Not much to cheer about

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: There is nothing much to cheer about the completion of 100 days in office by the Congress-led MUA II coalition Government which is yet to tone up the administration amid criticism in handling rape cases and addressing the issue of militancy in the State.

The Government is also marred in controversies following the shoddy implementation of Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS).

Moreover, with the formation of a strong Lokayukta still pending, there is no effective mechanism currently to check corruption.

The MUA II which completed 100 days in office on June 14, after Dr Mukul Sangma was sworn in as the Chief Minister on March 5, has failed to come up with any new programmes for the growth and development of the State.

The Congress led Government has also failed to follow up on many of its commitments which it had made during the last tenure.

The Government, however, continues to give importance to the Integrated Basin Development Livelihood Programme and Aquaculture Mission hoping to bring a change.

Inaction on the recommendations of the High Level Committee (HLC) on influx headed by former Deputy Chief Minister Bindo Mathew Lanong which recommended the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) and lack of dialogue with Assam on the inter-State border row since assuming office however goes against the credentials of the Government.

Meanwhile, the law and order situation in the State has deteriorated especially in the Garo Hills region. The number of rape cases against women is also on the rise. The recent incident of alleged rape of two minor sisters by the absconding sub inspector Nurul Isalm is a case in point.

There are reports that many of the government employees working in the various departments in Garo Hills have been served with demand notes by the militant outfits even as majority of the cases have not been officially reported.

What is worse is that the MUA II Government has been hit with several controversies including the lacunae in the implementation of Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme and also the CMJ University scam.

When contacted, HSPDP legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit said that the MUA II Government has done nothing in these 100 days of being in office.

“I cannot recall anything good the present Government has done for the betterment of the State” Basaiawmoit said on Sunday.

On the law and order front, he said that the crime rate is on the rise even as the law and order situation in Garo Hills region is in bad shape.

“The Government has failed to take any steps to address the law and order problem,” the HSPDP legislator said.

The irregularities in the functioning of private universities have come to light not because of the efforts taken by the Government, the legislator said, adding that that this was possible due to the intervention of Governor Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary who has exposed various irregularities in the CMJ University.

“We had demanded from the Government right from 2010 to conduct an inquiry into the functioning of the various private universities in the State. But sadly, the Government did not bother to institute any inquiry,” he said.

The HSPDP legislator said that boundary problem with Assam continues to linger even as the local villagers residing in the villages along the inter-State border continue to face various kinds of hardships due to lackadaisical attitude of the Government.

He said that the Government is yet to approve the much awaited Water Policy to save and protect the various water bodies which are facing a severe threat.

“Despite the passing the Compulsory Registration Act, the Government is yet to take steps to implement it,” Basaiawmoit said.

Freedom Project member Angela Rangad said that the Government seems to be on a holiday mood since it has done nothing to appreciate about since its inception.

“The Government had a golden opportunity to come up with a strong Lokayukta Act. But sadly, they decided to come up with an Act which needs to be amended,” Rangad said while adding that after passing of the Act, the Government is yet to appoint the people who would lead the Lokayukta in the State.

“This shows the lack of seriousness on the part of the Government,” Rangad said.

She said that the Government has also failed to address the problem of crime against women, especially in giving protection to the rape victims.

“We have demanded for creation of separate of Directorate of Prosecution to speed up the prosecution of the rape accused. If the Government cannot come up with the separate directorate, it should at least adopt the model introduced by the Maharashtra Government where the Government would give the rape victims the opportunity to appoint their own lawyers and then it would bear the expenses of the lawyer,” Rangad said while adding that this would provide some kind of respite to the victim.

She also questioned the Government for failing to solve the problem of unemployment even as expressing that she has strong doubts that the Government would be able to create a large number of jobs both in the Government and non-Government sector which had been highlighted in the party manifesto.

KSU president Daniel Khyriem said that the Congress led MUA II Government has failed to live up to the expectations of the people during its 100 days of being in governance.

“The Government has come up with various hoardings and advertisements on its various achievements. But sadly at the ground level, people are crying for development,” Khyriem said.

He said that the Government has failed to keep a check on the functioning of the various private universities which are playing with the future of the students.

“The scam in the CMJ University is a reflection of the irregularities which are prevailing in the private universities… It was only the pressure from the Governor which finally compelled the Government to take stringent action against this tainted university,” KSU president said.

Despite promising to create a certain number of jobs in the party manifesto, he said that the Congress led Government has failed to take any immediate steps to create employment opportunities for the hundreds of unemployed youth.

“It is really disheartening to see that the Grade IV qualified candidates have come out on the street for their right to get appointments. The Government could have easily accommodated the Grade IV qualified candidates if it would have been serious in acting against backdoor appointments,” he said while stating that the Government should not wait for the NGOs to expose the backdoor appointments to initiate action.

The KSU president also slammed the Government for failing to come up with a mechanism to tackle the problem of influx.

“We were expecting the Government to immediately act on the recommendations of the HLC on influx as the HLC had recommended the implementation of the ILP to tackle this problem,” Khyriem said.

He also criticized the Government for failing to take forward the discussion with the Assam Government to resolve the long pending boundary dispute.

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