Protective constitutional provision obstructing development in Nagaland

Landowners do not allow development activities in their land without compensation but seek government help for damages caused by natural disasters.

Published: 25th May 2019 10:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th May 2019 10:45 PM   |  A+A-

Nagaland map

Nagaland map (Screengrab from Google)

By PTI

KHIMA: A constitutional provision that guarantees protective rights to the Nagas has turned out to be a "stumbling block" for the development process in Nagaland, an advisor to the state government said on Saturday.

Landowners do not allow development activities in their land without compensation but seek government help for damages caused by natural disasters, Dr Neikiesalie Nicky Kire, also an MLA said at a programme here.

"Using the provisions of Article 371(A), landowners do not allow the government to carry on with development activities in their land and seek higher rates of compensation," said Kire, an advisor to the state's rural development department.

Art 371(A) deals with special provisions with respect to Nagaland.

It states that no act of Parliament with respect to religious or social practices of the Nagas, Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law, ownership and transfer of land and its resources, shall apply to the state unless the Legislative Assembly by a resolution so decides.

"If the Nagas want to protect their land through Article 371(A), they should also take care of the damages caused to their personal properties instead of blaming the government for everything," he said.

Asking the Nagas to be far-sighted, Kire said development activities are for the general welfare of the people.

The MLA also noted that jobs in the government sector have reached a saturation point and urged educated Naga youths to face the challenges of competition.

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