Spare a thought for ordinary mortals

Editor

Through your esteemed paper, I would like to draw the attention of the government and local district administration to the following issues.

During the current lockdown, it has been observed that on many occasions, new orders related to curfew timings, opening of shops etc., in East Khasi Hills District have been implemented at short notice causing extreme inconvenience to traders, shop owners, vendors and the general public. For instance in the current week,we came to know from news report May 18, 2020 that the retail shops will be opened from Wednesday to Saturday whereas in the previous weeks,such shops were opened from Tuesday to Saturday. Similar incidents happened earlier also which caused enormous problems to the public in meeting their household requirements particularly for the aged and the infirm. The worst affected are farmers, vegetable suppliers and sellers because of the perishable nature of these items. Imagine the plight of traders and sellers who expect to sell their vegetables on Monday and accordingly made all arrangement for the same the previous days only to be told at the last moment that they would be allowed to sell only on the next day.

In this regard, people living in rural areas are placed in a more disadvantageous position due to communication issues and constraints. It is preferable to avoid frequent and unnecessary changes in respect of restrictions and whenever changes are inevitable, it may be ensured that information is given well in advance to allow ample time for the concerned people to make necessary arrangements. Further,it is requested that public announcements through PA system may be made at the proper timings and not during odd hours which is not only ineffective but may also lead to panic and sleep deprivation.

The gradual lifting of restrictions on various activities has come as a big relief to the general public especially to the daily wage earners and the self-employed sections of the society.But people face problems as public transport has still not been allowed in Shillong and its agglomeration. There is need to arrange plying of special buses at regular intervals in Shillong and its outskirts for general passengers which will be of immense help to the people in the unorganized sector, attendants of patients and others who depend on public transport to commute and who, at present, have no alternative but to walk for hours to and from their respective destinations braving the heat and rain leaving them exhausted,drenched and vulnerable to various types of diseases. Furthermore, senior citizens and sick persons face serious difficulties as many of them depend on the service of helpers, who in some cases stay far from their residences, for their daily chores and running their errands especially during the present situation considering the government advisory to stay at home.

Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request

Arbitrary transfers & promotions in MeECL

Editor,

Immediately after taking over as the Chairman cum Managing Director, Meghalaya Electric Corporation Limited (MeECL), A Nikhla, MCS, without proper review, thorough study and detailed examination on the over-all working of the Corporation and positioning of personnel, hurriedly issued a slew of orders for promotion and transfer of many high ranking personnel manning the subsidiaries of the Corporation at different levels. It is important to point out here that the CMD assumed office on December 18, 2019 and issued a series of orders on December 20, 2019, January 15, 2020, March 2, 2020, March 9, 2020, March13, 2020 and May 6, 2020. All orders pertain to promotion and transfer of officers which has caused consternation and discontentment among the rank and file of engineers.

While I firmly believe that the CMD, has no malafide intention in issuing the transfer and posting orders in the larger good of the Corporation, it is alleged that the orders were executed in a hurry without thorough review and detailed examination of the overall smooth working of the subsidiaries of the Corporation. It is also alleged that in the rush to effect such promotion and transfer of officers, the criteria, rules and procedures of the Corporation were  overlooked such as due appraisal of the service records, merit, marks and performances of officers which were not given due consideration. Again it is alleged that judicious application of mind and due diligence was not applied and hence many deserving officers (Engineers) were conveniently sidelined and kept out of the promotion and transfer net. Moreover, it is also alleged that there was no basis and proper justification for such actions which include appointment of the consultant. Allegations also are that promotions were given out of turn in the absence of vacancies, thereby superseding other officers. Another allegation is that some officers have been transferred out after a very short tenure.

In another matter unrelated to the above, it is my contention that the days are not far off when the Corporation will collapse under its own weight because of its top heavy structure, absence of corporate work culture, poor resources (revenue) and heavy outstanding loans. Unless suitable reforms are brought in, corporate culture and managerial skills are injected into it, revenue earnings are improved which include hard bargain with Meghalaya State Electricity Regulatory Commission on tariff and by taking up more power projects, MeECL will not be able to make itself relevant in the power market. Again, to make MeECL relevant to the fast changing power scenario we need an active, dynamic, able and far sighted Power Department. At present the Power Department in the state is ineffective, incompetent and dormant.

Yours etc.

Philip Marwein,

Shillong-2

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