One would like to thank N Hynniewta for the letter “Assembly Building” (ST Nov 23, 2017). It is indeed a matter of great shame and embarrassment for the state and its people that even after 16 long years the government has not managed to rebuild an Assembly Building. The different governments since 2001 have failed to show their prowess in the construction of one and the present government has only joined the bandwagon as our legislators are determined to not have one, but to simply waste their time and public money. Like Hynniewta, I too have voiced my anxiety on the lack of a permanent Assembly Building through this prestigious daily. We have all been witness to the truth that for the last one and half decade time and again discussions and deliberations on the issue have taken place but it ultimately boils down to zero as nothing concrete emerges. This time again the High Powered Committee has thought it fit to cancel the tender! Well again this is nothing new. By now, the people of Meghalaya are too used to this equivocal and lackadaisical attitude of the authorities concerned. As Hynniewta says’ “the jinx would continue.” Even if the construction work starts, the Assembly Building will be amongst one of “the unfinished or abandoned projects that (embarrassingly) Meghalaya is famous for.”
On a serious note and based on their performances in the past and the present, our legislators have not and do not make ground-breaking development policies for the state and its people. So why should several hundred crore rupees be wasted on a new building? It’s not as if the a new Assembly building would also ignite minds and glorious ideas would spring forth and people-centric decisions would be taken. Where they are presently located they fit in snugly as nothing will change. Hence I fully agree with Hynniewta that the Arts and Culture Auditorium in Rilbong can be converted into a permanent Assembly Building. This issue is now a stalemate and a thing of the past. The state requires urgent attention on more crucial matters like health care, education, roads and connectivity, unemployment etc. Funds and resources should be channelized towards more meaningful and need based projects that would cater to the general population of the state and not a handful of people for whom much is given but very little is received by way of public service.
Responsive civil servant!
I have met many government officials regarding on various issues but never have I met an officer like Mr MS Lhuid, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, East Jaintia Hills District. The DC has been very helpful on resolving public matters particularly those from the rural areas. He patiently hears the grievances of the people and takes whatever possible action at his level. I particularly appreciate him for his willingness to visit the border villages of the district which have never been visited by any DC. In spite of the fact that there is no road in these border villages, he and his officials in the district toured the villages and listened to the public. This is much appreciated. It is also because of his intervention that the villages were recently provided solar electricity by the government.
Mr Lhuid has been taking up many important issues regarding the poor condition of the roads in the district. But this district still suffers from skewed development as there is lack of political will and support. It is because of the DC that the PWD (Roads) has taken up repair and maintenance of road despite funds constraints. The people of the border villages namely Huroi, Hingaria, Lejri and Lailong are grateful to Mr Lhuid for taking the construction of roads and implementing other schemes with sincerity hence making progress visible today.
The people of the East Jaintia Hills should approach the DC for any grievances and he will glad to help. Such an officer should be appreciated and should get more support from the people for him to serve us better. While we see him working and taking up different issues with the Government, it is the Government which has failed and neglected the people of the district.
Umkiang Village, East Jaintia Hills
Much talk about tourism!
Sometimes we wonder why there is so much of big talk about promoting tourism when the roads leading to the most frequented places are in such a horrible condition. For instance a trip to Mawlynnong, Dawki along Pynursla will reveal just how poor the road condition is. The PWD is not bothered about the state of the roads. So too the local MLA who seems is least concerned and even ignorant about the dangers that a boulder might come rolling off towards unsuspecting cars or buses. If the state of our national highways leading to places of interest are left like they are now, how can we expect the state to progress?
Dominic S. Wankhar