Meghalaya observes 49th Statehood Day

Meghalaya observes 49th Statehood Day
Conrad Sangma speaking on the ocassion.
Correspondent Shillong, Jan 21 | Publish Date: 1/21/2021 11:12:10 AM IST

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Thursday said that the Government has ambitious plans to fast track development process and work towards transforming Meghalaya into a model State.

“Our goal is for Meghalaya to be amongst the top ten Indian States within the next 10 years, in terms of per capita income and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” Sangma said addressing the 49th anniversary of Meghalaya’s Statehood on Thursday.

Stating that thrust has been accorded to upscale infrastructure sector, the Chief Minister said, “Government is investing around Rs. 1,200 crore to improve the major roads across the state. We are also in the final stages of making the plans for complete revamp of the health infrastructure, under which the 659 health facilities in the State shall be upgraded”.

He however rued that the State loses five expecting mothers and 30 children every week and said the situation must change.

“These deaths are due to different situations, beliefs and conditions, but nonetheless this unhealthy and sad trend has to be changed and everyone- the government, the family and society have to play its part,” Sangma said. “The situation mothers and the child face in our State are very difficult. We need our heads and hearts together to change this. It’s the most important objective and task before the State Government to save every mother and child in the coming years,” Sangma said. The Chief Minister, however announced that the State has become one of the first in the country to set up centers not only to check the health of infants but also take care of their early education.

“We are the first State to set up the early childhood education programme to care for a child’s development of 0-5 years. We have sanctioned Rs. 10 crore this year for these centers,” he informed. Underscoring that the Government has prioritized rural sector, he said, “The expenditure under the MGNREGS program is expected to touch Rs. 1,600 crore this year which is a substantial increase from the Rs. 847 crore that was made in 2018-19. The rural women are also undertaking various livelihoods related activities as part of the vibrant SHG movement in the State”.

On improving the agriculture sector, he said, “We have launched the ‘Piggery Mission’ on an unprecedented scale to make Meghalaya self-sufficient in pork production, to improve the overall nutritional levels of our citizens, and to create thousands of livelihood opportunities for our livestock farmers.”

Stating that Meghalaya was achieving a major milestone in its 50th year, Sangma said, “We will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Statehood and 75th Anniversary of Indian Independence. A number of programs and events are planned to commemorate that historic day. I am setting up a committee chaired by me and comprising our cabinet ministers, eminent individuals from different walks of life and officials to work out the programs and events as we move towards the next Meghalaya Day”.

On the education front, Sangma said the government has sanctioned Rs. 40 lakh for development of 800 lower primary schools in the State and each would get a new building.

Moreover, under the MGNREGS scheme the State has sanctioned Rs. 1600 crore for this fiscal as against Rs. 600-700 crore in the previous years.

He also informed that 1700 farmers groups have been formed across the State and the State Government has set aside Rs. 40 crore so that an interest free loan can be provided to these groups. The Chief Minister paid glowing tribute to the leaders who fought for the Statehood and also felicitated the recipients of the Meghalaya Day Excellence Award 2020.

On the other hand, the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisation also held candle lit at Malki ground in protest against the non-implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in the state, non-resolution of the boundary dispute with Assam and in demand for the inclusion of the Khasi language into the 8th Schedule to the Constitution besides other issues. On the occasion, the Chief Minister also felicitated the recipients of the Meghalaya Day Excellence Award 2020. 


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