Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Kongkal Sangma while reacting to the continuous attack of the Opposition Indian National Congress, has said that the former Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA- I and II) government failed to properly implement most of the Central and State flagship programme for the state. Of course, all such records is only available in the Office of the Chief Minister, while the general masses are unaware of the deficiency or the implantation, as none of the 60 elected members and the two parliamentarians ever submit the Reports for public scrutiny.
It is not just the MUA or the Ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) led by National People’s Party (NPP). Neither the Central or State flagship programme were proper advertised, particularly in the far flung villages in the local languages. The token implementation of any of the programmes in the state capital and the headquarters that is only in the urban sectors is mainly for documentation purposes and till date, hardly any of the flagship programmes had ever reached to the grassroots.
There were various objections made by the Meghalaya Editors and Publishers Association (MEPA), that such programmes should not be advertised to other newspapers or channels which do not connect with the rural folks, while many past governments have been patronizing various Regional, National and other newspapers published from outside the state on such programmes, hence the grassroots are ignorant of the facilities available. MEPA had also pointed out that except the Tender or Notification which requires national attention should be advertised to the media houses outside the state.
Except for the publicity of Literacy, various District Commissioners have used the medium of Street Play, and other Civil Organization have used the same for sensitizing the registration of birth, death and marriages and have also organized various street plays. Lately only the GVK EMRI (Emergency Management and Research Institute), popularly known as 108 services in collaboration with college students have taken up the issues of Road Safety and the emergency services through street plays, while Meghalaya AIDS Control Society is adopting the flash-mob method as its medium to create awareness.
It is strange how all the successive state governments could not adopt the same to reach the same to the interior villages.
As claimed by Conrad, the six - month old ruling MDA has already brought in a Directorate for Food Processing which never happened in the past besides starting the Missions for turmeric, Mission for apiculture and jack fruit which are innovative programmes, where the fair or festivals was held in the state capital, however, the villagers are not at all benefited as they are unclear about the missions.
The recent ban on the sale of imported fishes is one such disaster the locals have to face, unaware of the popular Aquaculture of the MUA government, of which by now the state should have surplus supply of fishes in the state. However, it is clear that the local fish farmers could not even meet the demand of the market during the fish ban.
Whereas the previous Congress-led MUA-II government, through the Basin Development and Livelihood Promotion Programme had stressed mostly on Aquaculture, whereas, the shortage of fishes still persists in the state. This ban will surely raise questions about the development of the Basin development programme.
As the Congress is now in the Opposition, the ruling MDA led by NPP, which had sought the report of the Basin Programmes, will surely turn the shortage of fishes in the state into a political agenda while highlighting what it will term as the misrule of the former government.
Meghalaya not only imports fishes from Andhra Pradesh, rice too is being imported in huge quantity, so also the vegetables, fruits and eggs are all imported from other neighbouring states. Therefore, the Food Safety Commissioner should conduct tests on all essential commodities being imported from outside the state, why just target the fishes and cattle?
If the Formalin-laced fish are used just for political mileage, it sincerely needs all condemnation, as it will affect the livelihood of a huge section of the society. If the government is serious, it should actually take action at the source and black list the farm or look for other suppliers, such that there will not be any shortfall of supply, as every individual is health conscious in this generation. At the same time, the essential commodities should not be used as a means of settling political scores.
It is high time the ruling MDA government formulates more local sensitizing programmes on all the Central and State flagship programmes targeting the grassroots by adopting all medium, be it print, audio and visual, or the street play in vernacular script such that it serves the purpose.
Once the citizens are well aware of the schemes and programmes, they will themselves apply and demand for the same and make the Ruling government accountable for the same. Then only can one justify if governance has reached the grassroots or not, and the success of the implementation of all schemes and programmes can be answerable.