Kohima: Raising concern over a shopping complex and parking plaza at the Forest Colony in Dimapur, which ‘has grown derelict’, the Rising People’s Party (RPP) on Monday demanded that the complex be handed over to the Naga entrepreneurial community.

The Party recalled that on June 9, 2011, the Nagaland state planning board meeting held at the Chief Minister’s office decided to construct the shopping complex with funding from the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO) and constructed for Rs 43 crore.

Through a release, the party said that as per an RTI filed by the party, the Forest Department claimed that it owns the complex. “Nowhere in the world Forest departments/Ministry manages shopping complexes and therefore, it is suspected that the building is already in the hands of a private entity,” said RPP.

The party added saying “Having constructed the shopping plaza in government land actually belonging to the Forest Department, the powers-be wanted a private entity to manage the shopping complex as private property, but due to public outcry at that time over the actual ownership of the building complex, it couldn’t be made functional, and thus over the years the complex has grown derelict”.

According to RPP, this issue is a “powerful example of wastage of public resources and the state being run as a fiefdom”.

It said that it would continue to oppose any move to privatize the complex by the state government. It also opposed the Forest department managing the complex, saying that the connection between the two is “dubious”.

In this regard, the RPP demands that through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the government must hand over the complex to the Naga entrepreneurial community.

“Having declared meaningless ‘Year of Farmers’ and ‘Year of Entrepreneurs’ in the past, the government can now actually empower a generation of young entrepreneurs with its concrete action,” it said, further appealing to the Naga entrepreneurial community to take ownership of the issue.



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