Kohima: As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Kohima Smart City Development (KSCDL) launched a week-long “Kohima Street Carnival” on Wednesday to celebrate 75 years of Independence.

Speaking with EastMojo, Avelu Ruho, Joint CEO of KSCDL, said the street carnival in Kohima is organised with the hope to “reimagine public spaces”.

“Our aim is to celebrate Kohima as a city, the talents and to celebrate every citizen,” she said.

She said the event is organized in collaboration with government departments and various citizen-based organizations. “We hope this will be a start to re-imagine public spaces, to have facilities which are inclusive—for children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities,” she added.

The event began with a formal ceremony graced by Dr Neikesalie Nicky Kire, Adviser to the Department of Urban Development & Municipal Affairs. The week-long event will continue till October 2.

The Smart Cities Mission (SCM) under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) across 100 Smart Cities was advised to undertake a 75-hour Urban Transformation implementation event with the objective of reimagining public spaces in their cities and impacting the citizens.

“We have a lot of stakeholders and we are trying to involve citizen-based organizations. We hope that the impact of the week-long celebration will pave way for better planning and more creative planning when it comes to city planning. We really hope the city will pave the way for a safe, healthy and happy street,” Ruho added.  

Addressing the gathering, Dr Nicky Kire Nicky expressed delight to witness young people with “world class” talents performing on the streets of Kohima. Lauding the initiative, he said, “Let this be a beginning for many more good things to come.”

Khyochano TCK, founder of Brillante, shared that the piano festival aims to celebrate music on the streets where Naga artists can share their talents on a community platform.

Kohima Street Carnival

The carnival began with Nagaland Piano Festival ‘Brillante’ on the first day. The event was held at the walking plaza at Old NST in Kohima town.

“The Kohima Smart City Project has a walk-able project which starts from Razhu Point to the new NST. So when the formulation of the Smart City plan was going on, all stakeholders had given their consent but since then much has changed. The Regional Transport Officer (RTO) has notified this stretch as a no-parking stretch,” she said.

As the removal of the parking area disrupted the regular business flow of the traders along the stretch, she said “This being the middle of the city, removing the parking sites is impacting the city. We would like to think that it is in the right direction. But with every chance comes little adjustment and some inconvenience. The traders around the no-parking stretch are feeling some impact on their business. We acknowledge that there are changes and their business may be affected for some time but in the long run studies have shown that walking streets encourage and help the economy grow. So we appreciate their patience and appreciate the fact that they are allowing the events to happen.”

With the ‘no parking zone’ coming into force from October 1 onwards, she hoped that the citizens will be aware about the new parking sites and the ‘no parking’ plan of the government.

“We hope that business will get back to normal. Smart City projects are done with a vision in mind and the vision is for the benefit of all citizens including the traders,” she added.

The event will cover an array of events targeting all groups of citizenry. The week-long line-up includes Nagaland piano festival in collaboration with Brillante, zumba in collaboration with De Operettas Music Institute, Busking in collaboration with TAFMA, Street Health Clinic for Senior Citizens with office of the Chief Medical Officer, flower exhibition and sale with Kohima Village Women Organisation, Cyclothon with Nagaland Mountain Biking Association, Blood Donation Camp with the Voluntary Blood Donors Association, etc. Other events include street food festival, painting competition, walkathon and street carnival for children.

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