simplify the process.

On the issued being raised by Jwenga Seb, he informed that the matter will be further examined and appropriate measures will be taken if required. 

Rio also assured that the matter regarding identifying villages in certain districts as economically backwards will be examined while further action will be taken in improving power connectivity in Tseminyu district.

Meanwhile, he thanked all members who had participated in the discussion, and other members for being good and attentive listeners.