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Inauguration spree ahead of 2018 polls
SHILLONG: It’s Ampati, the home constituency of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and headquarters of South West Garo Hills, all the way if one looks at the inauguration of large number of projects in the last two months.
Starting from the 45th Meghalaya Day in Ampati on January 21 till the inauguration of Salmanpara police station on Friday, the chief minister’s direct or indirect presence was always felt.
While critics indicated that Sangma’s move is election oriented, party sources said development is the only agenda of the Government. However, they did not give a clear answer to the question on equitable distribution of schemes and projects.
While the chief minister took special interest and was present at the celebration of the 45th Meghalaya Day in Ampati, he deputed his wife and legislator Dikkanchi Shira to be the chief guest for the 68th Republic Day celebration in his constituency on January 26.
Later, he went on a foundation stone-laying spree in Ampati and parts of South West Garo Hills.
On January 30, Sangma, along with the Union Minister for Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, inaugurated the first apparel and garment centre in Ampati aimed at appeasing the people of his constituency.
Later on February 6, the chief minister inaugurated two suspension footbridges on the Daru River near Ampati. Curiously, on February 10, Chief Secretary K.S Kropha and Principal Secretary, Planning, Programme Implementation and Evaluation, R.M Mishra, went to South West Garo Hills to inspect a few development project sites, including the apparel and garment making centre at Hatisil in Ampati. The duo also visited the tourism development site at the Chenga-Benga lake near Garobadha.
It is yet to be known whether the chief minister had directed the officials to visit Ampati and other parts of Garo Hills.
Yet again on February 13, the chief minister inaugurated the new building of Mukdangra Secondary School in South West Garo Hills, constructed at the cost of Rs 30 lakh. It was sponsored under the Inter-State Border Area Development Programme (ISBADP) 2014-15 through the Border Area Development Department.
Boost to district farmers
The next day, Sangma distributed treadle pumps among farmers in South West Garo Hills under the Agriculture Department. He also distributed cheques among farmers who had successfully taken up agar and bamboo plantation in the past one year.
The government chose the Xylem Water Solutions India Pvt Ltd, Noida (UP), to provide its services to farmers through its Saaji Treadle Pump in rice growing areas of West and South West Garo Hills. The pump is specially designed for abstracting water from wells, ponds, streams and canals with effective suction and delivery head of 20 ft each with water output of 2,000 litre per hour. The Noida firm is experimenting the project in Ampati, a first in the North East.
Another project inaugurated by the chief minister was on February 20. It was the Multi-Facility Centre (MFC).
He also handed over a medicine truck as well as an ambulance to the PHC under the Border Area Development Programmes at Darong Adu, Purakhasia.
On February 23, the Government launched the first ever district-level innovators’ meet in Ampati with a view to create a platform for innovators to showcase their ingenious problem solving ideas. However, the chief minister was not present at the event.
The meet was sponsored by National Innovation Foundation, India, and State Council of Science, Technology and Environment, Shillong, in collaboration with the District Planning Office, Ampati. Sangma is holding the planning portfolio.
The chief minister can also boast of being in the forefront of inaugurating District and Sessions Court in Ampati, South West Garo Hills on February 24. Other three new districts are yet to separate Judiciary from Executive.
New police station
Another project that Sangma inaugurated this month was the opening of the new police station at Salmanpara in South West Garo Hills on February 24. He also laid the foundation stone for its construction.
Yet gain on the same day, Sangma and Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Zentih Sangma jointly inaugurated an exhibition sponsored by Meghalaya New and Renewable Energy Development Agency in Ampati.
Other initiatives of the chief minister in Garo Hills were the laying of the foundation stone for the 41st Community and Rural Development Block at Demdema in West Garo Hills on January 28, visit to Ramie demonstration unit and nursery and interacting with farmers at Kharkutta in North Garo Hills on February 17 and donation of an ambulance to the Self-Help Group Cluster Centre at Mendal in East Garo Hills on the same day.
In most of the functions in South West Garo Hills, the chief minister was accompanied by his wife Shira, brother and Cabinet Minister Zentih and his wife Sadhiarani M. Sangma.
The Opposition in the past had criticised Mukul for being the ‘chief minister of Ampati’.
Some of the inaugurations:
January 30: State’s first apparel and garment centre inaugurated in Ampati.
February 6: Two suspension footbridges inaugurated on the Daru River near Ampati.
February 13: New building of Mukdangra Secondary School inaugurated in SWGH.
February 20: Multi-Facility Centre inaugurated in SWGH.
February 23: First district-level innovators’ meet launched in Ampati.
February 24: District and Sessions Court inaugurated in Ampati.