Shillong, May 20: People’s Democratic Front MLA from Sohra, Gavin Mylliem raised several issues during the general discussion at the re-assembled budget session on Wednesday.
Mylliem pointed that the state is largely dependent on transfers from the centre, both in revenue expenditure and to make capital investments, and therefore, the state has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that he appreciated the aim of the government to tap into local resources, so as to improve our own tax and non-tax revenues.
The Sohra MLA thanked all the frontline workers for their hard work in the battle against COVID-19, and said that the government has been making huge investments in the health sector.
Mylliem revealed that during his inspections to various PHC’s, he found that most isolation wards do not meet the requirements as prescribed by the Health Department in tackling Covid-19.
“This is a lesson for our government and any government in future, so that in future for any construction to be undertaken regarding any PHC, CHC or Sub Centre, there should be minimum norms for all such infrastructures, so that it will be able to cater to the requirements, especially when dealing with major issues with which we are faced from time to time,” he said.
He urged the government to start science and commerce streams at Sohra Government College, which currently only caters to students studying Humanities.
“Getting students in the Science and Commerce Streams will not be difficult, since we have very good feeder schools like the Ramakrishna Mission Higher Secondary School and the St John Boys Higher Secondary School for both the Science and Commerce streams. This would also be a great opportunity for economically disadvantaged and low income families from this area,” he said.
Furthermore, he stated that most Community and Rural Development Blocks are lacking basic facilities. “The irony is that this office is responsible for disbursement of funds meant for all the developmental works in rural areas but the fact is that it is not provided with funds for its own maintenance,” he stressed.
He also urged the government to kindly look into the upgradation and improvement of the Umtyngngar-Sohra Road, stating that the last improvement for this particular road was done in the year 2012 under the Special Plan Assistance.
Mylliem said that he was happy that the government has prioritized the Umtyngar-Sohra-Laittyra-Mawlong-Ichamati-Bholaganjroad covering a length of 76.50 kms in the list of State Highways and Major District Roads to be declared as National Highway.
Speaking on the tourism sector he said that it was the perfect example of a smokeless industry. “The Tourist inflow into our state has witnessed a huge increase over the past few years. It is also one of the sectors badly affected by the present lockdown in our battle against Covid-19” he said.
Mylliem said that he appreciated the government’s initiative to constitute an Executive Committee of the Chief Ministers Economic Task Force for post COVID-19 and said, “I request that the Task Force be mandated to take up its task on a war footing, so that its recommendations may be submitted and also implemented at the earliest.”
He also suggested planning and implement sustainability of tourist spots and maximize revenue of local individuals and local enterprises.