By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The access to Meghalaya Secretariat has become a gigantic exercise for the commoners, especially villagers who want to meet their elected representatives or officers.
Even journalists, who are not accredited, face problems in entering the Secretariat even as a formal letter of request to allow them in is still pending with Secretariat Administration Department (SAD) since last year.
The non accredited journalists, who even show their ID cards from respective news organizations they represent, are often harassed by the men guarding the entrances of both the Main and Additional Secretariats.
Besides restriction on the visitors due to the installation of access control equipment, which were installed
at various Government offices at the cost of several lakhs of rupees, there is also the ‘no visitors day’ declared on a few days in a week, further restricting entry of the people.
With the access control equipment installed in all the entrances, the villagers have to often argue with those guarding the Secretariat.
Quite a few policemen are deployed to guard the various entrances of both main and additional Secretariats and critics term it as a wastage of manpower on part of the police department.
The critics also say that there has not been a serious incident of security breach at the Secretariat and provisions should be made to provide easy access to the Secretariat while adhering with the necessary security measures like checking of the visitors.
Critics observed that the current security measures have deterred many from visiting the Secretariat.
When contacted, SAD Principal Secretary, P Naik said that there was never any incident where any body was denied access into the Secretariat.
“Villagers can come and take pass to enter the Secretariat without any problems,” he said while adding that Monday and Wednesday are ‘no visitors day’ when general people cannot enter Secretariat.