From Our Correspondent
NONGSTOIN: The sorry state of villages in the interior reaches of the State primarily due to utter neglect by the Government has come to the limelight once again. Frustrated over the apathy and neglect by the State Government, six villages in West Khasi Hills district, located along the volatile Meghalaya-Assam border have decided to merge with Assam, who they see as their benefactor.
The six villages — Sawlad, Nongrilong, Umsha, Umsohiong, Patharsipiah and Bilkolang — consisting of about 180 households have indicated their intention to merge with Assam after suffering from utter neglect for the past 39 years of statehood.
These villages occupy a total area 30 square kms bordering Assam and are located about 30 kms from Kynrud village the nearest motorable point.
These six villages have no power supply, no water supply, no road connectivity and no health centre (PHC). There is only one Lower Primary School run by the state Government at Nongrilong village. The other five villages run and manage village basic schools of their own.
Following information that the villagers were interested in merging with Assam, a team of about 25 members of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) Western Zone including Sanjit Kynsai, general secretary, West Khasi Hills, Dishan L Nongbri, president, Kyllang Area Unit, Semphlang Marbaniang, president, Nongkhlaw circle, Damian Lyngdoh, president, Mawthadraishan circle, Airborlang, organizing secretary, Mairang circle and accompanied by local media persons paid a visit to the area on Saturday.
A short meeting was organised at Sawlad village wherein, Skit Marbaniang, Sordar Shnong of Umsohiong village lamented the neglect of the State Government.
P Mawdoh, Sordar of Sawlad told this scribe that Assam had made as many as three proposal to the village headmen of the area to enroll themselves as Assam citizen promising all kinds of developmental facilities, but so far the villagers have resisted the proposals.
The elders of the villages also informed that village headmen of the areas, had, in a previous meeting, decided to merge with Assam with the hope of better living conditions.
“If the Meghalaya Government fails to usher in any kind of development in that area, then we would surely join Assam,” the villagers threatened.
Meanwhile, Sanjit Kynsai, general secretary, KSU West Khasi Hills district, while speaking to this scribe after the meeting, lambasted the State government for the utter neglect shown to the villagers.
The visiting members of the KSU appealed to the villagers to wait for some more time before jumping to any decision about merging with Assam.
Incidentally, the team and the accompanying media persons had to travel for six hours on foot to reach the area, which for long has remained in isolation, unattended and neglected by the high and the mighty, except for brief visits by politicians once in five years for their selfish motives.