Dimapur, 6 October (MTNews): “In Nagaland, everything is done randomly. There is no planning; even our cities are not planned,” remarked Hekhani Jakhalu, Advisor of the Department of Industries and Commerce. She made these remarks during her speech at the inaugural event of the “Seminar on Industry, Business, and Entrepreneurship via the Foothills Road” held on October 6th at The Four Seasons Hotel in Dimapur.
As the chief guest, Jakhalu underscored the unfortunate trend of many programs in Nagaland failing due to a lack of careful planning. She encouraged people to raise awareness about this issue. The seminar was organized by Educentre School of Business. Expressing her happiness to be part of the seminar, she also said it was “Preparing ourselves as we anticipate completion of the much awaited life line of our state.”
Regarding the Foothill Road, Jakhalu pointed out that it was initially funded through Special Plan Assistance under the Planning Commission. However, with changes in policy and the dissolution of the Planning Commission, funding came to a halt. Jakhalu acknowledged the efforts of the Nagaland Foothill Road Coordination Committee in supporting the project but noted its sheer scale, which exceeds the funding capacity of the Nagaland government. Nonetheless, she assured that the Nagaland government is actively seeking funds for the road’s completion.
The Foothill Road stretches from Peren District to Tizit in Mon District, covering an extensive distance of approximately 396 kilometers. Jakhalu also mentioned the government’s ongoing struggle to secure funding for this road project but added that the Chief Minister is dedicated to securing the necessary funds.
Talking to local media on the sidelines of the event, Jakhalu touched upon the poor road conditions in the state and explained that while National highways fall under the jurisdiction of the central government, other roads are the responsibility of the state government. Unfortunately, the state government faces financial constraints as it struggles to generate sufficient revenue. She also highlighted the issue of an overstaffed government workforce in Nagaland, boasting the highest ratio of government job employment, emphasizing the urgent need for private sector growth to stimulate the state’s economy.
Jakhalu observed that there are many commendable schemes and projects that require meticulous documentation. Regrettably, people often opt for shortcuts or bypass opportunities if the subsidies are insufficient. She called for a change in mindset and emphasized the importance of launching robust awareness campaigns.
Furthermore, she clarified that the intended location for the Unity Mall was never Dimapur but, in fact, Chumoukedima from the very beginning. She expressed concerns about the prevalent tendency in society to level baseless allegations without substantiated evidence, which ultimately contributes to societal divisions.