SHILLONG, Dec 27 � The musical-chair political scene in Meghalaya saw a semblance of stability in 2011 but the deteriorating law and order situation in the Garo Hills remained a cause of concern for the Mukul Sangma Government.
While Sangma was more or less successful in keeping his flock together, the year saw the emergence of a unity bid among regional parties against the Congress. The recent merger of KHNAM and UDP is a pointer towards this.
The government won a no-confidence motion in September but not without some drama as the Opposition NCP faced an embarrassment when one of its MLAs Deputy Speaker Shanbor Shullai abstained. Another NCP legislator Adolf LHR Marak did not turn up for the proceedings, bringing down the strength of the Opposition from 15 to 14 in the 60-member House. A former member of the DD Lapang Cabinet, Prestone Tynsong was inducted as the much-talked about 12th man in the Mukul Sangma Cabinet.
The opening of border haats paved the way for the people living on both sides of the India-Bangladesh frontier to trade and strengthen friendship.
On the boundary dispute with neighbouring Assam, the State Government resolved to urge the Centre to intervene and constitute a Border Commission. The year began with ethnic clashes in the Garo Hills claiming 26 lives and displacing more than 50,000 people. Police were on the lookout for Garo National Liberation Army cadres for their involvement in a number of kidnapping, extortion and killing cases. Formed by a former DSP, the group has been luring cops into its fold.
The only commercial helicopter service in the State came to an abrupt end when the State Government terminated its contract with Pawan Hans following the chopper crash in which Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu was killed.
With the Shillong airport yet to be fully functional, the people of the State are now depending on road transportation.
The Defence Ministry rejected the State Government�s request to part with a few acres of land at Umroi to make way for upgrade and expansion of the airport. The airport authority requires about 35 acres of land for expansion of the airport at Umroi for which the State Government is seeking land either through acquisition or by asking the army to part with their land.
The high decadal population growth was another cause of concern. Census figures showed a high jump in the population ratio. The total population now is 29,64,007 as against 23,18,822 in the last Census.
Governor R S Mooshahary told the Assembly that a comprehensive action plan would be drawn up by the government to tackle the problem of illegal migrants.� PTI