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(By Ibankyntiew Mawrie)
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Thursday said that the state government had not stopped the construction of entry-exit points and the facilitation centre at Umling in Ri-bhoi district, Meghalaya, and completion for the same was scheduled for November 2020.
“The Umling facilitation centre, which will be completed by this month, will also serve as the COVID screening centre. We have designated officials as per Rule 8 of MRSSA to take charge of the centre,” Sangma said on the fifth day of the Meghalaya Assembly Autumn Session, adding that officials governing the centres would be from Police, Tourism and Health departments.
The CM also added that as far as entry and exit points at the Mendipathar railway station was concerned, it would be completed by Dec 2020, and the land acquisition process is ongoing.
“The land identified belonged to the Transport Department last year,” he said.
The CM further said the government is ensuring that entry and exit points come up and all the district task forces are notified.
The CM also justified the selection of Umling for setting up a facilitation centre.
“Most of the land along Umling are high steep mountains. Land availability was difficult, which was why it made logical sense to go for land at a plainer area. This move was cost-effective, time-effective and feasible, keeping in mind the urgency of the matter,” Sangma said.
“Earlier, Rs 15 crore was sanctioned to set up the facilitation at Umling, but the same was de-sanctioned recently, and an amount of Rs 2.8 crore was released to set up prefab structures to carry out activities.”
The CM said that so far, the government identified 24 out of 41 locations, under Phase-I, to set up entry and exit points and land acquisition was at various stages.
(Edited by Andre Kongri & Anirban Paul)