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Kropha allays influx fears

Says 5% increase in tribal population in 40 yrs

SHILLONG: Chief Secretary KS Kropha has downplayed fears of the indigenous community being swamped by ‘outsiders’ in Meghalaya stating that the indigenous tribal population has increased by 5 per cent in the State in the last 40 years.
Speaking at the official function held to celebrate Meghalaya’s 45th Statehood Day at the U Soso Tham auditorium here on Saturday, Kropha informed that the ratio of the indigenous tribal population has increased from 80.48 per cent in1971 to 86.15 per cent in 2011 which suggests that the measures taken by the Government to tackle influx have proved to be effective.
The Chief Secretary further said that the state’s population has grown from 10,11,699 in 1971 to 29,66,889 in 2011.
CS highlights State’s achievements
Highlighting the achievements of the State since 1972, Kropha said the gross state domestic product (GSDP) at constant prices were Rs 3,237 crore in 1980-81, which increased to Rs 19,909 crore in 2014-15.
According to Kropha, Meghalaya has made rapid progress on all fronts over the last four decades  even as he added that literacy rate in the State has improved from a low 29.49 per cent in 1971 to 74.43 per cent in 2011.
“Road coverage has increased from 3,024 km in 1971 to 9,666 km in 2014-15 and the road density has also gone up from 13.48 km to 43.1 km during the same period,” he said.
Kropha added that the State took gigantic steps as far as agriculture sector is concerned   as foodgrain production rose from 1,18,140  tonnes in 1971-72 to 3,53,502 tonnes in 2014-15.
“Productivity also registered significant improvement where average yield per hectare of food grain rose from 1,054 kg in 1971-72 to 2,530 kg in 2014-15,” he added.
On the power sector, he reiterated the Government’s commitment to achieve 100 per cent electrification.
Only 77 villages were electrified in 1976-77 and the number has increased to 6,098 villages in 2015-16.
He also pointed out there is significant increase in the number of education and health institutions.
Educational institutions increased from 3,210 in 1972 to 12,257 in 2014-15, whereas the health institutions rose from only 83 in 1977 to 163 in 2015-16, he said.
He added that the students enrolled in school rose from 2,16,552 in 1971-72 to 9,63,602 in 2014-15 and the number of school teachers rose from 6,501 to 53,117 during the same period.
Informing that the banking infrastructure had expanded significantly, he said there were only 17 bank branches in 1972, which became 294 branches in 2015.
“Deposits with the banks rose from a meager Rs 14.3 crore in 1972 to 16,643 crore in 2015 and the credit advanced rose from Rs 16.1 crore in 1982 to Rs 4,308 crore as on March 2015,” he added.
Stating that tourism has become a big draw for the state, he said there has been a substantial jump in tourist footfall, both foreign and domestic. Foreign tourists increased from 185 in 1972 to 8,664 in 2015 while the domestic tourists rose from 2,983 to 7,17,789 during the same period.

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