Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Tuesday slammed the National People’s Party (NPP)-led MDA government for its failure to implement the Meghalaya Community Participation and Public Services Social Audit Act, 2017.
His statement came in the wake of the alleged shoddy construction of the Rs 48 crore Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Mawlai Mawiong.
The poor quality of work and leakage of the ISBT’s roof has drawn strong flak as the ISBT has just started to operate after it was inaugurated by Union Home Minister, Amit Shah a few months ago.
Sangma told reporters that the MCPPSSA Act seeks to bring in the involvement of the society as watchdogs against corruption while implementing various projects on a real time basis.
He informed that there has been engagement and interaction with the stakeholders to really carry forward the community participation in social auditing.
According to him, the social auditing is not done by only the people who are employees of the government but with the involvement of the community and society so that there is little room and space for people who have this tendency to engage in corruption to go with complete impunity.
Mukul however alleged that the MDA government had tried to suppress the mandate of this particular law.
“But unfortunately by the way things have gone, the way the government of the day somehow tried to suppress the mandate of the law is reflective of their intent; that means they don’t want any system which itself can create a deterrence,” he said.
The former chief minister further claimed that the MCPPSSA Act had received appreciation from the Government of India.
“The Niti Aayog and other ministries also took cognizance of this initiative and it was felt that this particular legislative exercise embarked upon and considered by the state legislature of Meghalaya must be something which can be replicated by other states,” he said.
On the other hand, the Leader of Opposition also alleged the government of the day of being instrumental in weakening the Lokayukta, which can create a strong deterrence against any intent of corruption.
“The government is indirectly crippling this institution and allows the instance of corruption to go on with complete impunity. This is something which is the most dangerous trend that we see in the last four years,” he said.
Urging the people of the state to end such tendency by taking the government head on, Mukul said, “I have always taken pride in saying that Meghalaya is blessed with people in the civil society organizations, who are vigilant, alert and assertive. We must keep that legacy, we must live up to self-confidence that we as a society and a state take on the government and ensure that a similar type of tendency to compromise the work at the time of implementation does not take place.”
He further alleged that many roads taken up a few years back are no longer there. “The whole quality, the kind of quality control monitoring that is required to be ensured by the implementing department does not seem to have been done,” he said.
Mukul reminded that the responsibility to protect the interest of the state and the people lies with the people who are in the helm of affairs of governance who are vested with the responsibility of implementing these programmes. “Those who are under the payroll of the government, who received their paycheck from the public exchequer, they are duty bound to protect the interest of the state,” he said.