Shillong May 20: People’s Democratic Front (PDF) MLA from Sohra, Gavin M Mylliem on Wednesday urged the state government to provide funds for maintenance of the Community and Rural Development (C&RD) Blocks in the state, even as he pointed out that PHCs are found wanting of proper infrastructure and facilities in tackling the COVID-19.
Raising several issues while taking part in the general discussion on the budget on the first day of the re-assembled budget session on Wednesday, the MLA said that most of the C&RD Blocks lack basic facilities.
“The irony is that, this office is responsible for disbursement of funds meant for all developmental works in rural areas. But the fact is that, it is not provided with funds for its own maintenance,” Mylliem said.
Mylliem revealed that during his inspections to various PHCs, it was found that most isolation wards do not meet the requirements as prescribed by the Health Department in tackling the COVID-19.
“This is a lesson for our present government and any government in future, so that any construction to be undertaken in future regarding any PHC, CHC or Sub Centre, there should be minimum norms for all such infrastructure so that it will be able to cater to the requirements, especially dealing with major issues we face from time to time,” he said.
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 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 also urged the state government to start science and commerce streams at Sohra Government College, as it currently caters only for students studying humanities.
“Getting students in the Science and Commerce streams is not difficult, since we have very good feeder schools like the Ramakrishna Mission Higher Secondary School and 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.
On tourism sector, Mylliem said that tourism was the perfect example of a smokeless industry and the inflow of tourists into the state which has witnessed a huge increase over the past few years has been badly affected by the present lockdown against COVID-19.
Appreciating the government’s aim to tap local resources so as to improve own tax and non-tax revenue, Mylliem also appreciated the government for constituting an Executive Committee of the Chief Minister’s Economic Task Force for post COVID-19.
He urged that the Task Force be mandated to take up its task on a war footing, so that its recommendations may be submitted and implemented at the earliest.
Mylliem also suggested planning and implementing of sustainable tourist spots and maximize revenue of local individuals and enterprises.
He also urged the government to look into the upgradation and improvement of the Umtyngngar-Sohra Road, while mentioning that the last improvement was done in 2012 under the Special Plan Assistance.
Mylliem however expressed his happiness that the government has prioritized the Umtyngar-Sohra-Laittyra-Mawlong-Ichamati-Bholaganj road (76.50 kms) in the list of State Highways and Major District Roads to be declared as National Highway.