Shillong, March 8, 2021 (MMP): Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma today told the ongoing Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly that Meghalaya Government has been able to stop ten developmental activities undertaken by Assam Government on the disputed areas along the Meghalaya-Assam border.
Replying to the Short Duration Discussion raised by Meghalaya Congress Opposition legislator, Maralborn Syiem on the news item published in the vernacular daily under the caption, “Only Meghalaya respects the Status Quo agreed between Meghalaya and Assam”, the Chief Minister said it is not true that Meghalaya is taking a weak posture with regards to encroachment along the border of the two neighbouring states. He said as per the Status Quo Agreement with Assam, it is allowed that development activities to take place along the border of the two state, except in the disputed areas, as well as in those areas of differences. Mr. Sangma also informed that House that the Chief Ministers’ Meeting between Meghalaya and Assam was due to take place between and March last year, but this could not take place to Covid-19 pandemic. He however, hopeful that the meeting of the two Chief Ministers, as election is going on in Assam and resume the border talk after the formation of Government. Mr. Conrad K. Sangma also informed the House that the Deputy Commissioner of Ri Bhoi has writing the Deputy Commissioner of Karrup District, Assam raising objection regarding the construction work the Transit Camp at Khanapara area, which fall under Meghalaya.
Raising the long pending border issue with Assam, Mayralborn Syiem said the Assam Government has foiled many of the developmental activities carried by Meghalaya long the Meghalaya-Assam border state Government’s inability to raise objection against them.
Participating in the discussion, Meghalaya Congress Legislator, Mr. George Lyngdoh said that the Assam Government is yet to respond to Meghalaya Government regarding the construction of the transit Camp at Khanapara in Ri Bhoi District by Assam Government due to lack of communication between the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council and the Ri Bhoi District Administration.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma also told the Assembly that as per the post mortem report, the six miners who died in Sorkari area near Dienshalahu Village in East Jaintia Hills because of trauma, leading to multiple fractures and hemorrhages. Replying to the question raised by Congress MLA from East Shillong, Ampareen Lyngdoh during the Question Hour, the Chief Minister further informed that arrests were made after receiving information about the accident. He further informed that one person was arrested, and an attempt was made to arrest another individual, but both of them received bail. He informed that the police have registered cases under several sections of IPC and 21 (5) section of MMDR Act and 3/4 of the Explosive Substance Act.
During Question Hour, Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong told the House that the state Government is considering providing compensation to the livestock farmers due to the death of pigs in view of the African Swine Fever. Responding to the question raised by Congress MLA from Umroi Constituency, George B. Lyngdoh, Mr. Tynsong informed that the Department is still working out on the proposal and the affected farmers will be compensated very soon.
Earlier, Tynsong informed that a total of 540 pigs have been affected due to African Swine Fever with effect from June 25, last year to February this year. The Deputy Chief Minister also informed that 2.38 lakh rupees was also spent for taking up various activities to prevent spread of the disease. The other measures taken include conduct of awareness, sanitization, regular check-up, providing free treatment and devising action plans for relaxation of restriction to control the African Swine Fever.
On the issue of construction of crematoria in Khasi and Jaintia Hills, which relates to the rites and rituals for disposing of the dead bodies of people belong to the traditional religion of the Hynniewtrep community, Meghalaya Forest and Environment Minister James P.K. Sangma told the Assembly that the state Government will construct the eco-friendly crematoriums depending on the availability of funds.
Replying to the question raised by independent MLA from Mawphlang, Syntar Klas Sunn, Mr. Sangma informed that the government is keen to construct the eco-friendly crematoria in different parts of the state. Forest and Environment informed that so far, the state government has supported the construction of as many as 26 eco-friendly crematoriums across the Khasi-Jaiñtia and Garo Hills region of the state. Earlier, Sunn asked if the Government machinery has timely intervened into hurdles like non-issuance of No Objection Certificate for construction of crematoria across the state.
On the other hand, Meghalaya Home Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui told the Assembly the state Government will try to complete the process for filling up the various vacancies lying with the Police Department in the next few months. Replying to the question raised by Congress MLA from Mawlai, Process T. Sawkmie on the second day of the budget session, Rymbui informed there are a total number of 2,228 posts lying vacant in the department right from Grade-IV to the top posts. He informed that the Meghalaya Public Service Commission on August 2, 2019 had issued an advertisement to fill up the vacant of 17 posts of MPS adding that the Central Recruitment Board had issued an advertisement to fill up the various posts which are lying vacant on November 12, 2019.
Replying to the Call Attention Notice moved by Meghalaya Legislator Nujorki Sungoh belonging United Democratic Parting relating to the news item published in the Khasi Daily “ Peitngor” with regards to the up-gradation of the Laskein Block to Civil Sub-Division, Lahkmen Rymbui said the state will examining the matter.
Raising the issue, Nujorki Sungoh informed the House that the Laskein Block needs to be upgraded to the Civil Sub Division in order to bring the people close to the administration and also to speed up the pace of development of the area. Mr. Sungoh informed that Laskein is facing the problem of school dropouts, poor literacy rate and bad roads to mention a few. He urged the Government upgrade the Block to the status of Civil Sub Division to mitigate the hardship faced by the people of the area.
The Meghalaya Government Chief Whip, Mr. Marcuise N. Marak expressed deep appreciation and gratitude to the Address of the Meghalaya Governor, Satya Pal Malik for highlighting the various developmental activities undertaken by the various Departments of the Government of Meghalaya.
Moving the Motion of Thanks to the Governor’s Address, Mr. Marak expressed appreciation to the state Governor for informing the House that Meghalaya is now free from militancy and peace and tranquility have been restored due to Government’s effort.
Mr. Marak also informed the House that the National People’s Party led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance Government through the planning department availed financial resources from the North Eastern Council, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Ministry of Tribal Affairs besides leveraging fund from various agencies under the Externally Aided Projects. He also informed the House that the state Government under able leadership of Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K. Sangma the state Government is undertaking the Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project funded by the World Bank at the cost of 768 crore rupees to improve the 500 Kms of strategic road segments and stand-alone bridge by using innovative climate resilience and nature based solution. MMP