CM Conrad Sangma calls on PM, seeks central assurance

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Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Thursday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and expressed his gratitude to the Government of India and Prime Minister for providing an amount of Rs. 5,105 cr from the share of central taxes and Rs. 1,279 cr as Revenue Gap Grant for the next financial year.

He also urged the Prime Minister to consider State-specific projects as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission. The Chief Minister stated that the State-specific projects will go a long way in taking forward the development agenda of the government in Meghalaya,

The Chief Minister also took the opportunity to inform the Prime Minister of several new initiatives, which have been taken up to combat climate change in the State. The projects include – construction of a series of cascading small multipurpose reservoirs that will enable the impounding of the 3,700 mm of annual rainfall that the State receives.

“The conserved water will be used for varied purposes including drinking, irrigation, fisheries and tourism development. An externally aided project of 100 million USD has been proposed to the Department of Economic Affairs to fund this ambitious project,” the Chief Minister added.

He also informed the Prime Minister that cadre of natural resource management volunteers are being raised in each of the 6500 villages of the State, which is part of the Meghalaya State Water Mission.

“This cadre will be trained and empowered so that they are able to integrate traditional knowledge and modern technology towards solving the challenges of climate change,” the Chief Minister said.

He also informed the Prime Minister that Meghalaya envisages to host an international conference on climate change and natural resource management with the participation of all the North Eastern Chief Ministers and other distinguished personalities in the field.

“The conference will provide a platform for showcasing the various climate-related good practices in the region and will bring out an action plan for climate change reversal and mitigation. It will also identify a cadre of youth from the region, who will play the leadership role in taking forward the agenda and will represent the region and the country in the COP26 Summit at Glasgow, UK,” the Chief Minister informed.

He also sought a convenient time from the Prime Minister, so that Meghalaya can hold the event in the next three months.

The Chief Minister also apprised the Prime Minister on two critical projects for Northeast – (a) Silchar – Mahendraganj – Hili road, which also includes a bridge over river Brahmaputra and (b) 8 – lanning of Guwahati – Shillong – Dawki – Sylhet – Chittagong Highway.