Kohima: On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, citizens of the state pledged to live an eco-friendly lifestyle and carried out activities like picking of plastic waste from the streets, plog-run, planting tree saplings and organised a march to create mass awareness.
With hundreds of students in attendance at a state-level event held on Wednesday at NBCC convention hall in Kohima, chief minister Neiphiu Rio launched five smart water ATMs across Kohima town. Initiated by the Kohima Smart City Mission, the water ATMs dispenses one litre of safe and pure drinking water for Rs 5.
The five strategic locations for these water ATMs are High School-Baskin Robins, Razhü Point-Solo Complex; Cafe Select near NST; NCS building Old NST and BOC taxi parking, Libra Entry.
During the event, Rio flagged off 11 ULB sanitation vehicles under the Swachh Bharat Mission for all districts. Urban development and municipal affairs advisor Dr Neikesalie Nicky Kire also flagged off 19 smart vehicles under the Smart City Mission for Kohima town. In total, Kohima now has 21 smart vehicles with GPS trackers for sanitation purposes.
Highlighting the rapid growth of urbanisation, Rio recalled how the number of towns in the state grew from one in 1901 to 1951, three in 1961-1980, 7 in 1981 to 9 in 1991- 2001 with the latest being the 2011 Census which recorded 19 recognized towns.
“Nagaland has recorded highest urbanisation rate in the nation during the last two consecutive Censuses 2001 and 2011 at 69.44% and 66.70% respectively. Whereas during Census 2011, the rural areas recorded a (-) 14% negative growth rate. Since Nagaland achieved Statehood in 1963, the total population had increased by 5.3 times in terms of absolute number while Urban population increased by 18.4 times which is remarkable. At this rate, it is expected that by the next 20 years or so, half the population of Nagaland will be living in towns and cities. Therefore, there is an urgency to have a new perspective on our priorities in providing urban amenities to the urban dwellers”, Rio added.
Raising environmental concern, Rio urged for a “broader framework of sustainable urban development and the much needed holistic approach to participatory governance, urban environmental planning and management”.
Addressing the gathering, Kire said that although Kohima was selected as one of the 100 smart cities in the 2nd round of Selection on Sep 20, 2016, the implementation of the projects began only in October last year due to initial technicalities. He added saying, “Ten projects amounting to Rs. 257.91 Crores are in progress and projects under DPR preparation stage, out of which one project, i.e. Construction of Kohima Smart City & KMC office is expected to be completed by mid-October.”
“Preliminary works for installation of the prestigious ICCC (Integrated Command & Control Centre) Project is underway and at least one track of the project is expected to go live on December 1, 2019,” he said. He added that over 900 “No Parking” Signposts with anti plastic slogans to tackle parking and congestion issues were also made. Further, cloth bags were also distributed to all tax paying households within Kohima municipality.
Later, Kire and Himato Zhimomi, principal secy, urban development & municipal affairs, planted tree saplings outside the convention hall. This was followed by a march, led by Kire and Zhimomi, from NBCC hall to the Secretariat complex.