By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The tiny Hill State of Meghalaya is all set to have three more districts — two in Garo Hills and one in Jaintia Hills.
The announcement for creation of the three new districts in the State came directly from Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma here on Friday.
Announcing the creation of three new districts, Dr Sangma informed news persons that Khliehriat (Jaintia Hills), Ampati (West Garo Hills) and Resubelpara (East Garo Hills) Civil Sub-Divisions would be upgraded into full-fledged districts bringing the total number of districts in Meghalaya to ten.
However, the names of the proposed district have not been decided as yet and the Government is in favour of allowing the people to decide the names of these upcoming districts.
The creation of three new districts would entail huge expenses, the Chief Minister noted, but claimed that the State Government is in a much better financial shape now.
Dr Sangma also informed that a committee has been formed under the Chief Secretary to work out the details of fiscal requirements for the proposed three districts.
“Creation of the three districts would stop the large migration of rural population to urban areas since the Government would embark on infrastructure creation in the proposed districts which would in turn open up new avenues for the rural population,” he stated.
“We will strategize planned development in these districts,” Dr Sangma said, adding that the Government will create housing complexes for the Government employees.
According to Dr Sangma, the State Government was open to the idea of creating more districts in the State and they were even contemplating to carve out a separate district in Shillong which would cater to the urban areas.
“There will be a need for more districts in urban areas and we want to complete the entire exercise in the 12th Five-Year Plan,” Dr Sangma told reporters.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister sought to downplay the issue of awarding district status to Ampati, a constituency which he himself represents.
Replying to a query, Dr Sangma stated that it was not important who was representing a particular constituency as long as the wishes of the people were being fulfilled.
However, the decision has drawn flak from certain quarters in the NCP Youth Wing. Their Mawkyrwat block asserted that the present MUA Government is anti West Khasi Hills.
NCP youth wing president Commander Shangplaing said, “The Government’s decision is not justified as Mawkyrwat Civil Sub-division is the largest area in West Khasi Hills and it deserves to get a full-fledged district status.
“It seems the Government is not at all bothered about the development of West Khasi Hills. At least one more district should have been created in West Khasi Hills district instead of awarding two districts to Garo Hills.
Meanwhile, a delegation of North Garo Hills District Public Demand committee under the leadership of former Chief Minister Salseng C Marak met the Chief Minister on Friday and demanded for a new North Garo Hills district.
It may be mentioned that the Mairang Assembly Youth Congress (MAYC) had, earlier this week, demanded for upgradation of Mairang Civil Sub-Division into a full-fledged district.