Teams will heavily depend on openers: Aamer Sohail

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-02-12 12:15

New Delhi: One of Pakistan’s finest opening batsmen and current chief selector, Aamer Sohail feels this World cup will heavily rely on openers and it will be challenging for them to perform under new rules on fast and bouncy pitches of Australia and New Zealand.
One of the heroes of Pakistan’s 1992 title triumph, Sohail, who had scored 326 runs in 10 matches, said that good starts will be crucial for any team’s success in World Cup. “I think this WC will heavily rely on openers as they have to set the tone. It is not going to be easy for them on fast and bouncy pitches of Australia and New Zealand and they have to face two new balls under the new rules. It will be very challenging for batters,” Sohail said.
When asked which team has the best opening combination in the tournament, Sohail named Australia and South Africa. “Australia and South Africa have best opening pairs and they are in form as well,” he added. David Warner and Aaron Finch will open for Australia, while South Africa will rely on Hashim Amla and Quinton De Cock. (PTI)

Categories: News

Dutee breaches meet mark again, records tumble in athletics

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-02-12 12:14

Thiruvananthapuram: Controversial teen sprinter Dutee Chand cornered glory by clinching the women’s 100m gold with a new meet record as athletes continued to raise the bar in the blue-riband track and field events of the 35th National Games here on Wednesday.
In overall standings, Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) remained the undisputed numero uno on the 11th day of competitions with 109 medals (68 gold, 19 silver and 22 bronze). Haryana rose to the second spot with 71 medals (30 gold, 26 silver and 17 bronze) while Maharashtra slipped to third on account of lesser gold medals with a total tally 103 27 gold, 40 silver and 36 bronze).
The 100m sprints were lined up early in the evening finals and as was expected, Odisha’s Dutee displayed blazing form to break the meet record for a third time in the Games and comfortably notch up the women’s gold with an effort of 11.76sec.
“The weather here has really helped my performance,” said the 19-year-old, who is fighting a legal battle to get an international ban on her lifted for failing a controversial gender test.
Kerala’s Santhini Vallikkad stopped the clock at 11.84sec to win the silver, while Maharashtra’s Rashmi Sheregar was a close third with a timing of 11.87sec.
Among the men, Haryana’s Dharambir stunned one and all by breaching the 100m meet record of 10.52sec to snatch the gold with a timing of 10.46sec.
The men’s 400m event also had a new meet record when SSCB’s Arokia Rajeev finished the race in 46.40sec to beat the previous mark of 46.97sec set by Paramjit Singh back in 1997. He finished way ahead of the field in which, Haryana’s Lalit Mathur (47.04sec) and West Bengal’s Chandan Bauri (47.41) ended up being the respective silver and bronze medal winners.
There was a slight glitch at the start of the women’s 400m race when the starter gun malfunctioned, prompting the organisers to assemble the athletes all over again. But once they were off the mark, Kerala’s Anilda Thomas left everyone behind to win the gold medal in a meet record-equalling 52.71sec, which was set by K M Beenamol in 2001.
A new meet record was also set in women’s pole vault when Tamil Nadu’s Surekha Babu touched the 4m mark for the first time in the history of the Games. Surekha cleared excatly 4m to clinch the gold. Kerala pocketed the silver and bronze through Dija Cherian (3.60m) and Sinju Prakash (3.40m).
The 1500m men’s race was won by Uttarakhand’s Ravinder Tautela (3:51.96sec) ahead of Kerala’s Sajeesh Joseph (3:52.08sec).
In women’s long jump event, Kerala’s Neena Varakil took home the gold medal by clearing 6.39m.
SSCB’s Dharamraj Yadav was crowned the new men’s discus throw champion after he hurled the discus to 57.44m.
The 20km racewalk took place in the early hours of the day and Punjab’s Baljinder Singh won the men’s gold by clocking 1:26:24.20sec, while a new meet record was made in the women’s event when Rajasthan’s Sapna clocked 1:40:35.70sec to breach the previous mark of 1:41.08sec created by Assam’s L Deepmala Devi in 2007.
The hockey competition came to an end in Kollam with SSCB notching up the men’s gold and Punjab claiming the women’s top honours. SSCB hammered Odisha 7-2 to nail the gold. Punjab’s women, meanwhile, got the better of Haryana 3-1.
The cycling events concluded with Punjab’s Amrit Singh setting a new Games record in the 1km Time Trial Elite men’s race by clocking 1:09:111sec to clinch the gold medal. In fact, Punjab swept the podium with Amarjit Singh (1:10.136sec) and Gurbaj Singh (1:11.679sec) settling for the second and third position.The boxing competition in Thrissur was dominated by SSCB with former youth medallist Durga Rao Vankala (56kg) beating Aman Thakur to enter the semifinals and be assured of a medal along with . (PTI)

National Games Medal Tally

State Name      Gold   Silver  Bronze   Total
Services SCB    68    19    22    109
Haryana    30    26    17    73
Maharashtra    27    40    36    103
Kerala    27    31    36    94
Punjab    19    27    25    71
Madhya Pradesh    19    17    27    63
Manipur    15    14    17    46
Tamil Nadu    12    10    15    37
Gujarat    10    4    5    19
Karnataka    8    15    18    41
Telangana    6    9    5    20
Assam    6    4    9    19
Jharkhand    6    2    8    16
Uttar Pradesh    5    27    23    55
Odisha    5    5    1    11
Andhra Pradesh    5    3    6    14
Tripura    5    0    0    5
Delhi    4    9    23    36
Rajasthan    4    5    2    11
Andaman Nicobar    4    2    1    7
West Bengal    3    11    30    44
Chhattisgarh    2    4    2    8
Jammu Kashmir    2    1    4    7
Chandigarh    1    2    13    16
Uttarakhand    1    2    8    11
Mizoram    1    1    0    2
Arunachal Pradesh    1    1    0    2
Bihar    0    2    5    7
Goa    0    2    5    7
Himachal Pradesh    0    1    0    1
Meghalaya    0    1    0    1
Total Medals    296    297    363    956

Categories: News

Will let players play fair, aggressive game: Lehmann

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-02-12 12:13

Melbourne, Feb 11 (PTI) A day after the ICC vowed to crack down on excessive sledging between players at the cricket World Cup, Australian coach Darren Lehmann said he will let his wards “play the game as they normally would”.
“We’ll let them go play the game as they normally would. Nice, aggressive, fair and making sure they’re not crossing the line,” Lehmann was quoted as saying by ‘’.
The tournament, in Australia and New Zealand, begins on Friday and ICC chief David Richardson yesterday said: “The penalties will be a bit more serious than before. For a first offence, you’ll likely end up with a fine which no player likes, handing back most of his match fee.
“But a repeat offence will be punished with a suspension.”
Lehmann’s stance comes a day after New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden, who will officiate in matches at the World Cup, said there was nothing wrong with a bit of sledging as long as it was done in the right way.
“You don’t want to clone them all into little choir boys. A lot of it is a lot of fun and a lot of banter,” Bowden said.
“There’s all types of personalities out there. As long as it’s not aggressive or personal – there’s zero tolerance with that. Discipline, that’s where it counts – respecting the game, their opponents and umpires,” Bowden had said. (PTI)

Categories: News

Batting line-up best, onus is on bowlers: Srinath

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-02-12 12:13

Kolkata: Defending champions India have the best batting line-up and they should not lose heart after a winless build-up to the cricket World Cup, feels former speedster Javagal Srinath, who also urged the bowlers to make a difference in the mega-event.
“We’ve the best batting line-up in MS (Dhoni), Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. They’re all absolute match winners and big match players. It’s a great line-up that we have,” the cricketer-turned-match referee told PTI.
Having landed in Australia in the last week of November in 2014, India are yet to win an official match and it took a World Cup warm-up game against Afghanistan yesterday to taste their first success.
India lost the four-match Test series against Australia 0-2 and then crashed out of the tri-series also involving England without a win, but Srinath said the past results would count little.
“We must understand that it’s a not a bilateral or a tri-series. Every match is like a final. It’s a mega event, the whole world will be watching and irrespective of their performance, they would strive to do well. You’ve to do well on the given day,” the three-time World Cupper said.
“All the top teams will see to get through to the quarters and semifinals first. That will be the main target.”
Prescribing a mantra for India’s success in the event, Srinath, who was part of the Indian team in the 1992 World Cup in Australia, said Indian bowlers would have to make the difference.
Putting the onus on the under-fire Indian bowlers, the 45-year-old added, “If we’ve to win the World Cup, the bowlers will have to make the difference. We have to find our combination right, sooner the better. We need three fast bowlers to do the job.”
With Pakistan first up, India could not have had a better start to the campaign as they have an all-win record against their historical rivals. “Law of average always comes into consideration. But you can’t always approach the match with that sort of attitude. Yes it does give a psychological edge but I’m sure India will get the best out of them taking on their arch-rivals first up,” Srinath said.
He however did not want to rate any team or pick his favourite to win the quadrennial event. (PTI)

Categories: News

WC warm-ups: NZ thrash South Africa, Zim stun Lanka

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-02-12 12:12

Sydney: New Zealand hammered home their status as World Cup dark horses with an emphatic 134-run warm-up win over South Africa on Wednesday while whipping boys Zimbabwe stunned Sri Lanka by seven wickets.
Just three days out from the start of the marathon six-week event, both South Africa and Sri Lanka looked lacklustre.
In Christchurch, Kane Williamson top-scored with a 53-ball 66, dotted with nine fours. Skipper Brendan McCullum smashed a typically muscular 59 off 45 balls with seven fours and a six.
Their efforts lifted the home side to an impressive 331-8 in 50 overs.
Seamers Vernon Philander, Wayne Parnell and Kyle Abbott all took two wickets each but strike bowler Morne Morkel went wicketless, conceding 31 runs off seven overs.
New Zealand pace bowler Trent Boult showed the vaunted Proteas attack how to make the most of the conditions at the Hagley Oval with the 22-year-old returning 5-51 off 9.2 overs. It could have been more embarrassing for South Africa but JP Duminy (80 not out) and Philander (57) lifted their side from 62-6 with a 121-run seventh-wicket stand, which put a little gloss on the gloomy picture.
Zimbabwe warmed up for Sunday’s clash against South Africa with a shock seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Lincoln.
Sri Lanka posted a challenging 279-8 in 50 overs with Dimuth Karunaratne top-scoring on 58 and Jeevan Mendis making 51.
Slow left-arm bowler Sean Williams helped apply the brakes with 3-35 in 10 overs.
In reply, Hamilton Masakadza smashed 117 not out at almost a run-a-ball with eight fours and three sixes. He and skipper Brendan Taylor (63) put on 127 for the third wicket before Masakadza and Williams (51 not out) added an undefeated 119 for the fourth.
Zimbabwe’s run chase was so easy that there were still 28 balls left when they hit the winning runs.
At the Sydney Cricket Ground, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq hit 91 and Umar Akmal 65 as the 1992 champions beat England by four wickets.
England made 250-8 in their 50 overs. Pakistan reached their target with seven balls to spare. (AFP)

Categories: News


Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-02-12 12:12
U-19 I-League: Reds edge past RWFC

SHILLONG: Shillong Lajong FC defeated Royal Wahingdoh FC 3-2 in an I-League Under-19 Rest of India Group B Zone match at the Lammual Stadium in Aizawl on Wednesday. Head Coach Alison Kharsyntiew made five changes to Lajong’s line up bringing in Klainbor Khongsit, Allen, Frolicson Dkhar, Rakesh and Sheen Stevenson Sohktung. The Reds went into the lead in the after skipper Hardy Cliff Nongrbi converted from a set piece in the 10th minute. Lajong juniors doubled the lead just six minutes later with Nabin being the provider this time as he put Sheen Steven Sohktung through to make it 2-0 for the Reds. Down by two goals, the Royals began to find their foot thereafter and came up with the equalizer in the 34th minute when Sushil Meitei found the back of the nets. Barely 10 minutes after the break RWFC equalized with another shot at the nets. As the second half wore on, both teams pressed hard and continued to create chances. Lajong finally scored the decisive goal after an unmarked Precious fed the ball to Hardy who made no mistake as he slotted the ball home past the young Wahingdoh custodian in the 61st minute. Both Lajong and RWFC have failed to qualify for the Final Round of the U-19 I-League.

United beat NFU in close encounter

SHILLONG: United XI defeated NFU by three wickets in closely contested league match of the Super Division Shillong Cricket League organised by the Shillong Cricket Association at the SCA Cricket Ground, Polo on Wednesday. Nitesh Sharma hammered 73 runs of 80 balls, while Kamal Sharma hit a steady 33 runs of 38 balls as NFU battered the United XI attack to pile up 201 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in the allotted 40 overs. Andrew Thabah retained figures of 3/21 while Babloo Passah scalped two wickets for United. In reply, United XI reached the target with just two balls to spare, losing 7 wickets in the process. Babloo Passah scored 70 runs of 79 balls while Peter Anglican scored 67 runs of 71 balls. Bishu Upadhaya and Lakhan Singh bagged a wicket each for NFU.
Next match, Febraury 12: 1st Semi Final-First Division: 1st MLP v/s Madanryting SC

Arsenal climb to fourth after holding off Leicester

LONDON: Arsenal got back on track after their derby misery with a 2-1 victory over Leicester that lifted the Gunners into fourth place in the Premier League on Tuesday.  Arsene Wenger’s side had slumped to a dispiriting late defeat against north London rivals Tottenham on Saturday, but they rebounded at the Emirates Stadium thanks to first half goals from Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott.  It was hardly Arsenal’s most dominant display and they had to survive a Leicester fightback in the second half following Andrej Kramaric’s strike for the visitors.  But Wenger, whose team will drop back down to fifth if Manchester United beat Burnley on Wednesday, will be relieved to see his team’s morale wasn’t damaged by that derby defeat at the weekend. (Agencies)

Balotelli ends goal drought to sink Tottenham

LIVERPOOL: Mario Balotelli scored his first Premier League goal for Liverpool as the Italian’s late strike secured a 3-2 win over Tottenham on Tuesday that boosted their hopes of a top-four finish. Brendan Rodgers’ side had twice led through Lazar Markovic and a Steven Gerrard penalty only to be pegged back by goals from Harry Kane and Mousa Dembele in a thrilling encounter at Anfield.  Balotelli, who hadn’t scored a league goal since arriving from AC Milan in August, came off the bench to deliver the decisive blow with seven minutes left when he tapped home to secure a vital success against one of Liverpool’s rivals for a Champions League spot. (Agencies)

QPR end long search for Premier League away points

LONDON: Managerless Queens Park Rangers climbed out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win at Sunderland which would have impressed their ‘dream manager’ as they earned their first Premier League away points this season. Leroy Fer and Bobby Zamora scored first half goals for the west Londoners who won away at the 12th time of asking after chairman Tony Fernandes hinted on Twitter at the appointment of a ‘dream manager’ to replace the departed Harry Redknapp. ‘It’s a very important result,’ QPR interim boss Chris Ramsey told Sky Sports. ‘It’s been a long time coming. ‘We have had some good away performances but we just haven’t had the rub of the green. ‘It’s nice from a visual point of view to see yourselves above the (relegation) line. We need to stick together and continue to perform like that. ‘The goals that we got were great and a good quick fast start was important for us. The boys kept the momentum up throughout the game.’ QPR have climbed to 17th but are still embroiled in a fierce relegation battle and only lead Aston Villa, who are now in the drop zone after losing 2-0 at Hull City, on goal difference. (Reuters)

Capacity crowd expected at opening World Cup matches

Melbourne: The cricket World Cup is set to start on a rousing note with capacity crowd expected at all the four venues across Australia and New Zealand over the weekend. Two matches have already sold out, while only limited tickets remain for the games in Melbourne and Hamilton, according to ICC. The tournament’s Local Organising Committee chief executive John Harnden said he was delighted with the response of the fans. “We’ve already sold over 8,25,000 tickets a few days before the first ball is being bowled. “We’re very close to being at full capacity for Australia versus England on Saturday at the MCG. There’s a few thousand tickets left and I’d urge people if they want to be there, to buy now and don’t leave it until the last moment. “The message to everyone is there are still great tickets available, there’s a lot of games over the tournament and don’t miss out. If you want to be here, if you really want to be part of history make certain you come,” Harnden said. The tournament kicks off with double headers over the weekend. Co-hosts New Zealand take on Sri Lanka in one of the opening fixtures at Christchurch on Saturday. On the same day, tournament favourites Australia will face-off with traditional rival England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Adelaide Oval will host the event’s most awaited match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on Sunday. (PTI)

Categories: News

Budget and the economy

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-02-12 07:45

The Indian economy would seem to be growing satisfactorily as per statistical revisions coupled with increased coverage of data on GDP. The growth rate is expected to be 7.4% in 2014-15. This will be possible because of the economic recovery last year. It also augurs well for the coming budget. However, the Finance Ministry needs more evidence to buttress the claim that there has been healthy economic recovery. India’s statistical system is at par with the global and if the revised GDP data are to be relied on, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley cannot altogether ignore formidable challenges. First, the level of investment as a proportion of GDP has declined. Of course, manufacturing is in developing mode and will show a 6.8% growth this financial year. But Industry as a whole seems to be getting cold feet about stepping up investment. Second, monetary policy has been tight keeping interest rates high which is regarded as a disincentive to investment. Only recently, monetary policy has shown a reverse trend and Rajan has cut the bank rate. This belated step may enable the Modi Sarkar to trigger greater investment.

It has been indicated earlier that the budget should produce a cleaner and simpler tax system. That will positively be a spur to investment. An aggressive tax system leads to a spate of litigation and it is compounded by the complexity of laws. The direct tax system is within the purview of the Central budget. Welcome changes can be effected in it and that should be a priority concern. Increased growth rate is not a panacea for the economic malaise of the country. Industry needs to be encouraged to boost investment and build more and more factories.

Categories: News

KHADC and the recent High Court Order

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-02-12 07:40


By ES Jyrwa

The main objectives of the Sixth schedule of the Constitution of India are to protect, preserve and promote the customary right of the indigenous tribal communities. In order to attain these objectives the autonomous District Council of U.K & J. District enacted many regulations and Acts to this effects. However, certain highly educated and knowledgeable individuals along with ex-bureaucrat of the state tried to run down and dilute the old age customs of these communities, for instance the so called Rangbah Shnong of these areas i.e. Shillong and its outskirts allowed and accommodated the women folks to participate and deliberate in these Durbar, so much so, in the election of the Headman. According to the Khasi customs, no female members can enter and participate in the village durbar. However, in Shillong and its suburbs the female took prominent part in the Durbar which is contrary to the spirit and essence of the Khasi customs. The Khasi consider the durbar as ‘sacred’ and only the male adult can participate in the durbar. The Khasi Autonomous District Council of U.K. & J Hills besides enacted many laws and regulations, it comes up ;with the enactment of the U. K.& J. Autonomous District Council appointment of Chief and Headmen act, 1959 in accordance with para-3(g) of the sixth schedule. The Khasi hills district council on seeing, the haphazard way of functioning of this institution in the election of the Rangbah Shnong (Headman) amended the act in 2007 known as The Autonomous District Council (Appointment and succession of the Syiem, Deputy Syiem, elder and Rangbah Shnong of Mylliem Syiemship act) 2007.

However, controversy arose by the ruling the High Court of Meghalaya WP(C) No.363 22015 on the allegations that the said judgment has stripped off the powers of the Headmen. The conglomeration of Headmen of Shillong and its outskirt held a meeting at Jaiaw, on Jan 31, 2015 and decided to meet the Chief Minister to seek recognition from the State Government. The question arises whether the Chief Minister can entertain the delegation of these Headmen-when the subject matter is within the domain of the District Council? Can the state transgress the powers and jurisdiction of the District Council? May we ask the state of Meghalaya whether they can question the para-3(g) of the sixth schedule?

The leaders of the Synjuk Ki Rangbah Shnong are fully aware that these areas falls within the autonomous areas of Khasi hills .According to the Supreme Court judgment (AIR Supreme Court 1022.1975. i.e. the U.K. & J. Autonomous District council & another appellants vrs ka Drepsila Lyngdoh and another Syllai U Ler Mylliem Syiemship stated that the Bara Bazar Areas falls within the village of Mawkhar. Accordingly with this judgment ,all areas within Shillong municipality except the administered areas, falls within the autonomous areas of Mylliem Syiemship.

Section 16 of the Khasi autonomous district council (Appointments and Successions of the Syiem, Deputy Syiem, Elder and Rangbah Shnong of Mylliem Syiemship) 2007 states thus:

(1)     When a vacancy occurs in the office of Rangbah Shnong, the Syiem or acting Syiem shall on advice of the executive Durbar, direct the Khasi males/adults/elders of the village/urban locality to summon the meeting of the head of the households/elders of the village/urban locality or male adults of the village/urban locality as the case may be, on such date and time as maybe fixed by him for the election of the new Rangbah Shnong. Such meeting shall be presided by the Basan, Myntri, Lyngdoh, Syiem raid, Lyngdoh raid duly authorized by the Syiem/acting Syiem and his Durbar.

  • The results of the election shall be placed before the Syiem/acting Syiem and his executive Durbar for confirmation and which shall issue appointment letter or SANAD to the person concerned on such term and conditions as the executive Durbar may prescribe. Such action shall be intimated to the executive committee accordingly.
  • The Rangbah Shnong shall be elected by recognized Khasi male adults, who are permanent residents of the village or the urban locality concerned.
  • The executive Durbar may determine the necessary qualifications and other matters connected with the post of Rangbah Shnong.

The leader of the Conglomerations of Headmen of Shillong (Synjuk Ki Rangbah Shnong) and its outskirts who met on the 31st January 2015 cannot feign ignorance of the set amendments, as it is said that ignorance of law is no excuse. The question arises whether these headmen are elected and appointed in accordance with the provisions of section 16 of the set amendment 2007 and whether the Syiem of Mylliem has issued any Sanad to these headmen. In the event of these headmen functioning without the Sanad of the Syiem of Mylliem then they are headmen without any legal sanction hence their functions and claims as headmen are fictitious and illegal.

May we ask the C.E.M whether the headman where the locality he resides is elected and appointed according to the provisions of the Act of the District Council? It appears that in Shillong there are two types of headmen, one the type that acts without any legal sanction and lack legal entity and the others who are legally appointed according to the Act.

Some of the active members of the so-called Durbar Shnong expressed their views that the residents of their areas approached the Rangbah Shnong for N.O.C., as the state government departments, such as Shillong Municipality, Office of the Sub- Registrar, Banking Institutions, MeECL etc., insist for N.O.C from the Headmen, though there is no mention anywhere in their respective Acts which provide for issuing the N.O.C. When questioned on the validity of N.O.C. the authority concerned parried the answer and they only stated that they followed what their predecessors did. Recently the Meghalaya High Court struck down the powers of Rangbah Shnong to issue NOC because there are no provisions in the Registration Act 1908 for the N.O.C from the Headmen. The High Court of Meghalaya in W.P(C) NO.7(SH)2008 observed ” …..if the sale deed fulfilled the requirement of law, the Respondent No.2 (Sub-Registrar) cannot refuse registration on the grounds which are not prescribed by the Indian Registration Act 1908. ” The Respondent No.2 shall pay to the Writ Petitioner for causing vexatious and unnecessary harassment. The Banking Institutions, Shillong Municipality, M.S.E.B. The departments of the state government etc perhaps are unaware of the judgment of the Meghalaya High Court in W.P.(C)NO.7(SH)2008.

A Khasi daily quoting the Khasi Hills Trading by Non-tribal regulation 1954. Sec. 3A (3) questioned whether the application has been recommended by the village headman after the approval of the Local Durbar. It appears that the judgment of the Meghalaya High Court W.P © No. 363 is not applicable to the said Act. The question arises as to whether the Headman and the Village Durbar are duly constituted by the Regulation of the Khasi Hills District Council.

Categories: News

Rumblings in ARPA as CEM offers deputy chairman’s post to independent MDC

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2015-02-12 04:00

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Feb 11:  The Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), Adelbert Nongrum has allegedly offered the deputy chairman’s chair to an independent MDC, who is presently associated with the Congress led Khasi Hills United Democratic Alliance (KHUDA) recently, which has irked the members of the All Regional Parties Alliance (ARPA).
Sources informed that there is large scale disgruntlement amongst the MDCs from the three constituent parties of the ARPA – Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), United Democratic Party (UDP) and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM), after they received information about this step taken by the CEM in offering the post to the Mawhati MDC James Sylliang.

Categories: News

Uma Bharti announces revamping of Brahmaputra Board

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2015-02-12 04:00

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Feb 11: Union Minister of Water Resources Uma Bharti on Wednesday announced the ‘revamping’ and ‘restructuring’ of the ‘Brahmaputra Board’ even as she directed the newly formed committee to submit its suggestions on the new name and shape of the Board, which will represent the sentiments of the entire North East region.
“Today is the last day of the Brahmaputra Board because from tomorrow the new process will start. Within a few months from now, the new name and new life will start and there will be more effective, more sensitive and more fast-tracking of the needs of the people of the NE region,” Bharti said here.

Categories: News

SC asks NGT to ‘dispose of’ Meghalaya coal mining case expeditiously

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2015-02-10 06:43

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Feb 09: The Supreme Court (SC) recently dismissed a petition filed by an individual against the order passed by the circuit bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on banning rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya, even as it directed the NGT to ‘dispose of’ the case at the earliest.
The petition was filed by one Lber Laloo in the Court of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) HL Dattu and Judge AK Sikri, seeking relief against the order of banning coal mining by the NGT, on June last year.
In its order passed on February 2, the Supreme Court said, “Since the impugned order (of the NGT) is in the nature of an ‘interim order’, we decline to entertain this appeal. Accordingly, the Civil Appeal is dismissed.”

Categories: News

Make Mookhep firing report public or face indefinite strike: Jaintia Hills NGOs

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2015-02-10 06:42

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Feb 09: A conglomeration of five NGOs from Jaintia Hills region Monday alleged the MUA-II led government of protecting the culprits involved behind firing incident at Mookhep village, East Jaintia Hills District, on September 24th last year, even as they threatened to resort to massive indefinite strike, if the report probing the incident is not made public within seven days.
They further demanded the state government to institute an independent inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the incident.

Categories: News

MCTOOA blames Govt for NH jams, demands more weighbridges

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2015-02-10 06:40

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Feb 09: The Meghalaya Commercial Truck Owners and Operators Association (MCTOOA) Monday asked State government to increase the number of weighbridges along the National Highways so that the trucks can be weighed early and unnecessary traffic jam can be avoided. However, it blamed the government for the present crisis on NH-40 and 44, wherein the coal trucks are being forced to illegally park on the National Highways (NH).
Accusing the government of violating the rules of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) by forcing the coal trucks to illegally park along the NH-40 and 44, MCTOOA president A Shanpru said the government should had constructed lay-bys and proper infrastructures if it wanted to park the trucks. 

Categories: News

Kidnapped Assam traders released after payment of ransom

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2015-02-10 06:40

Staff Reporter
TURA, Feb 09: The two traders that were kidnapped on their way to the weekly haat at Kherapara, about 30 kms from the town of Tura, were released on Sunday near New Tura, West Garo Hills. The two dry traders were allegedly released after a payment of Rs 5 lakhs and returned home safely on Sunday evening after being abducted on February 3 last.
Sapiul Haque (42) and Alta Byapari (46), residents of Kakripara in the Dhubri district of Assam, were on their way to Kherapara when they were abducted by a group of 5 – 6 armed men.

Categories: News

Bernard questions Tura’s status as ‘General Area’

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2015-02-10 06:39

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Feb 09: The former Chairman of the disbanded ANVC(B), Bernard Rimpu Marak, has demanded to know how did Tura get declared as a ‘General Area’ and who had done it and under what provisions. As a result, he claimed, there is massive land rights violation and encroachment in Tura as the provisions of the Sixth schedule have been manipulated by introducing Mauza X.
According to him, “Tura is part of Danakgre aking under Nokma since the British time but someone manipulated the provisions of the Sixth schedule forty years ago by introducing Mauza X and declaring Tura as a general area. Today the tribal residents of Tura are treated as general citizen needing to pay taxes to municipal and GHADC for the same land.”

Categories: News

Chugan festival to be held on February 12-13 at Siju

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2015-02-10 06:37

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Feb 09: The Chugan or Chywgyn festival will be held on February 12 – 13 at Siju, South Garo Hills. It is the most important event of cultural life of the Garos residing in the Southern belt of Garo Hills, a ritual performed to send the deceased sprit to the land of death – Balpakram.

Categories: News

SC directs NGT to dispose of coal case at the earliest

Shillong Times - Tue, 2015-02-10 06:14

SHILLONG: The Supreme Court has directed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to disposed of the case pertaining the ban of coal mining in Meghalaya ‘as expeditiously as possible and at the earliest’.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) HL Dattu and Justice AK Sikri passed this interim order after hearing a writ petition filed by one Lber Laloo on February 2.
While dismissing the writ petition, the apex court in the order said that since the matter was an ‘interim in nature’ it would be meaningless to pass any order at the moment.
“At the moment, it will be meaningless to entertain the appeal against the NGT ban,” the order stated.
Laloo had filed the petition on behalf of the coal miners to seek a relief from the NGT ban on coal mining in Meghalaya in June last year.
“I have filed this appeal to seek relief. We are not sure about our future since the ban has been lingering for the past one year,” Laloo told newsmen in the presence of A Shanpru, president of the Meghalaya Commercial Truck Owners and Operators Association (MCTOOA), here on Monday.
While claiming that the apex court did not entertain any other writ petition filed by other stakeholders seeking a stay on the ban, Shanpru said that the court, however, had given a patient hearing to the submission made by the petitioner’s counsel.
Shanpru said, “Accepting the submissions made by the counsel, the Supreme Court was pleased to direct the NGT to hear the matter as expeditiously as possible.”
According to Shanpru, the apex court has given the best relief that it can give at the moment by asking the NGT to dispose of the case at the earliest and pass the final order in whatever way the NGT deems right and proper.

Categories: News

Mukul raises NGT ban before NITI Aayog

Shillong Times - Tue, 2015-02-10 06:14

New Delhi: With increasing law and order problem and decreasing revenue collection due to ban on coal mining in Meghalaya by the NGT, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has urged the Centre to respond to the challenges as per the Sixth Schedule of constitution to maintain the true federal structure of the country.
“There are certain laws which come into conflict with the customary and traditional laws and practice of poor tribals of the Northeastern states,” Sangma said referring to the Central mining acts applicable all over the country.
“Certain areas of NE can be exempted from its purview under Sixth Schedule,” he said while speaking at the first meeting of the NITI Aayog here on Sunday.
Sangma also demanded for a mechanism to resolve such problems in the spirit of the federal structure. “A case for example is the recent NGT ban on coal mining in the state under the Nationalization of Coal Mines Act, 1973,” he said adding this act can be rescinded for Sixth Schedule areas through  a Presidential notification.
The paragraph 12A relates to application of Acts of Parliament and of the Legislature of the State of Meghalaya to autonomous districts and autonomous regions in the State of Meghalaya. The paragraph (b) deals with President’s power to exempt application of any Union law to an autonomous district or an autonomous region in the State of Meghalaya.
“This will enable the state government to regulate mining activities in accordance with Meghalaya Mines and Minerals Policy, 2012,” Sangma said.
Alternatively, the Central mining statues like Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973, Mines and Minerals Act, 1957 could be appropriately modified allowing the state government and the regional office of the Indian Bureau of Mines to regulate the mining in the state.
Earlier, in a letter to the Prime Minister Sangma suggested to invoke 12A(b) of the Sixth Schedule so that application of central laws relating to mining may be rescinded through a Presidential notification. But the Chief Minister made it clear that laws relating to environment, forest and child labour must remain under Union domain as earlier.
Meghalaya is facing increasing violence and falling revenue due to total ban on coal mining by the NGT.

Categories: News

State Govt blamed for Umling unrest

Shillong Times - Tue, 2015-02-10 06:12

SHILLONG: The Meghalaya Commercial Truck Owners and Operators Association (MCTOOA) has blamed the State Government for the ongoing unrest on National Highway 40 vis-à-vis problems at Umling weighbridge.
“It is the failure of the State Government which has led to the ongoing unrest on the National Highway. The Government has failed to comply with the directive of the NGT regarding setting up of entry and exit points for the transportation of coal,” the MCTOOA president A Shanpru said here on Monday.
Earlier, the tribunal directed the government to strictly follow guidelines of the NGT’s re-constituted committee headed by Meghalaya additional chief secretary KS Kropha to set up 10 check posts and operate them in accordance with the earlier NGT order.
At present, only two exit points (one at Umling and another at Dainadubi) are in operation. The tribunal had ordered to make the remaining exit points operational.
He said that the drivers were apparently incensed by the delay in the clearance of trucks at the weighbridge at Umling. Many coal-laden trucks have apparently been stuck along the highway for days.
“The process of measurement of coal should have been faster since the NGT  has given a limited time to transport the extracted coal,” he said.
According to him, the trucks which are stranded in the highway have also created a lot of inconvenience to the commuters.
Shanpru also accused that the State Government for violating the rules and regulation of the National Highway of Authority of India (NHAI) by allowing the trucks to park along the highway.
“The State Government should have constructed proper lay-byes along the highway for parking of the trucks,” Shanpru said.
When pointed out that the Ri-Bhoi district Deputy Commissioner has blamed the overloading of the truckers for the delay, Shanpru said that the truckers cannot be blamed since there is no facility at the source to measure the coal.

Categories: News

Dry day imposed to maintain peace

Shillong Times - Tue, 2015-02-10 06:11

NONGPOH: Taking no chance for another ugly episode of breakdown of law and order in the district within barely 48 hours left for the end of NGT’s clearance for transportation of assessed and mined coal, the Ri Bhoi District Administration on Monday imposed dry day for 72 hours in part of the district for maintenance of public tranquility.
According to an order signed by Additional District Magistrate D. Phawa under section 52 (1) of Meghalaya Excise Act, all IMFL Retail Shops/ Bars/ Hotels/ Bonded Warehouses/ Bottling Units/ Country made Spirit shops/ Outstills/ Breweries/ Canteens etc located at Pahamrioh Lumbyrhing, Umnget and Umran Dairy should remain closed for three days with effect from Monday for preservation of public peace.

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