Shillong (Meghalaya) [India], Feb 7, : Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma is all geared up for the upcoming 2018 state election, as he has been visiting different parts of the state on an inauguration spree to reinstate his government's commitment to the people.
In the past two weeks, four new blocks were inaugurated in different parts of the state, besides six new development blocks, four new sub-divisions and 17 new police stations, which are set to be dedicated for the people of the state.
Asserting that time is limited and a lot of welfare programme has to be inaugurated without even mentioning of the upcoming election, the Chief Minister said he is slowly making his party's ground ready for a comeback.
"Whether it is Congress or other party at the centre, the share of taxes for our state will come of its own", Sangma said today at a function in Bandalkona village, after inaugurating two suspension footbridges.
He said that the government has been able to function without having any debt, which has helped in getting external aid from various development investment agencies for initiating welfare projects.
"Based on our financial discipline, we have been able to raise our budget from Rs. 1300 crore to over Rs. 5000 crore in the last few years", he added. He dedicated two suspension footbridge constructed under special infrastructure development fund from the ministry of DoNER at Anangpara and Menggonpara in South West Garo Hills today in presence of Salmanpara MLA and chief whip of the government Winnerson D.
Sangma, Deputy Commissioner South West Garo Hills Cyril Diengdoh, Superintendent of Police Ramesh Singh, Assistant Director, border area development department Eva Gunme Marak and a host of other dignitaries.
Inaugurating the bridges, Sangma thanked President Pranab Mukherjee for granting the special package during his tenure as finance minister under which the bridges were constructed.
"During my childhood days, I saw village leaders demand for suspension bridge (hanging bridge), when a public representative used to visit Ampati.
I use to imagine what it would look like and curiously asked my mother about it. It never happened during my childhood and people had actually stopped making such demands. Today people in Garo hills are fortunate that the government is being able to create such infrastructure", he said.
In absence of a footbridge people had to cross the Daru River, over which both the bridges were constructed.
Dedicating the bridges to the people, the chief minister said a lot of development projects have been completed but due to paucity of time he was unable to inaugurate them so far.
He also sent out a clear message to the people of the state that if government is not able to respond to any kind of demand let it be understood that there is some constrain before the government.
"We can demand, if it fails keep demanding and reminding. It is a wonderful privilege to serve the people, so that we can effectively respond to the challenges of the people", he exhorted.
On delay in sanction of Rs. 22 crore from centre for construction of parallel road along the international border from Dalu (West Garo Hills) to Baghmara (South Garo Hills), he said that he has put the word across to Union MoS DoNER Jitendra Singh.
Talking about various challenges in governing the state, the chief minister said that centre was trying to modify the special category status for Northeast, which has affected in receiving funds from the centre.
"Through indirect tax share by way of central scheme we get funds for development programme. Earlier, there were 100 per cent sanction and in some cases 90:10 ratio but today it has been modified to 80:20 ratio", he lamented.
In the past six months, at least nine such footbridges were completed in South West Garo Hills by the border area development department.
The bridges were built at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.5 cr each..