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Conrad inaugurates new police reserve in Baghmara

TURA: A new police reserve for the district executive force of South Garo Hills has been inaugurated by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma at Bolong A’ding area of Baghmara on Wednesday morning.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new complex, the chief minister said that the establishment of the new reserve at its permanent site is an indication not just to the police personnel but also to the people of South Garo Hills about the immense importance of the district.

“Development and peace has to go together. It is not just peace is required for development, but development is also required for peace to continue,” said the chief minister while addressing the gathering in the presence of Chief Secretary Y Tsering, Meghalaya Director General of Police (DGP) R Chandranathan, Additional Chief Secretary Rebecca V Suchiang, district SPs from the five districts of Garo Hills and the general public.

The chief minister also questioned the reasons and causes of militancy and disturbances that have plagued the region for many years.

“Why do we have disturbances and militancy? I believe militancy is the end result of the problem. And the problem is Socio-Economic. In the long run if there is no development then there can be no lasting peace,” said Conrad Sangma while stressing on the importance of development.

Pointing out about the importance of good roads that bring in development, the chief minister informed that the state government along with the centre is working to ensure completion of the new highway NH-217 that will connect the length and breadth of the Garo Hills with neighbouring Assam.

The National Highway 62 was recently renamed as National Highway 217 by the central government. It begins from Dainadubi in North Garo Hills, passes through Siju and Baghmara, Gasuapara, Dalu and Tura before touching all the way in Paikan (Assam).

“Work has begun started on this highway with part sanction and part work already underway which can be seen on the Tura to Dalu stretch,” said the chief minister.

The chief minister also informed about the decision of the central government to amend the autonomous district councils in the north east by renaming them and improving the financial resources and administrative powers.

“Through this amendment bill, Indian government’s finance commission will be able to provide adequate funding for the autonomous district councils which was earlier not there. This is a very important decision that will go a long way in strengthening our autonomous councils,” said the chief minister.

He said that earlier funding from the centre was only given for Panchayat and municipal areas whereas autonomous councils in the 6th Schedule area were left out of its purview.

“We fought hard arguing with the central government that in our state of Meghalaya we do not have Panchayati Raj but District Councils. So if they are funding areas where Panchayati Raj is in place then in Meghalaya district councils should be provided with the same funding” said Conrad Sangma.

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