Monday, May 29, 2023

Progress grounded

Recently a little over an hour of heavy downpour in Dimapur caused inundation of water with floating garbage on the road , since there was no roadside drain. In Dimapur, whatever roadside drains that existed have been filled up by encroachers and as a result, drain and floating garbage frequently spill over on the road. The poor drainage facility stems from non adherence to technical requirement including substandard materials and poor workmanship quality. Added to the problem of frequent inundation is also sight of heaps of garbage that are left uncollected for days at various places of the city. Lack of proper drainage results in premature deterioration of roads and compounded by lack of maintenance. Dimapur also suffers from the perennial curse of illegal collections by various organisations. These also include tax collected by both “authorised” and “unauthorised” groups or agencies at various inter-state check gates. Also the spate of illegal and multiple tax collections is a lost cause for the law that can never be enforced. Despite various notifications and even a high court directive against illegal collections especially at check gates and ACAUT raising hue and cry against such activities in 2012 nothing much has changed. Even the High Power Committee(HPC) constituted on August 5, 2014 which submitted its report to the government (chief minister) on June 10, 2015 remains in cold storage. The forces against peaceful development is not only about illegal tax collection by certain elements under whatever guise or pleas but also mushrooming of market syndicates in Dimapur. Even the civic body has not acted against artificial price hikes across all items when the body ignores the need to streamline the entire market system especially with regard to monitoring and controlling unstable prices. Unfortunately, these only translate offences into socially and even ethically acceptable practices. Dimapur has unfortunately lost the momentum for progress and today, its commercial growth is being stunted by various ills. Prices are shooting up since there is no proper check on the market and even here, the tax collections abound on various items by various self appointed authorities etc. Another issue is the influx of suspected illegal Bangladeshi immigrants to Dimapur and neighbouring foothill districts for which various organisations, demanded implementation of the Inner Line Permit(ILP). A recent incident where hordes of suspected illegal immigrants forcibly grabbed the hose pipes of a fire truck despite pleas to not interfere with fire fighting, sparked a hue and cry. In response, the district administration and police decided to form a Joint Task Force(JTF) to being the process of checking of ILP in Dimapur. As per the notification, the cut off date for Dimapur with regard to ILP is November 21,1979, the year when then Dimapur subdivision was notified as a tribal state. However, apex tribal bodies of Nagaland continue to insist that the cut-off should be December 1,1963 when Nagaland attained statehood. To address this issue the government decided to create the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN). The report of the commission on RIIN submitted at the end of 2019 remains in cold storage. So long as the HPC and then RIIN reports continue to remain in cold storage, the wheels of progress will remain stuck on the ground.

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