Angry with officials, Union MoS walks out of review meeting

SHILLONG, Aug 12: In an embarrassment for Meghalaya, Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Tribal Affairs Bishweswar Tudu on Friday walked out of a review meeting at the State Convention Centre here after state government officials made a presentation without submitting any hard copies or documents.
Officials rushed to his room at Hotel Pinewood and pleaded with him to attend the meeting.
“The officials were not prepared for the review meeting. They only made PowerPoint presentations and papers were not ready. Without papers how can we review. I have to submit my reports to the Home and other departments and it is essential that they provide me with the hard copies of the presentation,” a visibly upset Tudu told mediapersons.
The minister is on a two-day visit to the state to review the implementation of various developmental schemes and programmes including Jal Jeevan Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana and other central flagship programmes.
When pointed out that only 40% of the households in Meghalaya have been provided with tap water connection under JJM, the minister said, nationally, the progress is below 50%.
“But we have targeted to complete the coverage by March 2024 and have asked all states to complete the task before the timeline,” he said.
The minister, who is scheduled to make spot visits to some project sites on Saturday, admitted that progress was slow in Meghalaya due to its hilly terrain and problems with transport & communication and even the fact that many agencies were not comfortable working in the state.
Asked about the allegations of irregularities in the implementation of the JJM, Tudu said he would review the projects and if any irregularity is noticed, action would be taken.

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