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PHE denying water connection to the deserving

Editor,

It is very sad that WATER, the basic amenity of life remains outside the reach of the residents of Umsohkhlur at Mawlai Mawroh. The PHE authorities were duly approached (the SDO, i/c, the EE, i/c, the SE i/c and the CE, i/c), which should not be the case when the Rangbah Shnong of the area has fully recommended our application for water connection. Instead, when we approached for water connection to Umsohkhlur the PHE stopped issuing forms and for a long a time we were advised by the EE i/c to ask for a public tap which is not a necessity. We were denied direct access to the CE i/c for water connection by the Assistant. This is all too awkward for an office dealing with the public and we are the sufferers. I ask this question to the PHE: “Why is our right to get water from the PHE after our long wait, not granted when many others have got their connection? At first, we were being told to wait for the new scheme to come after a short time only. But we later learnt that the feasible project work was stopped (due to sundry reason) thereby leaving in the lurch those who have completed the construction of their houses in that area. It seems that nothing till date has been done by the authorities to give the waiting public our basic necessity of life- the right to get water from the PHE. For how long do we have to wait? Five, ten or twenty years just to get water-connection? The PHE must come up with some plausible replies so that we do not get frustrated. If the authorities can enjoy the same right in their homes as we deserve to then why are we citizens deprived of the same right? In fact, Umsohklur is not too far from the Municipal area of Shillong and not in a difficult terrain that people there have to spend lakhs of money to drill underground water or buy water from water-sellers for years and years as an alternative?

Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request

Is Dr. Mukul Sangma really communal?

Editor,

I belong to no political party nor do I subscribe to any political ideology. I am apolitical and ordinary citizen of Meghalaya. Recently some groups have accused Dr. Mukul Sangma of being communal and promoting Garo Hills while neglecting Khasi and Jaintia tribes. There is not even an iota of truth in this accusation. Rather it smacks of communal vendetta and hatred by those groups who are trying to divide people on communal lines and trying to destablise the Government. This is dangerous for the peace and tranquility of the state. The truth is there for all to see. In the past 44 years since statehood what has Garo Hills gained in terms of physical and human development?  Compared to Khasi and Jaintia Hills, Garo Hills is the least developed region in all parameters of development due to sheer neglect and partisan attitude of successive state governments. All development activities are centred around Shillong and Khasi Hills got the lion’s share of all development funds. All infrastructure development is concentrated in Shillong and Khasi Hills in general. Even in employment opportunities Khasis and Jaintias are enjoying the major share as Government employees.

The guidelines for reservation of 40 percent for Garos and 40 percent for Khasis and Jaintias is also only in theory. It is not followed in letters and spirit. Even in the field of transport and communication, Garo Hills faces a nightmare due to dilapidated condition of all the major roads. Health services and education are also in a total mess. The standard of living and wealth ranking is also much higher in Khasi and Jaintia Hills than the Garo Hills. Dr Mukul Sangma is undeniably the only Chief Minister who brought major development schemes to the State of Meghalaya. Incidentally he is also the first Chief Minister who brought some development schemes to Garo Hills, that is why he is accused of being partisan which is a totally baseless allegation.

Is Garo Hills not part of Meghalaya? Should not the Government of Meghalaya develop other parts of the state like Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills other than Shillong or East Khasi Hills? Can one accuse the Chief Minister of working only for the interest of the Garos for taking some development schemes to Garo Hills? How narrow minded is this? Really speaking Garos are never communal. They welcome in their midst people from all over the country with open arms. Instead, those accusing Garos of being communal are themselves communal to the hilt. Just introspect and you will know what I am talking about. Of course as a human being Dr. Mukul Sangma may have some plus and minus points but no person can be perfect.

Yours etc.,

Sylvester Marak

Vill Dilma Rajakgittim,

Mendipathar

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