‘Vote for change, not to be in chains’

SHILLONG, Feb 27: Jail Road is amongst one of Shillong’s oldest localities. On Sunday, the Jail Road Welfare Committee inaugurated the beautification project which is part of the Special Urban Works Programme (SUWP) under the MLA Scheme.
North Shillong MLA Adelbert Nongrum unveiled the project which includes a side garden with trees being planted and three monoliths installed as a memorial.
Addressing the inaugural function, the MLA lauded the residents of Jail Road for taking the initiative to spruce up the entire locality on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Statehood.
Stating that for two years many have been in pain and agony due to the pandemic, Nongrum paid his condolences to those that have lost their loved ones to COVID-19.
“As MLA it is my duty to ensure that development must be for all not for some individuals only and development continues to play a vital role both for the constituency and the state,” he said.
He rued that the earlier MLAs who were also ministers did not do enough for the constituency. “I have decided to remain an MLA and not a minister because I can serve even as an MLA,” Adelbert said.
Speaking about the need to end the communal conflicts, Adelbert said, “I want to build a bridge between all communities. Let peace and harmony be restored in our state. We have seen several agitations on the streets of Shillong that never yielded anything. Now we have to work towards development.”
He urged the business community to also contribute to community services while they carry out their businesses. “Jail Road should be a role model for Shillong. This is an intellectual constituency and it should lead the way as it is doing now,” the North Shillong MLA said, adding that it should be the endeavour of all to restore the glory of Shillong.
Exhorting the Jail Road Committee  to show leadership and enthuse the residents to volunteer to keep the locality clean, Adelbert said, “Leaders should not only do what is good but also what is right.”
Not missing an opportunity to raise the election bogey now that elections are exactly a year away, Adelbert reminded the residents of Jail Road that people expect a government to bring change for the better, not to put people in chains.
Earlier, the general secretary of the Jail Road Welfare Committee informed the gathering that the painting on the walls to observe the Amrit Mahotsav or India’s 75th year of Independence were done with a lot of thought. The wall paintings are educative and a mine of information. In one wall painting is a list of all the Chief Ministers of Meghalaya from Capt WA Sangma to Conrad K Sangma and the first Governor, BK Nehru to the 19th Governor, Satya Pal Malik. The wall serves as a ready reckoner for students.
In another part of the locality is a painting of Padma Bhushan Prof Shiba Prasad Chatterjee who gave India its first map and also coined the name “Meghalaya.”
Headman and President of the Jail Road Welfare Committee, Prosenjit Dey said the people of Jail Road would try their utmost to sustain the momentum that has been started to keep the locality clean, although that is a huge challenge and the cooperation of every resident is crucial.
Later Dey and other members of the Committee took the MLA and other dignitaries around the locality to see the different utilities constructed from the MLA funds which included a spanky clean pay toilet and the different paintings and quotations on the walls. Dey informed that the contractor for the beautification project, Constantine Thma, had started the construction work even before sanction for the same was received. It was evident that the contractor had put his best foot forward in the project.
It may be mentioned that Team Jiva led by Jiwat Vaswani, also a resident of Jail Road, has been in the forefront in keeping the locality clean as they have done with other parts of the city.

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