Conrad asks officials to visit places to know people’s problems

SHILLONG: Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma has called upon state officials to visit different places of the state to understand the problem of people.

Addressing the state Assembly on Tuesday , Conrad Sangma said  he along with others including DGP and Chief Secretary  recently visited Baghmara and spent two days there to see the problem of the people.

He urged officers to get their hands dirty and visit different places to understand the ground reality

“ You cannot sit in Shillong and expect changes to come,” he said

Earlier, the Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma said that the  Meghalaya Government would initiate talks with Assam on the long vexed boundary dispute after the Lok Sabha elections for a permanent solution

Stating that the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act should be given more teeth, he, however,  called for maintaining a balance on how to deal  with people who come here for transit or tourists purpose and the people who come here to stay.

As far as the financial  problems in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, the Chief Minister informed that the Government had released  Rs 17 crores out of which four months’ salary of the staff have been paid, adding the Government has also decided to   appoint one Meghalaya Civil Service (MCS) officer as the secretary of the GHADC.

As far as the ongoing rescue operations at Ksan where  15  coal miners were trapped in an illegal coal mine  three months back, he said that the Government had spent over Rs 2 crores in the rescue operations and the Government may request the Supreme Court to take a call on the matter since the apex court is monitoring the entire rescue operations.

Meanwhile, Conrad Sangma slammed the previous Government over the poor financial condition of the state saying the state was about to collapse in the turbulence but the MDA Government have  managed the situation somehow but a lot more  is still required to be done.

He alleged that  the previous Government had not released funds for the old age pension under the CM social assistance scheme   from the year  2017-18  and the MDA Government had to spent as much as  114  crore for the scheme.

Citing another example, he said that ASHA workers in the state were not paid their salary since  2014  and the incumbent Government recently paid Rs  20  crores out of Rs   40-50  crores arrear.

Slamming the previous Government over the sorry state of power scenario in the state, he informed that the  State Government had to pay over Rs  570  crore to NEEPCO for the power dues and 80  percent of the dues were there before 2018.

“ If the previous Government had paid money on time , we would not have the face the problem of power cuts today” the Chief Minister said

Sangma also took a jibe at the Government for sanctioning projects over  Rs 200-300  crores just before few months of the Assembly elections in  2017 despite going beyond the permissible amount and a result of which the Government was not able to give new projects  in  2018-19.

Reiterating that the State Government is going to bring white papers on all departments, he said that the process of preparing the white paper for  agriculture department had started and it showed that Organic Agar and Bamboo plantation scheme   was implemented in  2015  without any guideline and the guidelines were framed only in  2016.

He said that Meghalamp is another project which has been sanctioned for  Rs   1189 crores and  only 71 crore was earmarked for rural roads, adding people thought this programme was only for roads and there was differences and hence as a result of which the  programme was in cold storage for four years.

Sangma also said that the permanent Assembly building was yet to be completed but the MDA Government was firm on making new assembly building for which the work has been allotted even as he hoped that the   new Assembly building would be completed before the state celebrates its  50  years of existence.

He also said that the ISBT at Tura was inaugurated recently and now the Government wants to turn the project and its surrounding areas into a logistic hub, adding that the work for the Mawlai byepass which was pending for many years is now nearing its completion and the work will be completed by June or July.

The Chief Minister also informed that the state was getting funds under article 275  from the  Ministry of Tribal Affairs and now the State is also getting  funds from the   tribal sub  plan scheme.


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