Mawphlang MLA writes to CM to ensure setting up of CAU in Meghalaya

Shillong, June 11: Independent MLA from Mawphlang constituency, SK Sun on Tuesday asked the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government to ensure that Meghalaya do not miss the chance of establishing a Central Agriculture University (CAU) of its own.

In his letter to the Chief Minister, Conrad K. Sangma, the Mawphlang MLA requested the MDA government under his leadership to seriously take up the matter with the concerned ministry to get the proposal which “appears to have been abandoned/shelved way back in 2014, and revived once again as the state has fulfilled its commitment.”

Sun recalled that the issue related to the CAU was raised by him during the Budget session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly last year.

“Through a supplementary question, I have also expressed my doubts that the proposal for establishment of CAU for Meghalaya may have been withdrawn or shelved and ongoing works at Kyrdemkulai may be that of CAU, Imphal. But the Minister of Agriculture however in his reply removed the doubts expressed by me on the floor of the House, and confirmed that the ongoing works at Kyrdemkulai are for establishment of new CAU for Meghalaya, and works are in progress,” Sun recalled.

He informed that in his letter to the minister in May last year, he had expressed doubts on the statement made by him and have informed that as per information he had gathered, the College at Kyrdemkulai and Post Graduate College at Barapani was functioning under the CAU, Imphal, adding that “At this juncture, no one knows about the fate of CAU, Meghalaya.”

Referring to reports about the College of Agriculture at Kyrdemkulai, which is under construction, Sun said, “it appears that there has been serious communication gap that led to the confusion as stated in the House by the minister in April last year, that works for establishment of new CAU, Meghalaya are in progress.”

The Mawphlang legislator recalled that on February 3, 2010, the Central government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Department of Agriculture Research & Education (DARE), had constituted a four- member committee headed by Dr SN Pari, vice-chancellor of CAU, Imphal for selection of the site for establishment of the new CAU in Meghalaya.

“The committee in its final recommendation in May 2010 have zeroed-in on two sites as a package for establishment of the main campus/headquarter and expansion of existing college of Post-graduate studies. The recommendation by the committee states that in view of the difficulty in getting 200 acres (80 ha) land at a place in the hilly region, the Committee felt that the proposed site will be an ideal one for establishment of new colleges under the new CAU. The headquarters of the new CAU can also be established at this site,” he said.

Sun also said that the Committee felt that at least 40 acres of land as promised earlier, be allotted by the Meghalaya government near Umïam (Barapani) in the vicinity of the existing college of PG studies, without which, the development of this college will not be possible.

“The Committee therefore recommended the following two sites as a package (1+1 together) for establishing the main campus/headquarters and expansion of an existing college of PG studies. The land includes the Meghalaya State Electricity Board (MeSEB) land at Umïam (Barapani) adjacent to ICAR Residential quarters about 40 acres, and 200 acres at Kyrdemkulai adjacent to the private-owned Kharsati Nature Park,” the MLA said.