Meghalaya a backwater in the North Eastern India, carved out of Assam, has in the last forty years or so, since its inception, has passed through the ups and down of Governance and political changes- the tug of war between the national and regional parties in gaining control of governance. Along these years, many insurgent groups have cropped up and were up in the arms, at the point of the gun demanding autonomy and even to the extent to secede from the Union. Many lives have been lost during the activities of the insurgent groups, however this year, there has emerged a ray of hope, that many of these groups have been liquidated and have come forward to surrender with their arms and ammunitions, many of these groups had sought refuge in neighboring Bangladesh but now most of these insurgent groups are on the run. This year therefore saw that general peace is returning to Meghalaya.
In the political scene, the state saw a change of the Government, where the Congress National party lost its grip. Instead the National People’s Party (NPP), having an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other regional parties have gained ground, in the political arena. The State is therefore now under the Governance of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, under the leadership of Conrad Sangma as the Chief Minister of the NPP, which is also a ruling partner in the Central Government. This therefore is an advantage to the State Government having a strong line and understanding with the central leadership.
Funds had always been a problem with the Meghalaya Government. However, with the close Central link, the flow of funds, especially in developmental schemes would ease the monetary problem of the state. Different developmental scheme, especially for the rural areas are now being funded by the Prime Minister’s programmes, especially for the poor and those in rural areas, especially in agricultural activities.
The Chief Minister is seen to be taking an interest in implementation of these development schemes. In fact, he had framed a programme that ministers along with officials regularly visit the constituencies, especially in rural areas to take stock of the progress and difficulties in the implementation of the various development schemes.
The main concern however is road connection especially in the rural and agricultural producing areas and also marketing areas, where there are no proper road connections. Many of these places specially bordering with neighboring state of Assam, do not have access for transportation of their agricultural produce. The boundary problem between these two State have also much affected the flow of trade in the border State. Since the inception of Meghalaya, there was no proper demarcation of the border which has today caused problems to people settled in the border areas between these two States. Though talks have been held right from the Chief Minister level, down to the districts head, yet this problem has remained chronic.
Meghalaya therefore is a land locked State, as far as connectivity is concerned. The State High Court had taken strong exception to the delay in the completion of the Shillong Airport at Umroi, which is connected to the nearest metropolis, Kolkata with daily flights. The High Court had directed that Umroi should be connected with directed flights to the national capital New Delhi and also to other important cities in the country. The issue had become important as Tourism cannot be developed in the state, without proper air connectivity. It is therefore important that State Government form an Airport Committee, to look after the affairs in the final completion of Umroi Airport.
Sumar Sing Sawian
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