|Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council chief executive member Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit addresses the public meeting at Iewduh in Shillong and (above) a section of the people at the meeting. Pictures by UB Photos
Shillong, Aug. 12: Smeared and scarred for decades together with haphazard planning, Ďewduh, which falls within the ambit of the Hima Mylliem (Mylliem state) and the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), witnessed its first-ever public meeting this morning.
It was a meeting to sell ideas for overhauling Ďewduh, which has been in existence for years.
At the meeting, thousands of people, including traders who have been making a living from Ďewduh, extended support to the idea of restoring the pristine glory of the oldest trading hub.
If the glory has to be restored, one of the major decisions announced today by the council and the Hima Mylliem was to shut down all the existing shops and restaurants which have been illegally indulging in the sale of liquor. Many of those who were at the meeting applauded this decision.
Several decisions to revamp Ďewduh were taken at a joint meeting between the council and the Hima Mylliem on June 28.
These decisions were made known to the public at the meeting today, which lasted for two hours.
“We have decided to ban the sale of illegal liquor in shops and restaurants operating in and around the market. I urge the office of the Syiem (chief) of Hima Mylliem to ensure that no restaurant in Ďewduh is allowed to sell liquor,” council chief executive member Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit announced at the meeting.
Violators will not be spared and the punishment could extent to the cancellation of their rights to carry out their trade in the market.
Stating that drinking has led to the failure of taking up responsibilities within the family, Basaiawmoit said, “We are not saying don’t drink but there is a limit to everything. The decision is a call to our people to be responsible in whatever they do, to uplift the society as a whole.”
To streamline porters, the council leader they would have to register themselves with the council. For those belonging to the non-indigenous community, a labour licence to be issued from the council would be necessary.
The porters will also have to wear uniforms along with badges bearing registration numbers.
To maintain cleanliness, public latrines would be established at various points within Ďewduh.
Moreover, the trading hub has been declared as a “non-residential area” and “illegal settlers” would be evicted.
To improve farmers’ earnings, Basaiawmoit said orders would be issued to ensure non-imposition of tax on agricultural produce, which are below 35kg. However, for produce between 35kg to 50kg, the farmers will have to pay Rs 10 and for above 51kg, the tax will be Rs 15.