Mokokchung, 17 March (MTNews): As Government of Nagaland took up the proposed 2 lane Foothills Road Project from FY 2023-24, the Nagaland Foothills Road Coordination Committee (NFHRCC) has adopted several resolutions aimed at safeguarding the interests of the Naga public and ensuring the transparent and effective execution of the project.

The NFHRCC appealed to the Government to recognize the Nagaland Foothills Road as an ‘Extraordinary Project,’ emphasizing that landowners willingly contributed their land without compensation, and even the Naga Political Groups fully understood not to levy any forms of taxation. Therefore, in order to maintain transparency and the quality of workmanship in the project, the Committee said that a ‘Tripartite agreement’ should be entered into between the concerned Department, Contractor, and NFHRCC.

Recognizing the historical significance of the Nagaland Foothills Road, which is the one and only project that has been initiated and spearheaded by Naga civil society organizations for the past 11 years, the NFHRCC has resolved to prevent any politicization of the project. The committee said they are committed to safeguarding the project’s integrity and serving the interests of the Naga public without succumbing to political influences.

Acknowledging the dire condition of the Foothills Road stretch from Tizit to Khelma, the NFHRCC has appealed to the Government to allocate additional funds for the Khelma sector. The committee highlighted that the road condition is so pathetic that “many of our brothers and sisters are still limping on the cactus.”

The Committee also resolved to give connectivity road to Rengmapani “with the view of bringing even development within the family and to bind us together with the chain of love and Honor. Therefore, the committee suggested that an additional fund must be provided to capture the missing link.”

The NFHRCC reiterated its stance on land compensation and taxation, emphasizing that no compensation or taxation will be levied in connection with the Foothills Road construction. Furthermore, the committee reaffirmed that the Foothills Road will be two lane 40 feet width in consonance with 2013 agreement and NOC provided to the State government by the committee as endorsed by the Apex Tribal HOHOs.

Building upon a joint declaration signed on 7 April 2014 between the NFHRCC and the Nagaland Contractors and Suppliers Union, the committee reaffirmed its collaboration with relevant stakeholders to support the Foothills Road project until its completion.

Being an extraordinary project, the committee suggested that the selection of Contractors/Tendering process should be done “extraordinarily” or in other words “extraordinary yardstick should be applied while exercising selection of contractors/tendering process with the sole intention to safeguard the Historic project from the clutches of any wanted elements,” NFHRCC said.

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