Wrong priorities of MDA Govt

Editor,

Given this government’s tendency to wear its religion on its sleeve – albeit only when it suits them – why does it have to take criticism from religious bodies and pressure groups to drive home the point that gambling is not exactly ‘good’ for the State? Surely they cannot pretend that casinos are only about revenue generation and that the safeguards they envisage are just delusional. Why doesn’t the government focus its attention on issues that need urgent solutions? The plight of teachers, social inequalities, shrinking forests, illegal coal transportation, traffic congestion, garbage disposal, dying rivers choked by plastic…to name but a few. All is not well with Meghalaya which has been on dwindling life support for a very long time.
Perhaps it is because casinos sound glamorous and carry with them the glitz and dazzle of metropolitan hubs that they are seized upon by the moneyed leaders of our state. Government approval of casinos is in stark contrast to the dismal support for the recent Meghalaya Games. I bet if even one or two of the athletes possessed a touch of celebrity, the red carpet would have been rolled out for them and five-star treatment doled out to show how much this government cares. But all the athletes brought with them was talent, hard work, idealism, determination, self-belief – qualities that cannot be translated into money and therefore would merit little government time and care. If this is how we treat our own then we will still have to look elsewhere for lessons in respect and honour.

Yours etc.
Janet Hujon
Via email

Undue negligence of the State Education Department

Editor,

Being a person concerned for the people and student community of the state, I am deeply pained to see the utter negligence of the State Education Department in discharging its obligatory duty with sensitivity with regards to the issues that directly concern students’ careers and functioning of educational institutions in the state. Earlier, the state education department circulated a wide notice containing the government’s comprehensive guidelines regarding the Covid-19 protocols that the educational institutes in Meghalaya have to abide by. According to the guidelines, certain restrictions in the functioning of colleges such as allowing only fifty percent of students to attend in a day, allotting classes on alternate days, restricting the presence of students to four hours time per day etc., were made mandatory. But ever since the Covid pandemic situation has significantly improved, some colleges have started functioning in full swing forgoing the guidelines, whereas some other colleges have still adhered to the guidelines.
The colleges are not enlightened whether the earlier government guidelines are still in force or revoked. This has led to the emergence of questions in the minds of students such as, “Why is our college not conducting normal classes whereas other colleges are back to normal? There is no uniformity in the functioning of colleges in Meghalaya because of this miscommunication. Some colleges have not resumed normal classes as they are adhering to government guidelines as they are apprehensive of possible penalties. It is a detrimental negligence of the concerned authorities in the State Education Department that keeps the college administration in the dark. The Government should come out with a fresh notice to address this issue. The matter should be taken seriously and with all the sensitivity required.

Yours etc.,
Wanjop U Laloo,
Via email

Money is not everything

Editor,

I write to question if Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are appropriate role models for the youth of Shillong, as was stated recently. Young people today are growing up in a confusing world that is at its all-time height of worldliness. Materialism and body consciousness rule the day. Money is the new God of modernity, with technology, its handmaid. Adding to the burden of this critical historical moment, we have all the existential crises that youth, in particular, are susceptible to. Young people do not yet understand the purpose of life. They do not yet have faith or wisdom. To push them further into the bottomless swamp of worldliness is to destroy them. If, instead, they are encouraged in the direction of ethics and self-purification, they will naturally become effective entrepreneurs. Zuckerberg and Musk hardly qualify as heroes or role models. If anything, theirs is the kind of mindset to avoid. A lifetime’s adoration of money from a very young age is hardly something Shillong youth should emulate. Instead, they should focus on that which money cannot purchase — moral character.

Yours etc.,
Deepa Majumdar,
Via email

FASTOM demands justified: Govt please accede

Editor,

The demands of the Federation of All Ad-hoc Schools of Meghalaya (FASTOM) of enhancement of pay from the present slab to Rs.18,000 and an annual increment of just 5 per cent is peanuts. By paying only this much for the valuable, dedicated, untiring services of the school teachers is not only exploitation but in fact it is an insult to our respected teachers. To demand deficit pay scales for the Ad-hoc teachers is not wrong but it might not be feasible. How much salary are the MLAs, Ministers, the officers and the useless political appointees paid per month from the public exchequer ? Again, there is enough government money to pay crore of rupees for government appointees and also for useless government festivals, like the Cherry Blossom, Megong, Dawki River festival and also other fruitless government spending just for ministers and officials to make hay while the sun shines while claiming that there’s no money to pay school teachers. The majority of teachers get their salaries after a gap of five – six months or even longer. Enough is enough please!
MDA Government, where is your priority and responsibility? Where do you spend the taxes, royalties, cess, CSR collections, illegal collections from illegal transportation of coal trucks, illegal mining of coal, limestone, sand stones etc? Or does all this money go into private pockets? How long will you indulge in looting and plundering the state revenues and resources ? Remember the time for reckoning is already on the threshold and very soon you will be seeking your mandate from the voters. I earnestly appeal to all voters of Meghalaya to vote only for those who are responsible, efficient, capable, transparent and who can deliver real governance. And please let us not allow our upcoming public representatives to continue to loot and plunder the wealth of the state for another 50 years even as the state remains high and dry.

Yours etc..
Philip Marwein,
Sr. Journalist,
Shillong- 2

Rejoinder from MeECL

Editor,

Apropos of the letter to the editor dated 2nd May, 2022 on matters pertaining to erratic power supply in Mawdiangdiang, the Corporation would like to issue the following clarification.
1. Normal disruption at multiple locations due to inclement weather, uprooted trees, branch falling etc. cannot be avoided but are attended to the shortest possible time.
2. Due to widening of the road from Ishyrwat to Mawpdang, pole shifting of both 11 Kv and LT line is going on.
3. Shifting of lines passing through under construction Assembly campus on urgent basis is going on.
4. New Shillong township is witnessing new infrastructure build-up. Many offices, residencies as well as guest houses are coming up. Due to this deposit works for consumers of both HT and LT are being taken up.
Due to the above reasons disruptions in the power supply do take place. However, MePDCL is taking all possible precautions to provide quality power supply to the area in and around Shillong as well as the entire state.
For the benefit our consumers the following helpline numbers may please be noted (0364) 2591932/2591088/2591335 (the numbers are published in The Shillong Times on regular basis).

Yours etc.,
A.K. Jain
PRO, MeECL

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