Meghalaya Assembly discusses key issues, budget session cut short in view of COVID 19

Meghalaya Assembly discusses key issues, budget session cut short in view of COVID 19

Shillong, Mar 16:

Despite the demand of the opposition to adopt a resolution to repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly today, however, adopted a government resolution to urge the centre to exempt the entire state including the areas not covered under the Sixth Schedule from the purview of the Act.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma who laid the Government resolution in the floor of the House had thanked the centre for exempting the Sixth Schedule Areas of the State from the purview of the CAA 2019 and resolved that the Government of India be urged to exempt the entire state including the areas not covered under the Sixth Schedule that is the two square kilometers of Municipality area of Shillong as defined in Para 20 of the sixth schedule to the Constitution.

According to him, the areas falling under the Shillong Municipal Board which is outside the purview of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution comes to 0000.1 percent of the areas of the State.

"The Government will ensure that the State is totally exempted from the purview of the CAA. So far not a single person has applied for citizenship in Meghalaya after CAA came into force," Meghalaya Chief Minister said.

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition Congress, Dr Mukul Sangma had impressed on the need to pass a resolution to repeal the Act.

Crowborough Hotel to be made operational by September

Replying to the question raised by Congress MLA, Process T. Sawkmie, Meghalaya Chief Minister informed that the much delayed Crowborough Hotel will be made operational by September this year.

Informing that the Government in 2008 had entered into a lease agreement with one Leslee Shylla in 2008 for a period of 33 years on this project, Sangma informed that the bid amount was Rs 98.9 crore for a period of 33 years.

He also informed that the lessee (Leslee Shylla) had paid an amount of Rs 10.83 crore  and the party defaulted as another amount of Rs 10.01 crore was not paid.

On the question on who will operate the hotel, Sangma informed that an agreement was signed with lessee post arbitration and a special purpose vehicle was created between the concerned person and Aura hotels and Resorts Private Limited and later they signed an agreement with Taj Vivants to run and manage the hotel.

No proposal to come up with another airport in the State

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Chief Minister told the House that the State Government has no proposal to come with another airport in the State.

According to him, the Government will try to utilise the airport to the fullest. Talking about Baljek airport, Sangma said that it will be handed over to the Airport Authority of India after some clearances that need to be done. Elaborating on this issue further, he said that clearances in terms of trees are there which is not a major problem.

He however informed that the Shillong- Delhi direct flight was targeted to begin  by March adding that they could not open the bid as the session is on. Meghalaya Chief Minister cited the reason considering the ongoing COVID-19 crisis it can be done later.

Govt Approves proposal for extension of the Shillong District Jail

Meanwhile, Minister in-charge Home (Jails), Alexander Laloo Hek informed that the State Government has approved the proposal for extension of the Shillong District Jail.

Replying during the question hour, Hek said that the approved capacity of the district jail is for 135 male prisoners, 15 female prisoners and 20 high security prisoners.

He however informed that that at present, altogether there are 440 prisoners at the Shillong District Jail including 422 male prisoners and 18 female prisoners.

Informing that the Government has sanctioned an amount of Rs 8.46 crore for extension of Shillong District Jail, he said that the PWD (Building) has also completed the tendering process.

Replying to a question raised by Congress MLA, HM Shangpliang, Minister in-charge Home (Jails) admitted that a total number of 18 female prisoners were presently locked in a single room.

Responding to query about CCTV cameras installed in the premises, the Minister said that 22 CCTVs were installed in the jail but none of them are working at the moment.

Ongoing budget Session cut short in view of COVID-19

Meghalaya Assembly Speaker, Metbah Lyngdoh told the House that the emergency meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) has decided to reduce the working days of the ongoing budget session in view of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

It may be mentioned that the Speaker had adjourned the House for one hour for the emergency meeting of the BAC. The meeting was attended by Meghalaya Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma, Health Minister AL Hek and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong.

Later, Speaker announced that now there will be only one sitting of the House on March 19 which will be a Government business day.

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