Shillong March 16th 2021 (MMP): Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma today informed the State Assembly that a total number of 26,123 tourists have visited the State since the Facilitation Centre at Umling was set up.
Replying to the question raised by Congress legislator from West Shillong, Mohendro Rapsang during the Question Hour in the Assembly, Chief Minister informed that the break up month-wise of the tourists who entered the State since the facilitation centre was set up include 5,551 tourists in December 2020, 9558 in January 2021, 9664 in February 2021 and 1350 till March 4.
Replying to the supplementary question of Rapsang, Sangma informed that the Cabinet had decided to allow the tourists who want to visit the State, will now only need to stay in the State for 24 hours reducing from the earlier order that they stay should be 48 hours. The Chief Minister also said that the Government has also hired many of the hotels as Corona Centres incurring an expenditure of Rs.20 crore.
NO FAILURE OF LAW AND ORDER
There has been no failure in governance or deterioration in the law and order situation in the State, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma asserted in the legislative assembly in the course of his reply to discussions on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s Address.
There has been improvement in both these accounts and the State has been effectively dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, the chief minister said. The Government rose to the occasion and faced the situation head-on and Meghalaya is one of the States in the country with the lowest rate of Covid-19 infection, he pointed out.
The chief minister mentioned that the World Health Organization had commended Meghalaya for its approach towards dealing with the pandemic. He informed that there are 311vaccination centres across the State, which includes 294 government centres and 16 private health institutions. As on date, 54, 749 persons, including health care and frontline workers and 8, 970 from among the general public have been vaccinated in the State against Covid-19, Sangma informed.
The State government has inked the Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project with the Central Government and the World Bank to transform Meghalaya into a ‘high income State’ by improving the transport network, health care facilities, tourism, agriculture and ensure overall socio-economic development.
Stating this in the course of his reply to a short duration discussion initiated by opposition legislator George Lyngdoh of the Congress, chief minister Conrad Sangma told the assembly that 300 million US dollars would be spent on the project, which was aimed at positioning Meghalaya as a connecting hub for
international trade. The project will focus on last-mile connectivity to remote rural areas and ease the approach to various tourist destinations, enhance mobility in entrepreneurial mode and put Meghalaya in the world map.
Earlier, raising the discussion, legislator George B Lyngdoh and other members from the Opposition urged the government to work out modalities for better road conditions in the State and easing traffic flow in the capital city of Shillong. The chief minister replied that under the project, roads would be developed and bridges would be built in keeping with the high standards set up by the World Bank. He also requested support to the government from the various grassroots organizations for the purpose of land acquirement. Sangma also informed that the scheme for the Shillong Ropeway has been finalized and loan negotiations for the overall project have been completed, adding that the agreement was signed by the State government on the 19th of November, 2020.
MODEL RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
Meghalaya Education Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui informed the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly that a total number of 40 Eklavya Model Residential Schools has been sanctioned for setting up inthe State. Replying to the question raised by Mawsynram Congress MLA, Himalaya M. Shangpliang during the Question Hour in the Assembly, Rymbui informed that the authorities who have been selected to execute the construction works for the 40 Eklavya Model Residential Schools in Meghalaya include 2 from the Engineering Cell of the Education department, 13 from Water and Power Consultancy Services Limited and 25 from the Manipur Industrial Development Corporation Limited. According to him, the construction work at Samanda in East Garo Hills and Pahamsyiem in Ri Bhoi District have started and for the remaining school, the Detailed Project Report and site selection work is going on.
SSA TEACHERS’ SALARY
The State education department is closely examining the matter relating to enhancing the salary structure of teachers under the SSA, education minister Lakhmen Rymbui told the house today.
Replying to a question by opposition member Himalaya M. Shangpliang the Congress, the minister said that there were much more schools in Meghalaya going by the population-teacher ratio. He said that taking this into consideration, some schools may have to be closed down, which would adversely affect the existing teachers, adding that the government was studying the matter and taking a call on rationalizing the schools under the Samagra Shisksha Abiyan.
The education minister said that the government was very serious about the welfare of teachers in the State and also ensuring free and compulsory education of children as per the Right to Education Act.
Meghalaya Power Minister, James P.K. Sangma Meghalaya Legislative Assembly that the MeECL has availed loan of Rs 1345.72 crore through the Atma Nirbhar Scheme to clear the dues of the various power generation companies.
Replying to the question raised by the Congress MLA from Rangsakona, Zenith M. Sangma during the Question Hour in the Assembly, James P.K. Sangma informed the House that out of the total amount of Rs.1345.72 crore, the MeECL has availed Rs.672.86 crore and the MePDCL has availed Rs.672.86 crore. The Minister also informed the House that the rate of interest to be paid by MeECL and MePDCL is 9.5 percent. The Power Minister further informed that the financial crunch of the MeECL is due to the billing inefficiency including transmission and distribution losses. MMP