SHILLONG: The year 2017 has finally come to an end and the year did bring about lots of ups and downs for the State be it political rivalries, challenging law and order situation or the ever increasing traffic congestion in the town.
Now residents of the State are hoping for a bright 2018 which will bring about positive environment besides taking Meghalaya to new heights of development.
The Shillong Times spoke to people from varied backgrounds and sought their experience in the outgoing year besides their hopes for the year 2018.
Former Home Minister and veteran politician from the State, RG Lyngdoh said that nothing major happened in the political front in the state this year though a lot of schemes were initiated and inaugurated with an eye on the upcoming elections.
He also said that lot of initiatives were taken in the state thanks to the intervention of the judiciary.
“For 2018, I hope people have learnt that they would no longer look at self serving politicians but they would look at candidates who will be more approachable, transparent and would serve the people even after the elections,” Lyngdoh said.
Former IAS officer and social Activist, Toki Blah said that the thing which worries him was the fact that all politicians and political parties in the state wanted to be in the power without any positive notes.
“Every one is saying vote for us and we will bring about change but nobody is talking as what changes would they bring,” Blah said, adding that they (Politicians) just wants to replace one another.
Blah who has been spearheading the fight against environmental degradation said that global warming and climate change were matters of concern and Shillong had 18 degrees as a maximum temperature in one of the day in December which is not natural.
He also said that a lot of talks are going on about disaster preparedness but the big question was whether the state was prepared for disaster management.
He also felt that the new Government in Meghalaya should have a vision which was absent for the last 45 years and Government should take measures for providing better education, health and livelihood options to the people.
JL Das, the General Secretary of Central Puja Committee lauded the district Administration and police of the district saying law and order situation is far more normal than other states of the region and they are effectively managing the celebrations of different festivals without any problem.
Das, however, expressed concern over the growing traffic jam in the town saying the heavy traffic somehow was stopping the development even as he added that they wanted a Government which would take proactive steps for development particularly for the road connectivity in the rural areas.
He also said that the problem of hawkers in the city should be solved and some sort of settlement should be done for the hawkers.
“We hope that the ranking of Shillong would improve in respect of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and we should all come together to make Shillong a clean city,” he said.
On the other hand, R J Nicky from Radio Mirchi said that a lot of central programmes came into action in the year 2017 and Meghalaya could have come out with such programmes much ahead of the Central Government
Appreciating, Chief Minsiter, Mukul Sangma for doing an earnest job in the last 5 years, he said that many politicians were trying to make hay while the sun was shining on the lotus even as he added that leaders now-a-days lack personal commitment and they basically wanted to be in power not realising what power does the people have.
On 2018, he said that there would be lot of turn of events in the state but added that Meghalaya did not go by emotions of flags and the state rooted back to be self-independent and self-reliant.
“What we need is ignited leaders who have plans and missions,” he said while hoping that the state would get a new Assembly building in the years to come.