A delegation of Bhandari District Demand Committee (BDDC) and Lower Lotha Oil and Mineral Bearing Zone Association (LLOMBZA) today appealed to the State government for upgradation of Bhandari Sub-division under Wokha district to new Bhandari district and also to expedite the Amendment of NPNG Rules and Regulations 2012.
Calling on Chief Minister TR Zeliang at his residential office, the delegation submitted a memorandum for creation of Bhandari district headquarters citing problems of road accessibility, administrative convenience and backwardness of the areas.
Expressing concern over the issue, the Chief Minister assured the delegation to look into the matter after a report from verification team who would study on the feasibility for creation of new district.
He said, considering the border problem with Assam, lack of road and communication accessibility and economic disadvantage, it is important to open up a mineral resource stacked Bhandari to a new horizon of development. He therefore urged the delegation to convince those sections of people who reserve agreement to exploration and exploitation of mineral resources which would otherwise benefit the people of the State.
The Chief Minister informed the delegation about the productive negotiation traded between the Government of Nagaland and the Centre on the constitutional legality, modalities and share ratio between stakeholders, worked out for exploration of petroleum and natural gas in pockets of the State.
He however, regretted that such endeavour has been put on halt due to PIL filed in the court of law by local people themselves. The Chief Minister requested the delegation to discuss among themselves and come out for amicable settlement out of the court. He also enquired about the road condition and construction of bridges in Bhandari sub-division.
The proposed Bhandari district has a total area of 778.74 Sq.kms with 73 villages and lies 70 Kms away from Wokha district headquarters and borders with Assam in the West which runs 115 Kms.
Though the Lothas are the main inhabitants of the Nagaland’s oldest sub-division, there are sizable presence of Sumi and Karbi populations. Bhandari is richly endowed with natural and mineral resources but it is hardly accessible by vehicular road and people are often require to travel via Assam. Till today, the government has declared it as ‘Economically and Developmentally Backward Area since 1983.