Friday, January 27, 2023

Consultative meet on urban infra development project

Staff Reporter

Urban Development Department (UDD) on Friday held a consultative meeting with Dimapur-based stakeholders at Tourist Lodge on “Nagaland Urban Infrastructure Development Project” (NUIDP), funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB).
It may be mentioned that Government of India and ADB had on April 12, 2022 signed a $2 million Project Readiness Financing (PRF) loan for designing climate resilient urban infrastructure, strengthening institutional capacity and improving municipal resource mobilisation in 16 district headquarter towns (DHTs) in Nagaland, which would be executed by UDD.
Speaking on the occasion, Urban Development director A Chenithung Lotha expressed concern that Nagaland, as per 2011 census, recorded over 67% decadal growth of urban population, the highest in the country.
With urbanisation taking place rapidly, he remarked that even a town like Dimapur could not escape from this phenomenon.
Highlighting the challenges faced by urban centres in the State, he said issues like lack of development controls, guidelines and tools leading to haphazard and unplanned urban sprawl, peculiar land-holding system, lack of resources, fragile geological conditions and challenging terrain were some major obstacles to development.
He noted that urbanisation had both negative and positive impact on the society. Lotha also lamented that due to low or absence of industrialisation and technology development, the State was facing challenges in creating job opportunities. In addition, he said the economic base was weak and unable to generate sufficient resources that would address some of the urban issues, including basic services.
Though Centrally-sponsored programmes/schemes had limitations in terms of coverage and funding, he claimed that these had not only benefitted the State, but had also provided gainful employment to many individuals and urban dwellers.
Stressing for more urban infrastructure development projects, he said that there should not be a mismatch on demand and supply.
SMEC team leader Gyanasis Jena spoke on Project Design and Management Consultant (PDMC) and disclosed that UDD would be executing the project of urban infrastructure development in 16 district head towns in Nagaland funded by ADB.
For the project, he said UDD had engaged PDMC to prepare detailed project report (DPR) for ensuring loads to improve integrated infrastructure.
He said the project would also assess existing infrastructure and demand forecast and develop investment plans for climate resilient integrated urban infrastructure in the State.
According to Gyanasis, the project aimed to develop and upgrade urban infrastructure to boost economic activities, provide better quality of life and identify infrastructure gaps in sectors like urban roads, landslide protection storm water drainage, sanitation and septage, solid waste management, water supply and other urban amenities.
Project manager of Project Management Unit (PMU) and urban development expert Ranajit Banerjee shared highlights of the ADB-assisted project. He called for people’s participation in selecting projects, subject to technical viability and finance.
Retired PWD chief engineer and PDMC technical coordinator Kahuto Sema stressed that the project must give importance to roads, sewerage and sanitation, water supply, solid waste management and urban flood management.
He suggested that once the ADB-funded projects were completed, NGOs, civil society organisations and stakeholders should come forward and ensure that the projects were maintained.
In his speech, Dimapur Urban Council Chairman Federation (DUCCF) president Tsenthungo Nyamo said Dimapur being the busiest commercial hub of the State, it was necessary to have multiple-level parking facility to tackle traffic congestion, water supply and appropriate measures to tackle pollution.
He suggested that plying of only E-auto and E-rickshaw at once a week within the city to ensure greener and pollution-free environment and urged the stakeholders to look into the implementation of metros.
In her speech, Naga Woman Hoho Dimapur (NWHD) president Duoneinuo Kire also highlighted about the pace in which modernization and urbanization have been taking place in the society
While acknowledging the positive and negative impact of urbanization, she called upon the need for public participation to ensure that any kind of development is done in a well organised manner and proper planning.
In his speech, Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC) representative W Manpai Phom asserted that every urban or municipal body had unique issues. To make Dimapur a better place, he sought cooperation from the people and stakeholders.
Apart from implementing infrastructure and projects, he urged the agencies concerned to create awareness among all sections of society.
The programme followed a question-and-answer session, while vote of thanks was delivered by storm water drainage expert Hari Krishna Bala.

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