Government land encroachment in Nagaland remained a major issue, negating development activities. 

This concern was expressed by Nagaland adviser to sericulture, excise and minority affairs departments Zhaleo Rio while inaugurating an indoor badminton stadium-cum-1st Winter Badminton Tournament in Medziphema town on Thursday. 

Expressing utter dissatisfaction at the degree of land encroachment not only in Medziphema but everywhere in Nagaland, Rio appealed to every individual to abstain from stealing government’s land and protect public property for holistic development in future. He asked Medziphema additional deputy commissioner and other administrative officers to sternly deal with the encroachers. 

Stating that more projects and schemes will be brought to the state in the coming years, Rio sought local support especially in matters related to land ownership which is a regular stumbling block in ‘out state’.  While voicing strong resentment against land encroachers, he asked the people to stop the ‘selfish practice’ of land encroachment. 

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He noted that all administrative officers in Medziphema have always discouraged land encroachment and expressed regret at the plight of government’s land. 

Rio directed all government offices to contain their allotted land and submit proposals to protect the same. 

Acknowledging the contributions of Medziphema village in protecting government land, he stressed that proper demarcations and landmarks should be erected to stop this evil practice. 

Rio also requested organisations and NGOs to continue assisting the government in all related issues so that the public properties can be protected in order to execute expansion and development activities in due course of time without hindrances. 

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He quoted Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous saying, “Small minds discuss people, great minds discuss ideas”. He said, “Small minds are usually critical. “We should be broad minded, discuss ideas for development, tribal unity and peaceful coexistence.” 

Rio expressed satisfaction at the overall construction works of the stadium, built under local area development programme fund for 2019-2020, and lauded the concerted efforts of all concerned towards its successful completion. 

He emphasised that the infrastructure should be maintained and utilised to its optimum, taking it as a challenge to secure it from elements that may be detrimental to the new stadium. 

Rio opined that sportspersons should not only possess sporting spirit but also cleanliness, civic sense, good behaviour in and out of the court and a sense of belonging. 

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com