Conrad Sangma announces Rs. 13 crore development package to develop tourism infrastructure in West Khasi Hills

Shillong, Nov 15: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Monday announced Rs. 13 crore special package for development of tourism infrastructure and amenities at Nongkhnum Island in West Khasi Hills.
Nongkhnum is known as the second largest river Island in Asia after Majuli in Assam. He visited the Island with his family accompanied by District Administration officials.
He was in Nongstoin to interact with Producer Groups (PGs) , formed under Farmers’ Collectivization for Upscaling of Production and Marketing Systems (FOCUS) – a flagship initiative of the State Government.
Interacting with the farmers, the Chief Minister said that the Government has earmarked Rs. 200 crore for farmers welfare programme in the State. He said that the Government is keen to understand the issues and concerns of the farmers and come up with appropriate policies to ensure maximum benefit reaches the farmers.
“FOCUS is an innovative welfare programme, whereby the Government ensures that the farmers are able to enhance their productivity as well as avail benefit of credit linkages and strengthen access to markets,” he added.
He also took the opportunity to inform the gathering that the Government has accorded thrust to ensure that road connectivity in the district is improved. He also told that the Greater Nongstoin Water Supply Scheme is nearing completion and will be inaugurated soon.
Through this ambitious programme, the Meghalaya Basin Management Authority (MBMA), the nodal implementing agency identifies production clusters of marketable produce, focuses on Value Chain Analysis of the produce, forming bottom-up small collectives known as Producer Groups (PGs), identifying and training extension service providers known as Service Producers (SPs) and building large collectives in the form of Cooperative Societies and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) through bringing together well functioning PGs.
Funding support is given to all the PGs and the selected Service Providers to take up identified value chain related activities. Each of the PGs receive a sum that would be equal to Number of Members at Rs. 5,000 each. This would come to an amount of Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1,00,000 for each of the PGs depending upon the number of members in the PG.
In the West Khasi Hills District, the formation of Producer Groups started from March 2021 in Mawshynrut Block and subsequently from July 2021 onwards in Nongstoin Block and altogether around 183 groups have been formed. The products identified for value chain development are Ginger, Seasonal Vegetables, Broom grass, Sericulture & Arecanut.
The empanelled NGOs for Nongstoin Block is NSSS and for Mawshynrut is DAWN.

Chief Minister along with local MLA Macmillan Byrsat handed over cheques to PGs. A total of 36 Producer Groups were given support under the FOCUS Program amounting Rs 21,95,000/- (Twenty One Lakhs and Ninety Five Thousand) only.

During his day long visit to the district, the Chief Minister also inspected the Nongstoin – Wahkaji and Nongstoin – Nongkhnum road.

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UDP hopes that it will lead the government in 2023

UDP asks Govt to implement roster system prospectively

Shillong, Nov 15: The leaders of the United Democratic Party (UDP) hopes that the party which has been playing second fiddle to other parties whenever they have been in the government would lead it in 2023.

Speaking to reporters after the Central Executive Committee (CEC), UDP general secretary  Jemino Mawthoh said the party has often been accused of being a ‘Team B’ to different political parties.
“I hope that there is going to be a change this time.  We have been with different political parties as partners in the government and we have been accused of being Team B to Congress, Team B to NPP,” Mawthoh said.

The UDP general secretary said that he hopes that this time around it is going to be different and with the strengthening of the party and choosing the right candidates from different constituencies the UDP will be able to win more seats and lead the government in 2023.

When asked if the party will be fielding candidates from all the 60 constituencies from Meghalaya, Mawthoh said that the party cannot say anything at this juncture because it will have to look at the different constituencies since each one has their own local dynamics.

“We have to look from that point of view and as part of the political strategy of the party we need to think accordingly what is the best option that we can take for the party to focus and concentrate to get more seats from the constituencies which we field,” the general secretary said.

On the issue of pre-poll alliance, Mawthoh said that this will be discussed in the core committee of the party.
According to him, views will be sought from party leaders from the different districts and constituencies and frontal wings.
Mawthoh also said that ahead of the polls in 2023 there is also an indication that many leaders from other political parties are inclined to join the UDP.
Meanwhile, the party also felicitated Eugeneson Lyngdoh who won the bye-election from Mawphlng constituency and Ashahel D. Shira who although did not win the Rajabala seat got around 7000 votes.

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