Kohima: Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio said today that “encouraging progress has been made in the last few years” with regard to the Naga peace process. He then appealed to all the “Naga Political Groups” and the Government of India, and “all others concerned” to walk the extra mile, reach out to everyone in the spirit of understanding in the truest sense, and make the long-cherished dream of the people a reality by bringing the solution without any further delay.
Neiphiu Rio said this while gracing the 60th Nagaland Statehood Day celebration at the Secretariat Plaza in Kohima this morning.
Conveying his greetings on the occasion, Rio said the wonderful journey of six decades calls for celebration “while remembering, with utmost reverence, all the leaders and visionaries, whose sacrifices and tireless efforts, gave the people their State”. He maintained that the people must not let their differences overwhelm their common identity, and be united in their pursuit of greater goals and achievements.
Talking about the Hornbill Festival, the Chief Minister said that showcasing the beautiful cultural heritage is a collaborative celebration of “all Naga tribes” at one venue. “With each passing year, it is becoming more vibrant, and larger, showcasing newer ideas and gaining greater recognition. This is an asset owned by all the tribes of Nagaland, and a success story we should continue to make it bigger, better, and more valuable,” he added.
The Chief Minister then said the development of human resources has been a focus area of the government. “In the last six decades, the State has seen giant strides being taken for the creation of educational and technical institutions for the development of human resources. And the government remains mindful of the utmost need to continue providing the best and latest educational facilities to our youth,” he added.
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Maintaining that health is the greatest asset of an individual, Rio said a big step forward was taken towards ensuring affordable health care for all with the launching of the Chief Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme (CMHIS) on October 14, 2022. Rio said that the scheme takes advantage of the insurance platform developed under the ongoing Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY), which caters to a limited population, to provide coverage of free and cashless treatment to the remaining population including Government servants and pensioners. He added that an enrolment drive for issuing the CMHIS Card that is required for availing of free cashless treatment is going on throughout the State. Registration Centers have been opened in all Directorates and Districts. Teams are also visiting all villages. He called upon every citizen of the State to avail of this and get registered for CMHIS at the earliest possible to avail the full benefits of this scheme.
Rio then said that roads, “the most important enabler of development anywhere”, enabling producers from farmers to entrepreneurs to get connected with markets, have always, and rightly so, remained at the top of the priority list. He further said another 2,500 kilometers were added in the last five years. He stated that work on one of the most ambitious road projects of the State, the ‘Foothill Road’, was started, considering the enormous benefits that it is likely to bring to the people.
Stating that electricity and its supply to each part of the State is another very crucial element for the overall economic development, Rio added that in recent years by the construction of more sub-stations, transmission, and distribution lines, the reliability, stability, and distribution to all consumers both in urban and rural areas, are being continuously upgraded and improved. The development of these two hydro generation projects will ease the financial burden of the State for power purchase and will also greatly contribute towards energy security for the State. Rio also said that the installation of a large number of smart prepaid electricity meters in Dimapur and Kohima is another significant step being taken for the reduction of AT&C losses and improving revenue collection in the power sector, the chief minister said. He called upon everyone concerned, more so the farmers, to strive for making Nagaland one of the premier States regarding organic farm and horticulture produce.
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Rio then said that with the situation becoming even better, the Central government would consider bringing out more areas from AFSPA soon and that the State continues to be among those States whose crime rates are the lowest in the country.
Rio also said that sportspersons in the state only require the right mentoring, facilities, and the requisite infrastructure which we are providing and will continue to do with even more commitment. “With all our efforts, we should soon see many of our sportspersons representing the country and winning medals in global sporting events also,” he added.