SHILLONG, Aug 09: The Civil Society Women’s Organization (CSWO) has asked politicians and VIPs whether they will be willing to travel by the city’s public transport system so that they get a first - hand experience of what the common man has to go through on a daily basis.
While expressing the CSWO’s opposition to the enhancement of the price limit for procurement of official vehicles which was announced by the government on Wednesday, CSWO president, Agnes Kharshiing said, “In fact we suggest that politicians and VIPs should use public transport instead so that they will notice the pot holes, the bad roads, and the no roads in rural area and do away with VIP status in the State, as these are elected public servants and government servants and cannot abuse their position at their whims and fancies but are guided by rules and procedures.”
Opining that the decision is a sheer abuse of power and that it cannot be accepted, Kharshiing said this is not individual funds of the cabinet but it is public money adding that such decision only gives room to corruption and capitalist policies.
“It is always seen that politicians approach the public before Elections to bring in the change but here they sit in decision not for the problems facing the common man but think for themselves,” she said.
Further, the CSWO also questioned the state government and the guardians of the state, the bureaucrats in charge Finance, as to where the ‘Meghalaya Ministers Allowances and Privileges Act 1972’ is.
“The Finance department and the Chief Secretary should not allow such decisions by the cabinet wherein decisions are made amounting to extravagant splurging of public funds,” Kharshiing said.
Kharshiing also expressed her shock to see that the state Cabinet sat to discuss the enhancing of the price limit of vehicles for VIPs especially at a time when the state is financially strapped.
She alleged that the state government has failed to pay the SSA Teachers, the victim compensation scheme while further adding that it is not improving mobility services for the Police in remote areas where they need more vehicles.
She also said that many a time rape victims are made to travel together with the perpetrator in the same vehicle as both need to be taken for medical examination.
“In fact the state government should sit to tighten the extravagant spending of public funds and seek more accountability and transparency,” Kharshiing asserted.