Congrad Sangma government will lay new benchmark for development: Governor

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Shillong, March 16 (IANS) Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad on Friday said that the state’s new Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government headed by Conrad Sangma will embark on many initiatives and programmes in the coming years that will set a new benchmark for development.

In his address to the assembly at the start of the budget session, he said that the government’s policies and programmes will be carried forward to lay a “new benchmark for development and prosperity” and the state would be able to make rapid strides towards empowering its people in realising their dreams through collective efforts.

Prasad, who became the first Governor to address the assembly in Hindi, also listed achievements of the previous Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance government led by Mukul Sangma.

Noting that the internal security situation has also significantly improved in the state, he praised both the Meghalaya Police and Central paramilitary forces for their commendable job despite facing constraints of difficult terrain and poor communication infrastructure.

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He said the government’s recent approach to facilitate surrendered cadres of different militant organisations to take advantage of a rehabilitation package and assimilate in the national mainstream by involving the Church and community leaders with the aid of the district administration and police have yielded results.

On the vexed inter-state border dispute with Assam, Prasad said that the areas of differences are being monitored continuously even as he said that efforts are on to solve these differences and effective mechanisms at the level of the Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries have been created for securing a permanent solution to the issue.

Noting the situation on the border remained peaceful due to improved relations with Bangladesh, he however, said that the state is committed to complete the remaining fencing at a fast pace “to effectively contain influx of Bangladeshi nationals and trans-border movement and activities of militants and anti-social elements”.

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He also told the assembly that the state government is also in the process of implementing a new initiative of creating facilitation centres at various entry and exit points on the inter-state border with Assam to check the entry of illegal migrants and other suspicious persons.

Prasad said that special juvenile police units have been set up in all district headquarters, while the Special Superintendent of Police, CID has been notified as Nodal Officer on trafficking of women and childre.

He said that 181 Women Helpline is functional, a track the missing child portal has been set upand one stop crisis centre has been set up at Ganesh Das Hospital here for victims of sexual assault.

The Governor also said that two externally-aided projects, namely, the Community Led Eco-System Management Project for micro-sheds not covered under Integrated Watershed Management Programme to reverse progressive deforestation, unscientific quarrying and mining and stabilize critically important hydrological service at village level and the Integrated Transport Sector Development Project for Improvement of Livelihood and Empowerment of Women in Remote Tribal Areas for road connectivity have been cleared by the Central government for implementation in the state.

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