Kohima: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu Thursday called for fast-tracking infrastructure development and connectivity projects in the North East for the all-round development of the region.
Naidu said that infrastructure development is vital to improving the ease of living, enhancing trade, improving schooling outcomes, health indicators, security situation and attracting tourists to the region. “Improving infrastructure has multiplier benefits for the economy”, he added.
The Vice President was speaking at an event marking the virtual inauguration of various buildings and complexes in Nagaland- Office Building of Directorate of IT & C, Kohima, buildings of a few government high schools and the Ministers’ Residential Complex, Kohima. Naidu, who is on a tour of the North East, arrived in Nagaland Thursday.
Referring to the Sustainable Development Goal indicators in the SDG India Index 2021, Naidu appreciated the performance of Nagaland with respect to certain indices such as ‘gender equality’, ‘decent work and economic growth’, and ‘life on land’. He called for improvement in indicators such as health and well-being, industry, innovation and infrastructure. The Vice President lauded Nagaland for being the state with the lowest crimes against women in the entire nation.
Calling for complete transparency in the execution of infrastructure projects, Naidu said there should be “zero tolerance towards corruption as corruption is the enemy of development .”
Highlighting the importance of timely delivery of government services, Naidu said, “In the age of the internet when many other services are available to people at the click of a button, governance should not lag behind.” He suggested ensuring time-bound delivery of services to the people in a seamless manner.
Naidu also called for involving citizens in the delivery process, noting how participatory mechanisms like social audit will ensure quality and accountability in government schemes.
Observing how the agri-sector performed well even during the pandemic, the Vice President suggested infusing more technology in agriculture to make it more rewarding and lucrative. He said farmers should be encouraged to utilise facilities such as the soil testing laboratory at Kohima that was recently inaugurated to ensure beneficial dividends to them.
Stressing that peace is a necessary prerequisite for progress, Naidu said that it is also the only way forward. ‘Any issue can be resolved by ‘discuss, debate and decide’’, Naidu added. He called upon the Central, State and local governments to work in the spirit of Team India to take the state, the region and the country to greater heights on all fronts. He suggested proactive sharing of best practices in development between the states.
Later, the Vice President interacted with the HSSLC 2021 Toppers from Nagaland and the National Teacher Awardees from the state. Commending their achievements, Naidu encouraged them to aim high and continue to pursue excellence in academics. He also advised them to follow a discipline life and maintain physical fitness. Referring to the demographic advantage India has, Naidu observed that if we effectively skill our youth, we can create a workforce that can meet the market demands of the globalised world.
On this occasion, Naidu also interacted with Governor’s award winners from the state in the fields of literature, culture and performing arts. Complimenting their successes, Naidu noted that art and music are integral part of our culture and heritage and there is a need to preserve them with earnestness.
Governor of Nagaland, Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Chief Secretary J. Alam and other dignitaries were present during the event.