Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Mawkhar Presbyterian Church dilemma: Case of breach of trust


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Apropos of the anonymous letter “Double trouble for Mawkhar Presbyterian Church: Where angels fear to tread the vestry,” (ST June 11, 2023) is a letter with an amazing title but with malicious content to damage the very sanctity of our Church. For those who care as I do, discerning and dissecting the words in the caption will reveal the truth. There is a high probability that the anonymous author is a member who sits on the hallowed Church Committee. I am inclined to believe that the anonymous author is one of the members of the Church representing all the members of the Church. Sadly, I’m being represented without my consent. The action of infringement on my rights and space by the anonymous author is vehemently opposed.
Being privy to the incredible details of church matters especially about the Special Audit which is yet to be made public even to the church members cannot be more reprehensible and unfortunate than this.
‘Corruption in the Church’ is also an issue which churches all over the world need to grapple with, with utmost sincerity and seriousness, and the Mawkhar Church is not an exception to this. It must have caused grave concern and resentment among its members too. But charges and allegations unless substantiated and proven will remain mere speculation and allegations. The author of the letter in question must have mustered up all courage to write that letter but seemed to lack the same courage in not revealing his name and identity. It just gives the impression that he has a hidden agenda aimed at damaging the very sanctity of the church and defaming certain church leaders.
The letter is distasteful in terms of content, usage of condescending words with particular reference to the deacon entrusted with the charge of looking after the school building construction and creating doubts and suspicion over the activities of the few church elders and a Pastor. Is this action of the anonymous author being guided by his concern for the Church or is it motivated by deceitfulness and personal vendetta? I presume that the concerned author knows the members of the Special Audit Team, and it would not be surprising if the team had worked in close juxtaposition with the author. Transmitting data, figures, and data in actuals by verbalization is beyond human assimilation and retention. This therefore means that a copy of the Special Audit Report landed in the hands of the concerned author. If that was the case, I question the integrity, and credibility of the team for breaching the trust of the Committee in maintaining the confidentiality of the Report.
I resonate with the feelings and opinions of A. Dkhar, whose letter to the editor, “Why wash dirty linen in public?” was carried in the edition dated June 13, 2024. Therefore, I, as an independent entity of the Church demand a public written apology for the act of infringement and the dubious attempts to destabilize the very foundation and belief of the other members of the Church. I hope that the Mawkhar Presbyterian Church will rise up and not remain insouciant in response to the egregiously evil forces that are at work today.
Yours etc,
VB Lyngdoh
A loyalist of the Church
Shillong – 2

Is MeECL a liability for the consumer?
In early February, I was shocked to receive my electricity bill. It had suddenly jumped from Rs 469 to Rs 1483, and the following month, it surged even higher to Rs 2824. Fearing disconnection, I reluctantly paid these inflated amounts online while raising complaints with Megha Power via email. I waited for a long time, but I did not hear back at all.
Desperate for a solution, I visited the MeECL office, hoping for a quick resolution. A concerned officer suggested that the meter might be malfunctioning and advised me to replace it. I promptly completed all the necessary formalities and paid for the new meter. They replaced the meter about a week later and assured me that they would adjust any overcharges appropriately.
However, my relief was short-lived. The inflated bills that followed mirrored the previous anomalies. I have so far made five more visits to the MeECL office, each time seeking a resolution and facing the same frustrating runaround, sometimes unable to meet the revenue officer because he was not at his desk. I wonder when they will resolve my issue and send me the correct bill.
If someone like me is compelled to run from pillar to post for a seemingly petty matter, what about the countless others, especially those who are illiterate or come from far-off places? One businessman, shared with me that he had paid inflated bills for seven months. His busy schedule prevented him from visiting the MeECL office frequently, and it took him several visits and complaints before his issue was resolved. “When my billing issue was finally resolved, I felt an immense sense of relief and triumph, almost as if I had won the lottery!” the businessman said.
This ordeal raises a critical question —- has MeECL become a major liability for its consumers? The officers’ lack of diligence and sheer lackadaisical attitude add to the frustration of the consumer. In this digital age, why must consumers go through such arduous processes for every trivial issue? Why must resolutions come only after heartbreaking stress?
In the greater interest of consumers, I urge the higher authorities to take immediate and serious action. If necessary, strict disciplinary action should also be initiated. MeECL must upgrade its customer support system and overhaul its administrative management without further delay.
Yours etc.,
Salil Gewali,

10 billion dollar pipe-dream
The NPP led-government under the leadership of Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma aims to improve, innovate and create new avenues for developing the state be it in road communication, markets, health system, education, civic amenities, tourism, human resources etc. Unfortunately, many of these aspirations appear more like a mirage. Someone has to put things in a straight-forward manner and tell the CM that when even basic amenities, infrastructure etc., are not up to the mark then what is this government selling to the world? No one has questioned the intricacies of the Smart Village Movement which has nothing to show for its success or the Smart City project where potholes still dot the streets of Shillong and the state highways as well. Even today villages have to remain cut-off from electricity, water and what not. This current government has only succeeded in recruiting unproductive consultants who are usurping the state’s exchequer. I wonder if our local, unemployed educated youth are so bereft of intelligence that they cannot be engaged as state consultants instead of Meghalaya employing any Tom, Dick and Harry from outside who knows nothing of the ground realities.
Job prospects in the government sector are getting scarcer since all the tax payers’ money seems to have gone into deep pockets of selfish people. Let’s see whether those who are good at shouting on the streets to demand justice really dare challenge the current political leadership with tough questions. Only then only will the real results be revealed.
Yours etc..
Dominic S.Wankhar ,
Via email

Land for doctors serving in Meghalaya
Your daily dated 14th June, 2024 had quoted the Health Minister stating that rules do not permit doctors from outside the state to buy land here. She went on to say that doctors who wish to serve the people of an under-developed state should be ‘committed’ to fulfilling the obligations they swear by’.
One wonders how the rules allow the allotment of land for IAS Officers (non-tribals included) in New Shillong. Guess these officers are not expected to be ‘committed’ to their obligations to serve the state.
Different rules for different categories of public servants! There’s a limit to hypocrisy!
Yours etc.,
Name withheld on request,
Via email


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