Shillong, Dec. 31: The Meghalaya government and the Opposition are gearing up for the New Year, which could also witness another political upheaval.
While the government will work towards the timely completion of road projects, the Opposition has vowed accountability to the people.
“We will ensure that the Shillong bypass and the four-laning of National Highway 40 are completed on time,” education and tourism minister Ampareen Lyngdoh told The Telegraph today.
Ampareen said the government would work towards the expansion of the Umroi airport, particularly when land has already been acquired.
The expansion of Umroi airport, one of the two existing airfields in the state, has been affected because of the delay in acquiring additional land. The other priority areas for the government will be the implementation of flagship programmes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the minister said.
Ampareen also said her challenge would be the implementation of the Right to Education Act in the state.
Admitting that urban management has become a “big problem”, she said the Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government would also have to constitute all the municipal boards in the state.
The government has been under pressure to reconstitute the six boards to ensure that the Centre-sponsored funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission can be availed.
Another issue, which could resurface after the Assam Assembly elections, would be the inter-state border dispute.
The government will also have to deal with the contentious law and order problem in the Garo hills, particularly with the rise of the nascent Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA).
The Opposition has asked the government to “stop talking big and start working”.
“Instead of wasting its time in needless big talks, the government should start working and ensure that there is accountability right from the highest level till the block level,” leader of Opposition Conrad K. Sangma said from Tura.“What is the use of talking about bringing in big projects to the state when the government cannot even clear the schemes of all legislators?” Conrad asked.
According to Conrad, if the government can monitor its projects, Meghalaya would witness a huge change. He said the government should concentrate on social sectors like the public distribution system, education and health.
On the law and order problem in Garo hills, Conrad said, “If there is political will, the government would have no problem in tackling militant groups as the state police are fully equipped and capable.”
He said he would suggest to the government to start taking the issue seriously, as the police are capable of doing their job.
Asked about the Opposition’s New Year resolution, Conrad said, “We will be bringing issues of public importance more aggressively. We will ensure that the government is always on its toes and make it accountable not only inside the Assembly but also outside.”
On her part, Ampareen said, “In 2011, I would want to ensure that we at least shake the system so that we can achieve our targets. I would also personally motivate my officers working in the departments, which I am in-charge, in order to attain our goals.”