SHILLONG, March 6 - The Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) Government today completed one year in office and presented a report card on its achievements, which was largely a compilation of Centrally-sponsored schemes being implemented in the State.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma presented the report card titled ‘Meghalaya on the Move – Seizing Opportunities, Surmounting Challenges and Marching Ahead’ at the Secretariat here. The members of the MDA Cabinet held a closed-door meeting which began with the blessings of Archbishop of the Catholic Church, Dominic Jala.
Sangma, in his press briefing, said lawmakers and bureaucrats “worked as a team” and put in their best efforts in the last one year. “We have worked as a team together with the bureaucrats and given 100 per cent of our efforts in the past one year,” he said.
The Chief Minister later gave out a long list of achievements including projects related to road construction, power, agriculture and others. However, a large number of the projects he listed are Centrally-sponsored schemes which the State Government has been implementing like the Swachh Bharat, Smart City, Saubhagya, PMGSY, Eklavya residential schools and others.
But one of the noticeable changes in the past one year has been the smooth flow of funds from its larger alliance partner, the BJP, at the Centre which included Rs 35 crore released under Article 275 (1), Rs 34 crore from the Tribal Affairs Ministry, Rs 173 crore under the North Eastern Special Infrastructure Development Scheme and other Central packages.
However, some of the pressing challenges that the State faces have not changed in the past one year. In fact, some have worsened, like the ban on coal mining.
The coal mining issue has led to law-and-order problem and loss of lives in the last one year after the MDA came to power. The Mining Policy is yet to be implemented.
The traffic congestion in the State capital is yet to be solved. The issue related to hawkers taking over city streets and pavements is also unresolved.
Moreover, the State has not been able to create new avenues for the youth in terms of employment. “I don’t have the figures of unemployment now, but it is less than the national average,” Sangma said when asked.
The Chief Minister added that the State capital would soon have a state-of-the-art diagnostic centre, and that the State remains one of the top performing States in implementing the MGNREGS.