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Tourism industry most affected by May 31 road skirmish in Shillong

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
The problems caused by any breakdown of law and order always affects the farmers, who always feel the first pinch as most of the seasonal perishable produces- vegetables and fruits are simply thrown away or turned into fodder for cattle. The other most affected section in the society comprises the daily wage earners. However the prolonged effects like hysteria hits the tourism industry the most and other sectors of trade and commerce.
It is unfortunate that the recent violence which erupted between police personnel and an angry mob which was trying to storm the Sweepers’ Colony at Them Iew Mawlong had occurred at this particular point of time which is supposed to be the peak of tourism season, where the domestic tourists visit Shillong to escape the heat wave. Shillong has become a favourite destination after the unrest in Darjeeling, West Bengal. The impact was huge for a large number of tourists in Shillong, particularly those visiting Cherrapunjee and Dawki or Mawlynnong on June 2, 2018 when District Magistrate East Khasi Hills district Peter S Dkhar imposed curfew by 4 pm. All the tourists were stranded at Upper Shillong where all the guest houses and resorts where fully booked for the first time.
As the city is slowly limping back to normalcy, there is very little activity in the hotels and guest houses in the city which were doing brisk business before the breakdown of law and order from June 1 to June 5 last. Sadly there are very few fresh bookings being registered at these hotels and guest houses as of now. Above that most hotels in the state capital are not encouraging the tourists, as most of them were requested to leave the curfew bound city.
If peace would not have been disturbed due to rumours which spread after a road - side altercation, Shillong this time would have been hosting tourists who would have otherwise been making their way to Shimla, the Queen of Hills station. The water scarcity in Shimla would have prompted tourists to leave Shimla, especially after they have been were requested to leave and other bookings being cancelled.
The incumbent Chief Minister, Conrad Kongkal Sangma has in the past done his best to promote tourism in Meghalaya. The present Umiam View point was one of the 11 tourists spot identified by Conrad when he was in the Tourism Task Force. Now under his leadership there were great expectations that the tourism infrastructure in Meghalaya will see vast improvement. However, it is an undeniable fact that peace and tranquility are prerequisites of development, promotion and marketing of Meghalaya as a tourist destination.
Besides the tourism industry even the general public also has to suffer through the resultant high cost of all daily essential commodities. In spite of the direction of the District Magistrate, there is no checking conducted by the Inspectors to control the pricing, taking full advantage of inactivity of the district administration. The business owners were charging almost three times of normal prices, as of now the situation has normalised, the high pricing as of now is attributed to the flood in Assam resulting in shortages of supply.
This time the situation as controlled early as most of the general masses understand the adverse impact of a breakdown of law and order and have actively participated in restoring peace and harmony by opposing the rumour mongers and those spreading fake news while at the same time not allowing the trouble to escalate.
As of now although the residents of Them Iew Mawlong or the Punjabi Lane refuse to be relocated, they have welcomed the improvement of the areas is turning out to be at Status Quo. It also means that a solution to the problem will take a little longer than what was initially expected. As of now Khasi Students’ Union has objected to the interference of a third party, the representative of the Sikhs. This expression through peaceful means is a welcome sign and ironing out the issues at hand can lead to a peaceful situation. This also means the citizens in Meghalaya are now more tolerant and can discuss issues across the table.
The change of attitude of the general masses which are now more peace loving and productive will only help the government to restore normalcy at the earliest. The Ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance led by the National People’s Party headed by Conrad Kongkal Sangma should take full advantage of this changing mind set to develop tourism in the state and also create employment opportunities for the youth. This will divert them towards achieving the targets rather than indulgence in creating trouble in the State.


 

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Meghalaya ignored while Modi claims farmer income increasing

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
Prime Minister, Narendra Damodardas Modi while interacting with selected farmers from various parts of the country through the Narendra Modi App on June 20, 2018 claims that the income of farmers in India has increased and also doubled in many cases, due to various initiatives taken by the National Democratic Alliance government. He also stated that the central government is working towards ensuring that the income of the hardworking farmers will double by 2022.
Modi justify this claim by saying that this could be achieved as the central government is facilitating proper assistance whenever required. Also his government has ensured facilities such as Soil Health Card, good quality seeds, fertilizers besides electricity, water and markets.

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First divorce of BJP coalition government exposed dominating nature of party

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
The Bharatiya Janata Party in an unexpected move on June 19, 2018 pulled out of the coalition with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir as the second largest party with 25 legislators in the House of 87 seats. BJP Vice President, Ram Madhav stated that it has become untenable for the party to continue with the alliance government in J&K, while the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, with 28 legislators after tendering her resignation to Governor N N Vohra said PDP did not ally with the BJP for power, but to defend Article 370 and 35A, said that J&K cannot be treated as an enemy state and there is no room for muscular policy.

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Frequent suspension of internet services exposes unpreparedness for absolute freedom

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
Social media has turned out to be the biggest nightmare for the Ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government led by National People’s Party headed by Conrad Kongkal Sangma, who himself is extremely active on various social networks. The recent 48 hours suspension of internet services in Meghalaya with effect from 3 pm of June 16, 2018 has raised many an eyebrow with many questioning whether there is yet another breakdown of law and order.

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Conrad to remain in state politics to fulfill the mandate of change

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
The National People’s Party is learned to have unanimously agreed to retain Conrad Kongkal Sangma to remain in state politics. The Assembly Constituency has already been identified for him to contest; however, the official announcement will be made in the coming week. The decision made is also to counter the claim of the Opposition Congress that the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) will fall soon.
On the very first working day of Conrad, he had shocked the Secretariat Staff for reaching the office in time. Although they had earlier experienced his action as the youngest state Finance Minister had changed from all Saturdays as Holidays to only second and fourth as that of the central government offices was faced by almost like the Non – Cooperation movement and he could not remain in office for long. Also his lost in 2013 Assembly Election was due to the same reason. This time he is as demanding when it comes to deliverance of duty but do allow some breathing spaces to the state government employees.

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