The Chief Minister announced that in March this year, the State will host an iconic tourism event at the picturesque Thadlaskein Lake that aims to brand Meghalaya for its ultimate high end tourism potential.
The Chief Minister said that the “Meghalayan Age Festival” which will be held in the second week of March tentatively from 6th or 7th for a period of nine days will promote high end tourism.
“We are living in the Meghalayan Era and the world needs to be informed about this. Through this festival, we will brand Meghalaya and invite visitors to experience the State in a different styles. We are putting different activities, music and cultural events to make this event a memorable one,” the Chief Minister said.
The highlights of this event will be hot air balloons, caving and glamping.
Glamping is being held for the first time in Meghalaya, where 50 5-star luxury tents will be put up for visitors, who can enjoy 5 star facilities in the tent and enjoy the festival, which will be spread over a period of nine days. “We want to promote Meghalaya in a very big way and the Meghalayan Age Festival is just the beginning of our ambitious tourism plan,” the Chief Minister added.
He also said that during the festival, the government will showcase achievers from the State chosen from different fields — farming, education, health care, sportsmen, businessmen and develop stories around them and link their stories with Meghalaya.
Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma has defended Home Minister, James PK Sangma and stated “when you head the Home department you are always at the firing end.”
Meghalaya Chief Minister was replying to a question over the unhappiness expressed by many of Cabinet Ministers over the failure of Home Minister, James PK Sangma to control the law order situation especially in controlling the illegal transportation of coal in the state.
It was reported that many of the Cabinet Ministers in the MDA Government are unhappy with Home Minister, James K Sangma especially over his “failure” to tackle the illegal transportation of coal and also on the alleged illegal collection of money at Dainadubi check gate in North Garo Hills.
According to him, people might have their own opinions on the law and order situation in the State adding that he would not like to make any remarks on those observations.
“My observation is the Home department has done a good job to tackle the law and order situation in the State. There were only two big law and order problems especially in Shillong. But the situation was brought under control in many ways and there was no loss of life,” Sangma told reporters after the Cabinet meeting in Jowai today.
He said they will again discuss the issue of the prevailing law order situation in the State in the Cabinet and among the colleagues in the MDA, if needed.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma asserted that there is no truth that illegal transportation of coal is going on.
“If people have documents for transportation of coal, that is a different case. But we have made it very clear that no illegal transportation of coal will be allowed. We have issue clear directive to the police department that strict action should be taken if they find any illegal transportation of coal,” he said.
Four Cabinet Ministers did not turn up for the Cabinet Meeting
Meanwhile, four Cabinet Ministers- AL Hek, Samlin Malngiang, Banteidor Lyngdoh and Hamlet Dohling- were absent from the Cabinet meeting in Jowai.
Clarifying on this, Chief Minister said that the four Cabinet Ministers had already informed that they will not be able to attend the Cabinet meeting.
“He (Hek) is in Delhi since he was asked by the party to campaign for the BJP in Delhi elections. Both Banteidor and Hamlet could not attend this Cabinet since they are in Guwahati. He (Samlin) is currently in Kolkata,” Chief Minister said.
According to Sangma, Hek had informed that he will not be able to attend the Cabinet meeting yesterday while the other three Cabinet Ministers had informed about their inability to attend the Cabinet meeting three days back.
Iawmusing Shopping Complex project
On the pending demand for the establishment of Shopping Complex at Iawmusiang, Jowai, the Chief Minister informed that the project has been cleared by the Ministry of DoNER under NLCPR, however, due to changes in the drawings and DPR, certain confusion has been raised by the ministry, which is being clarified by the State Government.
The Chief Minister assured that government of Meghalaya will pursue the project with the Ministry of DoNER and in the meantime will release funds from the State for the project to roll out at the earliest.
The District Youth Congress (DYC) of North Garo Hills has accused the NPP MLAs of attempting to relocate the already apporved Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) to their respective constituencies.
The DYC has alleged NPP MLAs of Bajengdoba, Ponseng Marak and deputy speaker, Timothy D Shira of political gimmickry.
“On January 29, Pongseng Marak had gone for a site inspection at Raksam Somagre in his constituency, while again on Feb 1, Timothy D Shira, for the fourth instance, gone to Raja Apal (the originally proposed site) for an inspection,” said president of NGH DYC Sengbath Marak in a statement issued today.
The two MLAs had earlier posted about their visit to the locations in their constituency where the JNV is supposed to be constructed leaving many from the opposition Congress camp completely amused.
The DYC questioned the two ‘bickering’ MLAs on the matter and sought to know as where the JNV would actually be housed. They further asked as to whether the two MLAs had taken the people of the two C&RD blocks (Bajengdoba and Resubelpara) for fools.
“Construction tenders have already been floated for the same allotted JNV’s in different parts of Meghalaya whereas conflict of interests and personal, political vendetta of these MLAs are delaying the start of the project. It would be much appreciated if the JNV is housed in Raja Apal area as was proposed by the previous government,” they added.
The DYC sought the two MLAs to initiate construction works of the school and stop depriving the children and citizens of NGH through what they termed as political gimmickry.
Meghalaya joined the rest of India in celebrating the 71st Republic Day celebration today at Polo Grounds, Shillong. Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma unfurled the Tri-colour and took salute of the parade.
Addressing the gathering, he said that entrepreneurship will be the key driver of growth and employment in the coming years for the State.
He said that the State Government is working tirelessly to achieve excellence in governance, quality education, economic and social upliftment and other infrastructural work.
A colourful display of tableaus by different Government departments, cultural dance and songs marked the celebration.
The Chief Minister also distributed the Meghalaya Day awards to the winners. The Republic Day celebrations were also held in different district headquarters.
Boulder trucks from Bhutan carrying loads for export from their country to neighbouring Bangladesh have been dominating the state highways of Garo Hills. The trucks exporting goods through SAARC related trade agreement have turned a ‘blind eye’ with absolutely no regards to the laws and regulation implemented by the country.
The Government of Meghalaya hosted the Meghalaya Entrepreneurship & Start Up Summit on Tuesday, to create a dynamic and collaborative ecosystem for entrepreneurship support and development in Meghalaya through PRIME (Promotion of Innovative and Market Driven Enterprises).
The programme was organized by the Planning Department, Government of Meghalaya implemented by the Meghalaya Institute of Entrepreneurship (MIE), Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA) and Indian Institute of Technology- Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP).
The Summit witnessed the launch of PRIME Programme, Honouring of Meghalaya Chief Minister’s E-Champions (Top 100 Entrepreneurs), Unveiling the state’s Entrepreneurship Promotion Strategy and Inauguration of Meghalaya’s first ever incubation hubs, the “PRIME” hub, for state entrepreneurs which will provide handholding, mentoring and incubation support to start ups and persons with innovative business ideas in order for them to upscale their business.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, while addressing the programme said, “Our officials are a store house of talent and ideas and in order to tap this, we will soon launch an open challenge for the government officials in the state for them to come up with innovative ideas to existing issues and problems in the state”.
He also stated that a monthly award on the lines of ‘entrepreneur of the month award’ will be launched for outstanding musicians and sportspersons from the state in order to keep them motivated while also creating a strong base for the fostering of music & entertainment industry in the state. The same is set to be implemented from the financial year 2020.
The Chief Minister also stressed on the need to focus on music incubation centres given the fact that the state has a huge talent pool of musicians and artists whose talents remain untapped.
CEO of NITI Ayog, Amitabh Kanth said that Meghalaya has a huge potential in 4 main sectors and the same needs to be tapped at the earliest to provide a boost to the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the state.
He said, “Meghalaya has a huge potential in agricultural and horticultural sector, it can be a centre of high value added tourism and tinkering labs”.
While addressing the Top 100 Entrepreneurs selected through the Chief Minister’s E-Champion Challenge 2019, Amitabh Kanth also stated that the NITI Ayog would soon initiate a meeting of state entrepreneurs with India’s young and successful startups to enable idea sharing and networking which are the key drivers of entrepreneurship culture.
Out of the Top 50, the Top 25 entrepreneurs were felicitated by the Chief Minister with a cash prize of Rs. 1 Lakh (cheque), a certificate as well as a memento. The remaining 25 were felicitated with a cash prize of Rs. 50 thousand (cheque), a certificate as well as a memento. The rest of the Top 50 were awarded with a certificate and they have secured a place at the PRIME hub centre in Shillong and Tura for a period of one year.
The summit hosted an Award Ceremony cum entertainment evening with performances by Lamphang Syiemlieh, Megha Warriors, Rikune/ Snap Paka, fashion show, among others. A fashion show was also presented with local fashion designers from the state.
It may be mentioned that the summit was a culmination of the Chief Minister’s E-Champion Challenge Programme 2019 that was launched in August 14, 2019 by the Chief Minister with the objective of identifying and encouraging potential entrepreneurs from across the state.