Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio

Kohima: Nagaland marked its 58th statehood day on Tuesday. Speaking on the occasion, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio highlighted the recent developments and improvements in the state despite many challenges, including the ongoing battle against COVID-19.

“Our journey as a State, since its creation about six decades ago, has been wonderful by any yardstick. We have significant and enduring achievements to show in every field. We have seen development and progress, and the quality of life enjoyed by our people has seen a marked improvement, though many challenges still remain,” the chief minister said.

Addressing the people during a brief ceremony held at the Secretariat Plaza in Kohima, the chief minister said that every effort is being continuously made for all-round progress of the State.

Hoping that the Naga peace talks will “finally reach its ultimate destination,” he reminded the people of the negotiations between the various Naga political groups and the Indian government.

“We expect everyone to continue with the same spirit of understanding and oneness for moving forward to the eventual solution without any delay,” he added.

He recalled the October 15 meeting where civil societies, political parties and the state government appealed to the “negotiating groups to come together under a spirit of oneness, mutual trust and understanding with sincerity and commitment towards achieving one solution for one people as early as possible.”

Also Read: Only way forward is unity & oneness: Nagaland CM on peace talks

The District Executive Force (DEF) during a parade in Kohima

Nagaland and the fight against COVID-19

Chief minister Rio said the state had grown from zero testing capacity to 2,600-3,000 testing capacity per day in a few months. Through elaborate protocols and adequate processes in place for people returning home, the state remained free from the virus for a much longer period, providing crucial time for the state to strengthen its health systems, Rio added.

The number of ventilators in the COVID hospitals increased from 14 in March to 145 till date and the number of beds in isolation wards, ICU and non-ICU wards, and the COVID Care Centers substantially increased in the last eight months. The state now has 110 departmental ambulances, Rio added.

Also Read: Nagaland Governor asks Nagas to reclaim state from violence on 58th statehood day

Completion of the Dimapur-Kohima road

Rio also informed that the Department of PWD had completed the improvement of Kohima and Dimapur Roads which were initiated in 2018-19. Under the ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MORTH), Ministry of Development of North East Region (DONER) and the North East Council (NEC) for various categories, 48 projects covering more than 597 kilometres of roads have been taken up in the current financial year, he added.

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