Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio speaking at the inaugural programme of Kigwema Village Council hall on Thursday.

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday deplored the conflicts and discords within the village councils and village development boards in the State.

He said that this leads to the stalling of projects and dispersal of funds at the village level.

Asking the village councils to work in unity and avoid litigation of disputes in the High Court, Rio called for more unity and cooperation at the village council level.

Inaugurating the new Kigwema Village Council hall building at Kigwema village in Kohima district, Rio highlighted the unique role the village councils play in the Naga context.

He said respecting the Naga customary laws, the Indian Constitution has exempted the State from Panchayati Raj Institution.

He emphasized the need to protect, uphold and practice the unique customary laws and traditions of the Nagas.

He reminded that in the village council system, the leaders are not elected but nominated based on the consent of the village council members.

Rio also shared the difficulties faced by the State government in planning due to incorrect and discrepancies in tabulating the census in the past.

He said this has given rise to a number of problems such as the excess appointment of teachers and the setting up of government schools with a disproportionate student-teacher ratio.

He said the schools with zero pass percentage in the last 3-4 years and those with no students will be combined with other schools.

Similarly in the election process, he said, Aadhar based biometric systems need to be used to avoid frauds in voting.

Rio also stressed the importance of self-sufficiency in food production and the need for a modern farming method.

Exhorting the youths to venture into agriculture and allied sectors, Rio acknowledged the importance of education in development.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: