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Central varsity at Barapani on anvil

Shillong Times - Thu, 2014-12-25 06:43

New Delhi: The Centre is planning to set up a Central university at Barapani during 12th Plan period, informed Union Minister of State for Agriculture Dr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan here on Wednesday.

“Development of the North East region tops priority list of the government. Recently, the Union agriculture minister has agreed to a proposal for setting up of new agriculture universities and research centres in North-East including one in Meghalaya,” the Minister said while responding to a letter from Vincent H Pala, who represents Shillong in Lok Sabha.

Union Agriculture Ministry has already directed the Indian Council for Agricultural Research to study the feasibility of opening agriculture and veterinary universities in the Northeastern states. The proposed Central Agriculture University at Barapani will take care of agriculture education and research with special emphasis related to Meghalaya, Nagaland. The new university is coming under the 12th Plan, the Minister said.

The Centre has also asked for the setting up of six new colleges-agriculture, horticulture or fishery, to cover the entire region.

More research activities and focus on agricultural education will help in making the optimum utilization of the resources and boost agricultural production in the region, the Minister said.

Categories: News

Central panel to examine State BPL list

Shillong Times - Thu, 2014-12-25 06:43

SHILLONG: The State Government is waiting for the constitution of the expert group by the Ministry of Rural Development to examine the new BPL list prepared on the basis of the Socio-Economic Caste Census.

“The new BPL list has already been uploaded in the website of the department. The list now will have to be examined by the expert group constituted by the Ministry,” Community and Rural Development Minister Prestone Tynsong said on Wednesday. He said the expert group would examine the list prepared by the State Government meticulously.

“The list approved by the expert group will be the final one,” the Community and Rural Development Minister said adding that the list presently maintained by the Department is of 2002.

Categories: News

Govt may lift ban on recruitment

Shillong Times - Thu, 2014-12-25 06:42
Home Guards for Secretariat security

SHILLONG: The State Government has approved the appointment of 50 Home Guards personnel to man the State Secretariat.

Informing this here on Wednesday, official sources said, “This is for first time the state government approved the appointment of Home Guards personnel after imposing a ban on recruitment 12 years ago”.

According to official sources, the State Government has now expressed its keenness to lift the 12-year-old ‘ban’ on recruitment of Home Guards, which is presently hit by huge manpower constraints.

Earlier, Director General of Home Guards and Civil Defence department Kulbir Krishan had informed that the state government in principle agreed to lift the ban but on condition that there is availability of funds.

He further informed that the issue was also taken up with the Finance department which however asked that the matter should be kept in abeyance due to the present situation arising out of the NGT ban on coal mining in the state.

On the manpower scenario, the top official said there is a shortfall of 200 personnel in the department.

According to him, the actual sanctioned strength for the border Home Guards is around 800, but the current strength is only 588.

Categories: News

M’laya celebrates Christmas amidst tight security

Shillong Times - Thu, 2014-12-25 06:41

Faithful participate in a Christmas Carol in the city on Wednesday. (ST)

SHILLONG: Elaborative security arrangements have been put in place in the entire State ahead of Christmas, the biggest festival in the State.

Police sources on request of anonymity said that Christmas is a festival of peace and reconciliation and therefore police is not anticipating any trouble during the period.

However, police has made all necessary and required arrangement to ensure that the festival is celebrated peacefully.

“We have made regular deployment of police forces and we do not anticipate any problem during the festive season,” the police sources said.

Commercial areas, churches, shopping malls and private residences have been beautifully illuminated in view of the festive season as special prayers were conducted in different churches.

The commercial areas of Police Bazar and Iewduh witnessed heavy rush as people thronged the markets for their last minute purchases.

Meanwhile, the celebration of Christmas began on Wednesday with special midnight mass and church services in the State.

The faithful thronged various churches to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ through prayers. People exchanged greetings after the prayers. The church services and mass will continue on Thursday across the State.

Despite the worsening law order situation in Garo Hills, there was large gathering of the faithful in many churches for the midnight service.

Incidentally, huge traffic jams on the city roads especially towards Police Bazaar and Motphran throughout the day on Wednesday proved to be a dampener during the festivities.

Categories: News

News Capsule

Shillong Times - Thu, 2014-12-25 06:39
Dorbar order

The Rangbah Shnong Mawiong Umjapung and the Clean Mawiong Umjapung Advisory Committee have warned that anyone found littering or throwing household waste along the National Highway at Mawiong Umjapung would be penalized. The Rangbah Shnong has also thanked those who participated in the recent cleaning drive.

PM praised

The Modi Fan Club, Meghalaya, has congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the spectacular performance of the BJP in the assembly elections in Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir. The Modi Fan Club credited the charismatic leadership of Modi and his relentless campaign that led to this massive result for the BJP. The Modi Fan Club has also greeted the people of the State on the occasion of Christmas.

Categories: News

Meghalaya Crime Update

Shillong Times - Thu, 2014-12-25 06:39
Accidents

On Dec 23 at about 1:20 pm, one Bolero vehicle (ML-04-7819) driven by Augustine Kyndait (45) dashed against one truck (AS-01DC-8594) driven by Abbhameki Rymbai (25) at Mawryngkneng (EKH). As a result, one occupant of the Bolero sustained injuries and was removed to CH Shillong.

On Dec 12 at about 6.30 pm, one Bolero vehicle (ML-08B-7065) knocked down Deba Ch. Marak at Rongkhon Bridge (WGH). Victim sustained injuries and was admitted at CH Tura.

Unidentified body

On Dec 23 at about 4 pm, one unidentified male body (40/45 yrs) was recovered from Mawlonghat, Shillong and sent to CH Shillong for post-mortem examination.

ATM fraud

Jayanti Bhattacharjee lodged a complaint at Shillong Sadar PS that on Dec 22 around 12:45 pm, she received a phone call in which the caller identified himself as an employee of SBI Call Centre and asked for her ATM details. Later, she received an SMS informing that Rs.7,500 has been deducted from her account.

Assault

On Dec 22, one unidentified miscreant assaulted a lady Kelistracia Kurbah (55) at Pine Mount School Quarters, Shillong.

On Dec 22 around 11.40 pm, unidentified miscreants assaulted Deepak Dorjee near Agriculture Office, Lapalang, Shillong.

Theft

On Dec 22, unknown miscreants broke into the shop of S. Mohan Kushwala at Polo Bazar, Shillong and stole materials valued around Rs.3,50,000 and cash Rs.15,000.

On Dec 19 at about 7 pm, unknown miscreants stole one motorcycle (AS-15A-4504) belonging to Nodriek Sangma from Megam Akong village (NGH).

Elephants destroy crops, house

On Dec 21 around 12:30 am, a herd of wild elephant damaged the house and crops of Sengdo Ch. Marak at New Putimari village (NGH). Loss of property was estimated around Rs.28,100.

Categories: News

20 months on, cancer wing far from complete

Shillong Times - Thu, 2014-12-25 06:38
Prolonged wait for cancer patients in State

SHILLONG: Delays in completion of Government-funded project seems to have become the order of the day in Meghalaya. The latest project to suffer this fate is the upcoming Cancer Wing of the Shillong Civil Hospital which has been delayed by over 20 months but the work is still far from being complete.

The construction of the Department of Atomic Energy funded Cancer Wing at Shillong Civil Hospital started in March 2011 and the work was projected to be completed in two years’ time. However, 21 months later, the work is still going on and the project is far from complete.

The foundation stone of the Rs. 26-crore cancer wing was laid in March 2011 by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma to provide a fillip to cancer patients in the State.

It may be mentioned that the project is being funded by the Department of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India.

It is learnt that the cancer wing, once completed, would be armed with the latest equipment for treatment of cancer. It is observed that the cancer wing is the need of the hour in Meghalaya especially in view of the large scale increase in the number of cancer patients in the State.

Once the cancer wing becomes operational, sophisticated equipment worth Rs. 15 crore would be purchased to provide better medical facilities to the patients.

Besides, a cobalt machine (used for radiation therapy) which is presently being used at the Civil Hospital would also be shifted to the cancer wing.

Once commissioned, the cancer wing is expected to provide great relief to cancer patients of the State, as well as those from other parts of the Northeastern region.

Categories: News

MP’s family visits adopted village

Shillong Times - Thu, 2014-12-25 06:37

NONGPOH: Nongbah Myrdon village in Ri Bhoi has been in the news after it was adopted under the Sansaad Aadarsh Gram Yojana by nominated Rajya Sabha member KTS Tulsi.

On Monday, it was a joyous occasion for the villagers when the MP’s wife Suman Tulsi and daughter Japna Tulsi visited Nongbah Myrdon as part of a follow up action to take stock of the situation in the village and to interact with the villagers.

The dignitaries were very impressed with the progress made in the village and offered words of encouragement to the residents to carry on with the good works.

Speaking at the public meeting, Japna Tulsi, who is a development expert herself, expressed her happiness at getting the opportunity to visit this village, adding that, the progress made in the village was very impressive and stated that the villagers have to now plan for the future.

Suman Tulsi said that she was extremely happy to work with the people of Nongbah Myrdon and assured that all support would be provided by her husband and the family.

Others who spoke on the occasion included SIRD Director T. Lyngwa, SIRD Deputy Director BS Rumnong, Umsning C&RD BDO P. Khonglah and Rangbah Shnong BP Thangkhiew.

Categories: News

Jharkhand gets BJP government, Modi says its for stability

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2014-12-24 04:01

Ranchi/New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS): The BJP Tuesday emerged victorious and prepared to form its government in Jharkhand, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the people have "voted for stability which is essential to realise the true potential of the state".
The BJP won 30 seats and were leading in eight seats, while its pre-poll alliance partner the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) got four seats and was leading in a fifth -- taking them comfortably past the magic halfway mark of 41 in the 81-member assembly.
"People of Jharkhand have voted for stability which is essential to realise the true potential of the state. I congratulate them," said Modi who had campaigned vigorously in Jharkhand, a state that is home to 3.2 million.
The vote share of the BJP went up from last time's 24 percent to 31 percent now.

Categories: News

UALA begins negotiation with Govt, may join mainstream soon

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2014-12-24 04:00

Staff Reporter
TURA, Dec 23: In what will come as welcome news to peace starved Garo Hills, the, United A'chik Liberation Army (UALA) held a meeting with representatives of Meghalaya government to discuss on the process to join the mainstream on Tuesday. In a press communique by its Chairman, Chiindik Marak alias Novembirth Marak, the outfit stated that it is ready to join the mainstream while also asking the government to announce dates for the settlement.
The hour long meeting was held at the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) Guest House in Rongkhon, on the outskirts of Tura at about 11 am on Tuesday.

Categories: News

NDFB(S) kills 15 people in Assam

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2014-12-24 04:00

Our Correspondent
GUWAHATI, Dec 23: Bodo militants killed at least 15 people including women and children in five different attacks in Assam's Kokrajhar and Sonitpur district on Tuesday evening.
National Democratic Front of Bodoland - Sangbajit faction (NDFB-S) continued a killing spree in Assam targeting Adivasi people in Kokrajhar and Sonitpur district.
According to reports, at least 12 people were killed and 10 others injured in a militant attack at Phulbari Moitalubasti area and Dhekiajuli area in Sonitpur district along the Arunachal Pradesh border on Tuesday evening.
Bodo militants killed another three Adivasi people and injured 9 others in two attacks at Serfanguri and Saralpara area in Kokrajhar district along the Bhutan border.

Categories: News

KHADC contemplates moving court against ‘delaying act’ of government

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2014-12-24 04:00

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 23: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Tuesday said it may file an appeal in the Court against the Meghalaya government for its ‘delaying act’ towards the many important Bills passed and submitted by the Council.
“For the act of delaying, we would make a move to file an appeal in the Court against the state government,” KHADC Chief Executive Member (CEM), Adelbert Nongrum said while adding, “Another option is that we can also take the path of intensive agitations to pressure the government on the matter.”

Categories: News

KHADC to challenge Court orders on Headmen, pre-arrest bail

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2014-12-23 04:59

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 22: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Monday declared that it is going to challenge the two orders passed by the Meghalaya High Court recently on the grounds that they are against the customary and constitutional rights.
Raising a big question on the role of traditional heads in the state, the High Court in its order issued on December 14, had directed the state government to put an end on all types of ‘parallel government practices’ and not to ask people to obtain No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from headmen.

Categories: News

UDP demands law specifying powers of headmen, Dorbar Shnongs

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2014-12-23 04:58

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 22: The United Democratic Party (UDP) on Monday decided to demand the District Councils to immediately legislate a ‘law’ where specific powers of the headmen and authorities of the Dorbar Shnong are mentioned to ensure there is no abuse of powers as well as violation of human rights by them.
This decision by the UDP, the largest regional political party in the State, came in the wake of the recent order issued by the Meghalaya High Court which has shaken the traditional bodies in the state.
Raising a big question on the role of traditional heads in the state, the High Court in its order issued on December 14, has directed the state government to put an end on all types of ‘parallel government practices’ and stop the issuing of No Objection Certificates (NOCs) by headmen.

Categories: News

Baghmara petrol pump closed for over 2 weeks, water supply hit

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2014-12-23 04:56

Staff Reporter
TURA, Dec 22:  The town of Baghmara has been going through a tough time for the past two weeks after the only petrol pump in the town had remained shut since December 16 owing to a financial crisis faced by the petrol pump owners. If information is to be believed, the crisis has come about after the non payment of bills by the police and civil administration during the quarter. Incidentally the crisis has also led to the water supply being stopped for lack of diesel to operate the pumps to draw water.
The petrol pump which is the only one in Baghmara caters to almost the entire district including Rongara, Chokpot, Sibbari among other villages.

Categories: News

North East will never be a Trading Hub sans peace: Kiren Rijiju

Meghalaya Times - Sat, 2014-12-20 07:57

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 19: Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju on Friday said that if North East region is not peaceful then the idea of it becoming a ‘trading hub’ will never be fulfilled even as he called upon all insurgent groups to refrain from violence.
“All ideas of creating this region as a trading hub will never be fulfilled if North East is not peaceful,” Rijiju said after a meeting with top officials of the state government held in the city on Friday.
“As a leader from the North East region as a minister in the central government we are going to work closely in close coordination with the state government and we want peaceful atmosphere to achieve our goals,” said Rijiju.
“I have become Minister of State for Home Affairs and I have taken a personal interest to take special care for the North East region,” he said.

Categories: News

Boosting border economy among top priorities for Rijiju

Meghalaya Times - Sat, 2014-12-20 07:56

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 19: Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Friday said setting up of proper Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) will have unimaginable impact in the lives of the people living in the Indo-Bangla border.
“I want to have proper integrated check posts where custom, forests, banking everything will be there and it is going to have unimaginable impact in the lives of the people around the periphery,” Rijiju said. He also informed that the proposed ICP in Dawki will be third in the country.
According to Rijiju, the initiative is to transform the economy of the region.

Categories: News

Rijiju presses Meghalaya to complete Indo-Bangla border fencing 

Meghalaya Times - Sat, 2014-12-20 07:55

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 19: Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Friday said that the state government needs to put in extra efforts to finish the process of land acquisition to pave the way for the completion of the remaining unfenced areas along the Indo-Bangla border.
 ”I admit there are issues with the state government and I hope with extra efforts they can finish the process of land acquisition after which the border fencing will be done,” Rijiju said.
Meghalaya shares a total of 445 kilometers of international border with Bangladesh even as the MoS informed that out of this, only 80 kms remains unfenced.

Categories: News

Khasi subject as an elective threatens the language’s very existence: Daniel Khyriem

Meghalaya Times - Sat, 2014-12-20 07:54

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 19: The president of the Khasi Students Union (KSU), Daniel Khyriem on Friday said that the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBOSE) decision to make Khasi (MIL) a compulsory elective subject is a threat to the very existence of the language.
The KSU has demanded the state government to immediately scrap the notification issued by the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBOSE) to make Khasi (MIL) a compulsory elective subject.
“We strongly demand the immediate scrapping of the notification issued by the MBOSE in the interest of the students’ fraternity and for preserving the indigenous language-Khasi,” Khyriem said here.

Categories: News

All is not well with land acquisition process

Shillong Times - Fri, 2014-12-19 05:42
Tetelia to Byrnihat rail project

NONGPOH: All is not well with the land acquisition process for the much talked about BG Railway line from Tetelia to Byrnihat with the bone of contention being the alleged “hush-hush” manner in which the land acquisition process is being carried out.

The Dorbar Shnong of Lum Nongrim and Ronghana have expressed dismay over the alleged improper way in which the land acquisition process is being carried out by the Ri Bhoi Deputy Commissioner depriving the residents of a fair deal.

According to a communiqué signed by Lum Nongrim secretary Shnong, Albert Lapang and Ronghona Rangbah Shnong, Amol Ronghang sent to The Shillong Times, the residents of Lum Nongrim and Ronghona villages of Byrnihat had received a notice in August under Section 12 (2) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 with regard to the acquisition of their lands at Lum Nongrim and Ronghona villages from the Ri Bhoi DC wherein they were also asked to collect their compensations.

However, the communiqué stated that the residents of the said villages were in the dark as far as the land they had parted with and the rate offered for it was concerned. Subsequently, they protested the deal under Section 18 (2) (b) of Land Acquisation Act, 1894.

The residents of the villages are still clueless about the amount of compensation decided by the district collector and whether the decided amount will compensate for the plantation (betel nut, orange, guava etc.) the villagers have on the lands to be acquired for the railway project.

In the communiqué, Lyngdoh and Ronghang questioned whether Preamble 13 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 was followed by the Authority while awarding compensation to the villagers.

They also asserted that Section 24 (1) (a) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 states that where no award under Section 11 of the Land Acquisition, 1894 has been made, all provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in land acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 relating to determination of compensation shall apply.

“In this case there has been blatant negligence on the part of the concerned authority which has not followed the statutory requirement relating to the procedure for award of compensation as laid under the aforesaid Act,” the communiqué maintained.

The communiqué stated that resettlement and rehabilitation, as provided under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, is also part of the compensation which has not been complied with by the authority.

The communiqué further alleged that the villagers were denied of their right to know all of the aforesaid before the notice was issued to them under Section 12 (2) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

The Dorbar members claimed that the Collector was requested to refer the matter to a Reference Court of Competent jurisdiction as provided under Section 18 (2) (b) of Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

The two village leaders informed that except for a few residents who have taken the land compensation under protest, none have accepted the compensation in protest of the shabby deal.

They further alleged that the Collector has failed to point out the facts the facts to the Railway Authority that the land under reference, supposedly handed over to the North East Frontier Railway, have not yet been acquired and compensation are yet to be paid to the land owners after following due procedure of the Law.

The Collector has also till date failed to refer the matter to the competent reference court even after expiry of three months, that is, from 12 September, 2014 the date of filling protest letter by the residents, they added.

They informed that, the residents of the two villages have also filed an RTI application dated 28 November 2014 to know about the whole procedure followed by the Authority for acquiring the aforesaid land as they were in the dark and the reply for the same is still awaited.

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