Kohima: Ranked as the second most ‘unlivable’ city in the country by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in 2018, Kohima –the state’s capital, is rising up to remove the infamous tag as the assessment for the Kohima Smart city begins.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Kovi Meyase, CEO of Kohima Smart City Development Limited (KSCDL), said that to assess and monitor the performances of the cities, the ministry has launched two Assessment Frameworks, namely, the Ease of Living Index (EoLI) and the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) to assess quality of life of citizens.
The Ease of Living (EoL) 2019 will be the second edition of the Ease of Living index and is aimed to quantify the ease of living, of citizens living in the cities across three pillars: Quality of Life, Economic ability, and Sustainability.
Meyase said that while the three pillars comprises of 70%, the remaining 30% of the assessment will be based on a Citizen Perception survey. Conducted by the ministry, the Citizen Perception Survey is a significant component of the assessment exercise and will help in directly capturing perception of citizens with respect to quality of life in their cities.
While on August 13, 2018, Kohima was ranked 110th out of 111 cities on its ‘Ease of Living’, Meyase said that the lack of awareness among the public and among government agencies, lack of co-ordination between departments and the unavailability of data in the departments, besides the lack of infrastructure and facilities, were some factors contributed towards the poor ranking.
Expressing hope that Kohima will be untagged of the infamous title, Meyase said that concerned stakeholders were sensitized about their roles and contributions towards the survey. However, 30% assessment now depends on the public perception survey. And while the state government does its bit, citizens can now login to EoL2019.org/citizenfeedback and participate in the survey. The online window for the survey will be closed on February 29.
Meanwhile speaking about the challenges it faces, Meyase said that unlike other cities, the state does not have the Urban Local Bodies (ULB), a provision under the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act. He said that the absence of an elected Municipal Body has deprived the state from receiving the minimum funding and grants, as he cited that the Ministry’s funding of Rs 25-30 Lakh per annum, given to municipal bodies, was stopped since 2013. Meyase said that land holding issues, also hinders the implementation of schemes, despite being granted by the MoHUA.
Zakiekhotuo Kiso, senior manager (planning) KSCDL said that in regard to solid waste management, the absence of a common bio-medical treatment plant has become a concern and so a DPR has been submitted to the central government for approval.