SHILLONG, March 15: Former Chief Minister and United Democratic Party (UDP) President, Dr Donkupar Roy put forth three demands before the government on Friday – upgrade Sohra Sub – division and Mairang Sub – division to full- fledged Districts, enhance MLA scheme from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crores, and raise a women battalion for Meghalaya.
Participating in the debate on Governor’s address during the second day of the Budget Session of 9th Meghalaya legislative Assembly, Leader of Opposition (LO) Dr Roy apprised the House that after the creation of four districts by the government, there is an increased demand from all quarters for more districts and new sub – divisions, even as this issue became prominent during the recent Assembly elections in the state.
Affirming that having more districts brings administration closer to the people, he highlighted that Sohra is one of the oldest Sub – division in state. It has all the required infrastructure and holds the distinction of being the birth place to education in Meghalaya.
Even financially, he said, there should not be much burden on the government as all the needed infrastructure is present.
Similarly, for Mairang Sub – division, he said Chief Minister himself had promised the people to upgrade the Sub – division into a district.
Asserting that the two sub-divisions have long been neglected, he stressed that they deserve to be converted into districts.
“I do not see any problem (in creating the two districts) with the chief minister himself holding the important departments of planning and finance,” the LO said.
The UDP president went on to add that during his tenure as chairman of the State Planning Board, he had conducted surveys and found that the sub-divisions deserved to be converted into districts while the areas along the borders, Mawsynrut, Pynursla and Laskein, needs to be upgraded into sub-divisions.
Besides, he demanded that the Special Rural Works Programme (SRWP) or MLA scheme, be increased from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore as the former amount is now ‘insufficient’, even though he expressed regret that the MLA local area development scheme and other programmes failed to find a mention in the Governor’s address.
Roy argued that expectations from people have increased substantially which has put MLAs under pressure. “If (the fund under) MP scheme, which is not directly related to development, is being raised from Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore, why not in the case of the MLAs,” he asked.
If the Scheme for developmental works at the grass-roots level is enhanced in the first Session of the Assembly, the MLAs will be at ease, he stated.
The Shella legislator also demanded for raising an ‘all-women police battalion’ in line with the allocation of the Home portfolio to a women minister, Roshan Warjri.
“If we can have a lady Home minister then why not have a women battalion in the state,” Dr Roy suggested.
Furthermore, while stating that there are rooms for improvement in the Law and Order department, Dr Roy however urged the government to ensure that no police personnel under influence of alcohol are allowed to attend their duties. “They are angels during day time but not at night time,” he exhorted.