Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) on Thursday has asked Neiphiu Rio-led ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government in Nagaland to pursue with a missionary zeal the various road projects put up by the previous government with the Government of India and bring the proposals to fruition. It said the government of the day should not find flimsy excuses “to mint money by the coterie of contractors supporting the PDA government at the expense of the public”.
In a press communiqué, the NPF described Rio-led PDA government’s announcement on the day of swearing-in on March 8 that roads in all the district headquarters would be repaired within 60 days as a welcome change which has been received very well by everyone.
“But making an announcement is one thing, and implementing the announcement is quite a different thing altogether considering the bleak fact that there are no funds with the state government,” the Opposition party said.
It sought to know whether Rio is going to wave a magic wand and produce new sanctions from thin air or is he going to let “his coterie of contractors” execute the works without following any procedure or formality, provide haphazard jobs and escalate the costs astronomically while making payments through additional funds in the long run.
“The latter is most likely and we can expect the deficit level of the state’s finances to further worsen in the days to come,” the party felt. “Indeed, change is coming,” it quipped in obvious reference to Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP)-BJP alliance joint slogan before the state Assembly elections “Change is coming”.
Maintaining that the bad road condition in Nagaland has always been the main concern of the then NPF-led DAN Government, the NPF said the former Chief Ministers TR Zeliang and Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu had taken up the matter on a war footing with the Central Government.
Their persistence and perseverance have paid off and the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has finally announced approval of 12 road projects in the state amounting to over Rs 3000 crore which is a record of sorts in itself, the party stated.
The NPF also placed on record its deep appreciation to the Government of India for heeding to its demands.
After all, the former governments headed by Dr Shurhozelie and TR Zeliang, in spite of the political instability “created by Rio himself” ever since he left for Delhi, had tried their best to provide quality roads to the people of Nagaland with a dream to crisscross the width and breadth of the state with National Highways that the people of the state could be proud of, the party stated.