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Plight of tourist taxi drivers/owners

Editor,

Tourism is one of the prime economic activities especially for Shillong and Meghalaya as a whole but the plight and the struggles of tourist taxi drivers and owners is an untold story. Due to improper and scattered tourist taxi stands, the tourist taxi drivers and owners struggle to earn their day to day living. But the media has not highlighted their plight. The tourist Sumos face a similar fate. The non-availability of a proper tourist taxi stand exclusively for tourist taxis has made it difficult also for passengers. They are in utter confusion about finding a tourist taxi that will take them to the correct destination. While trying to meet the deadline of 8 am every morning, there is a huge jostling for space and cat fights among tourist taxi drivers at different places in Police Bazar and elsewhere every morning. This is not how a state that promotes tourism treats its tourist taxi drivers/ owners. It gives a very poor impression to tourists as well. At present the situation is such that some tourist taxis solicit passengers at the Civil Hospital point, some in front of the SBI Main branch, some at the Khasi Hills Tourist Taxi (KHTT) stand and some at Khyndailad point. The tourists have to run helter-skelter to find a tourist cab.  

These days tourist cabs are mostly parked at the Municipal parking areas; some in the parking lot opposite SBI Main branch, some at MUDA Parking lot ever since the old Khasi Hills Tourist Taxi Stand was taken over by the Shillong Municipality. A case against this is still pending in court. As a matter of fact, the tourist taxis of KHTT stand were told to shift to Polo Parking lot where drivers have to shell out fifty rupees every day as parking fee out of their meager income even as the Shillong Municipality seems to be silently benefitting out of this.  It is appalling that the State Government and the Tourism Department are least bothered by the plight of a critical mass for the Tourism sector, namely the tourist taxi drivers/owners. They seem to have a political and imperialist agenda or are trying to benefit some capitalists.

Yours etc.,

Manoj Pukhrambam,

Via email

 

Glaring nepotism in Meghalaya Assembly!

Editor,

I am not at all surprises at reading you’re the report in The Shillong Times of November 28, 2017 regarding nepotism in appointment of 5(five) family members of Mr Sanbor Shullai in the Office of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. I also came to know that former Speaker Mr. Charles Pyngrope, created  the post of Law officer and appointed his own daughter a fresh Law Graduate by setting aside the requirements of work experience and exposure in dealing with court cases.  It also bears mention that the outgoing Lady Secretary also appointed her own daughter as Personal Assistant and a few years later just before her superannuation, promoted her daughter as Grade-I Stenographer or Reporter as they are called at a Gazetted  scale of pay More RTI queries will unfold the truth and more skeletons will tumble out of the State Assembly cupboard. What about the recent 435 sanctioned posts where appointments were made without any advertisement? Will the NGOs do their homework?

Yours etc.,

  1. Synrem

Via email

Rejoinder

Editor,

Apropos the letter to the editor titled “Nepotism in Agriculture Department” (ST Nov 14, 2017) by a person whose name has been withheld on request, the Government is constrained to file this rejoinder based on facts available with the Govt. :-

As per our records the Officer concerned will attain the age of superannuation on  Dec 31, 2017 and is holding the post of Director Agriculture till date. The Officer had been holding the posts equivalent to the Director level within the framework of the Agriculture Dept, pending promotion of officers from lower posts to the Director level posts of which the same has to be processed according to rules and procedures. The Govt. has not showered undue privileges to the incumbent as charged, due to the officer being in the “good books” of anyone. The officer has held an impeccable record throughout her service, as her records in the Department speak.

The promotion orders of the Departmental Promotion Committee of the Agriculture Department were issued after due processes were followed and not after media’ reports opened up a “flood gate” of promotions, transfers, etc.

A remark that the said Director left no stone unturned to seek extension of service till March end next year is totally baseless and an unconfirmed report of which the Govt has absolutely neither knowledge nor intention.

It appears to the Govt that the writer of this letter has a personal vendetta to indulge in character assassination and slanderous mission against a Govt. employee, who, as far as records go, has been an example of dedication and responsibility towards her duties.

Yours etc., 

Under Secretary to the Govt. of Meghalaya,

Agriculture Department

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