Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong today said that attacking migrant labourers is not the way to deal with influx problems or an act of patriotism.
“I want to ask our youth whether your patriotism means attacking migrant labourers or non-tribals? This is totally wrong. If you love your own society you should sharpen your brain,” Tynsong said while laying the foundation stone for the improvement of the road from Umtyngngar to Mawsmai in Sohra.
Stating that today’s youth have been misled, the deputy chief minister said that even parents have been misled into thinking that their “sons are patriots because they have the courage to beat up non-tribals”.
“We have to understand that a migrant labourer is just a labourer working under us. We are the master,” Tynsong said.
According to him, around 36,000 migrant labourers went back to their home states after the imposition of lockdown which has delayed several road projects in the State since April 2020.
“Before they came back to work in our State, we told them to come with documents. Even after they come with proper documents, they get assaulted. What is this?” Tynsong said.
“Our own people are not willing to work. That has led to a situation that we have to bring labourers from outside,” he said.
The deputy chief minister also said that during his earlier meetings with leaders of various NGOs he had appealed to them to encourage their members to work in order to fill the shortage of labourers.
“What is strange is that today there is huge shortage of labourers in our State. I have time and again told headmen and traditional heads to see that migrant labourers are allowed to work and after completion of the work they should go back,” Tynsong said.
He also said that the Khasi society should stop being narrow-minded and at the same time remain master of the land.
Tynsong also said that the State government has set a deadline of April for the completion of the work for improvement of the Shillong-Sohra Road.
“We have given a deadline to the contractors engaged with the road project to complete the work by April before the onset of monsoon. If they fail to comply with the deadline, we will have to blacklist them,” he said.
The project would include blacktopping of the road from Umtyngngar to Mawsmai in Sohra through Semi Dense Bituminous Macadam (SDBC).The total budget sanctioned for the project is Rs 12 crores.