Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday announced that Mairang will be the 12th district of the state and to be made functional before August 15.
Speaking to reporters, the Chief Minister said, “Mairang will be the new district of our state and because of Covid-19 the situation has been slightly slow but to let the people of Mairang know and feel positive about it that we will do our best to ensure that before the Independence Day the Mairang district is functional, that will be our endeavour."
On being asked about the demand to upgrade Sohra civil sub-division to a new district, he said a consensus is yet to be arrived on this regard due to issues relating to the geographical mapping. “…because of the geographical landscape and the area of Pynursla and down and the areas across the valley, so the geographical mapping is not coming to a point where we are able to really look at a consensus," he said while informing that all these issues are being discussed and the government will see how to go ahead with this.
Recalling his speech made in Mairang in March this year, Sangma said that he had mentioned that Mairang is at the bottom when it comes to sustainable development goals and the main purpose of doing this was to push the living standard of the people in Mairang and other parts of West Khasi Hills and therefore the need (to create a new district) was very justified.
“Therefore, we decided and announced that we will go as I said that our endeavour will be that we make Mairang district functional before the Independence day," he reiterated.
According to the Chief Minister, West Khasi Hills has been neglected a lot in terms of economic standard of the people, the sustainable development goals and to raise livelihood of the people, the only way to do is to bring administration closer to the people.
Asked if the government’s decision will only open up a pandora box of demands for creating new districts in the state, he said, “This has been a demand of the people of Mairang area and adjoining constituencies and therefore it is a very genuine demand. Yes, you are right there will be plus and minus but if you keep looking at that we will not be able to move forward. So we will see as and when we find that yes there is a genuine demand and there is need to open up, we have always been for taking administration closer to the people and this is a very justified demands."
As far as Garo Hills region is concerned, Sangma said State Minister for Power James K Sangma has met him couple of times and demanded for a new district at Dadenggre keeping in mind that West Garo Hills is also a huge district. “So we are examining all aspects. The Power Minister has been very clear that Dadenggre should be given a district but the government has not yet taken any decision," he said.
The Chief Minister asserted that creation of new districts is not always election oriented.
“…sometimes we need to do things because it is required and that is why we felt Mairang is required so we don’t have to wait till elections come and then do it. Just because we need to look at votes and we do it at the last moment, I feel it is not always correct," he stated.