Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma inaugurated a slew of projects on a tour of North Garo Hills today, less than two months before the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council election.
He was accompanied by Deputy Speaker Timothy D Shira, Bajengdoba MLA Pongseng Marak and MDCs Sukaram A Sangma and Dolly Sangma.
As part of the tour the CM laid the foundation for the construction of a bridge over River Damring at Resubelpara. With a total length of 1.8 kilometres (including the approach road) and a budget of Rs 23.59 crore funded by the World Bank, the bridge will connect two crucial roads – Songsak-Mendipathar and Rongrong-Resudekachang, which are separated by the river. Due to the absence of a permanent bridge over the river, the villagers cross over bamboo footbridges that are washed away during the monsoon. The construction of this bridge will reduce a detour for traffic by about 19 km.
“The completion of this project will greatly uplift the economy of the people living in this area thereby also supplementing the economy of the state in the form of royalty, taxes, etc,” Sangma said.
At the same function, the foundation for the new Resubelpara Government Higher Secondary School building, at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore, was laid by the CM.
Calling it an “investment in the future of Meghalaya”, the Chief Minister stated that the new school building will prove fruitful by producing successful, young and bright minds in the years to come.
Sangma also laid the foundation for a mini stadium at Resubelpara, funded by the State Plan Scheme at a total of Rs 3.46 crore.
“Our goal is to develop the stadium’s sports infrastructure with certified standards to encourage the sporting talents of the area,” the CM added.
Meanwhile, Sangma, this time accompanied by Kharkutta MLA Rupert Momin, laid the foundation for the upgrades to the United Kharkutta Higher Secondary School. The school was established in 1953 by residents of six villages. It was brought under the state umbrella in 1981 and was upgraded to a higher secondary school in 2002. The school is currently in a dilapidated condition with inadequate infrastructure to fulfill the needs of the students.
“The school has served the community for over 68 years since its inception in 1953, which was a result of collective community leadership of six villages in the area. It continues to serve unbiased for students from different backgrounds with its sole purpose to educate and bring higher education closer to home. I am extremely happy to be here to announce the start of this project for such a well-deserved community,” Sangma said. He also urged the school authorities to ensure the completion of the Rs 4 crore infrastructure project by December 2022.
At another school, in Rajasimla, Sangma inaugurated the new building of Omed Memorial Secondary School. The school, named after the first Garo who converted to Christianity, was established in 1969.
Expressing his concerns over poor pass percentage in Garo Hills, the CM called for cooperation from various stakeholders to partner with the government in encouraging children to pursue their education and see it to its end. He added, “The creation of better learning infrastructure will motivate the teachers and will spark interest in the youth to complete their education”.