Chief Minister Conrad Sangma violates Covid safety protocol, unfurls the tricolor at the official function at the Polo ground in absence of the Governor who had tested positive. Though Governor Satyapal Malik has isolated himself after being tested positive and the ‘At Home’ ceremony stands canceled, Chief Minister Sangma drew severe criticism in various social media platforms for endangering the health of normal people by not following Covid-19 protocol.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, who was tested positive for Covid-19 on January 21, attended office on Tuesday as well.
Earlier on Friday, the CM had mentioned in a tweet that he had tested positive and was suffering from mild symptoms.
It may be mentioned that as per the new standard operating procedures (SOP) issued by the health department on January 10, it is said that all Covid positive patients need to undergo isolation for seven days since the day they are tested positive and the patient should not experience any fever or other symptoms for at least three consecutive days before the discharge.
The order also said that all asymptomatic patients and high-risk contacts should quarantine or isolate for five days and strictly continue to wear a mask for five additional days.
Unfurling the Tricolour on the occasion of the 73rd Republic Day at the Polo ground, the CM spoke on the vexed interstate border issues with Assam and six areas of difference between the two States will be resolved based on the interests and ethnicity of the actual people living at the affected areas.
“We will work to ensure that the rest six areas of differences are also followed,” he said.
While mentioning the advancement of connectivity in the State, the CM said, “There was a time when there was no flight from Shillong. ILS did not work… I am happy to inform you that today seven flights come here from different cities and over 300 passengers come in every day. This will only increase as connectivity is very important.”
He further said the State government looks forward to the completion of various infrastructure development projects by the end of this year.
Constructed with an estimated amount of Rs 200 crore, the new assembly building is set to be completed this year itself.
“Amidst the power scarcity in the State, the government aims to complete 22.5 MW Ganol Hydro Power by December 2022. The project costs around Rs 500 crore,” Sangma said.
After 36 years the Crowborough hotel project which is often referred to as the white elephant will be operationalised by August this year. “The Crowborough and Marriott Hotels to be operationalised by August; The Crowborough project, in particular, was started in 1986 and has been under construction since then,” the Chief Minister said.
The much-awaited IT Park will be built for Rs 35 crore, which will help to create 1,500 jobs. The Shillong International Center for Performing Arts was built at Rs 200 crore to be completed in 2022.
To develop sports infrastructure, Sangma said, “PA Sangma Stadium, Tura, to be built at Rs 128 crore will be completed by December. The Wahajier football stadium was built at Rs 25 crore to be completed by November. Comprehensive renovation of JN Stadium is being done at Rs 40 crore.”
Sangma said his government has laid the foundation for the State to become one of the top 10 States in the country in the next 10 years. He said 3.8 million people (Meghalaya’s population) is a small number in a global market and if Meghalaya has to grow, it has to grow as one of the entities of the North East market.
“I am happy to inform you that today the State’s expenditure is touching close to Rs 14,000 crore. This is possible because of tapping of external agencies, timely implementation of projects and running central schemes in an efficient manner,” he said.
Sangma said the State has mobilised Rs 7,500 crore from external agencies, a big jump from Rs 2,500 crore in 2018. “Funds from these agencies support projects in tourism, water catchment area, road construction, integrated transport system, early childhood development programme besides others,” he said.
Highlighting the roadmap for the development of the State, the CM said there is a need for more administrative expansion, especially at the block level to help ease of doing business for the common man.
He informed that the government has mobilised over Rs 1,300 crore through a programme under Nabard. “Over Rs120 crore has been earmarked for improvement of all 40 blocks (rest 6 blocks work is going on). Rs 100 crore earmarked for different police stations to upgrade. Health centres projects are going on as we speak. We have over 2,000 lower primary (LP) schools in dilapidated conditions. We have renovated close to 600 of them already. Another 200-300 schools will be renovated this year itself,” he assured.
“Today close to 3.5 lakh women are part of 38,000 SHGs, a big jump of over 1,000% when it was just 30,000 women in SHGs in 2018,” he said.
He also highlighted the Prime Minister’s congratulatory message to the government for providing direct piped water to over 2 lakh families in about 4 years as compared to only 4,000 such families in 2019. “This has improved and touched the lives of about 12 lakh individuals in the state through the JJM,” he said.
The CM also informed that the IT Park, conceptualised in 2008 and the best in the entire NE region, will be inaugurated this February and this would provide jobs to 1,500 youths.
“This is the beginning. We have 80 acres of land and we will expand the IT Park as there is a huge demand from IT companies who want to come and start their business from here considering the availability of manpower,” he said.
Sangma said the government has procured 800 acres of land in New Shillong Township to decongest the old city by setting up a new administrative city there. “In last 50 years, we have functioned from the same administrative set up in Shillong. Shillong has grown and become populated. We need to think big. Let this administrative city be the best in the country and we will do it,” he said.
Sangma also informed that Rs 300 crore from the World Bank will be utilised in a comprehensive programme for the young people of the State. “We have a youth policy. We are working on promoting entrepreneurship as we are aware that 50,000 youths are entering the market every year,” he said.
The CM also announced that a curcumin extraction plant will be set up in the Lakadong area of Jaintia Hills besides 15 more processing plants that are in the process of implementation. The Lakadong turmeric is known for its highest curcumin content.
“We have 10,000 farmers engaged in the production of Lakadong turmeric. The value of processed Lakadong will sell at Rs 6,000 per litres and this will benefit our farmers,” he said.
The Chief Minister added that Meghalaya should be presented as one of the regional producers and for this, global value chains have to be created.