SHILLONG, Aug 16 - The 74th Independence Day was celebrated peacefully in Meghalaya on Saturday. In this connection, a series of programmes were organised across the State.
Hoisting the Tricolour at the Polo Grounds here, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said that this has been an unusual year as COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted economic and social life like never before. �Currently, with a total of 1,228 cases, we have the lowest number of cases per million population amongst all Indian States and Union Territories,� he added.
He said the result is due to a �consistent, systematic and unwavering efforts of the frontline health workers, the community and the Government.� The CM said that despite the best efforts, the lockdown has particularly impacted the livelihoods of the laborers and the daily wage earners. On the occasion, the CM launched the �restart Meghalaya Mission,� to support farmers and entrepreneurs and to build growth promoting basic infrastructure and services.
�Farming and farmers lie at the epicentre of our rejuvenation plan�we target to double the reach of the Kisan Credit Card programme and make KCC loans attractive by providing an interest subvention of 2 per cent. This measure will enable Meghalaya�s farmers to avail loans with only 2 per cent interest rate.�
Under the MGNREGS the MGNREGS expenditure is expected to touch Rs. 1,600 crore. This will translate into an average direct annual income of about Rs. 17,000 to the 5,89,000 registered rural households in the State. Sangma also announced the Chief Minister�s support programme for small business and entrepreneurs.
In Nagaland: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said the Naga society must stand as one, speak as one, and give a final push to collectively achieve a settlement to the Naga political issue and remove the shackles that burden the Naga society once and for all.
Addressing the Independence Day celebration at State Secretariat Plaza in Kohima on Saturday, Rio said �it is time the civil societies discuss among themselves and create a conducive atmosphere with full understanding as one Naga family although the Nagas may be living in different administrative jurisdictions.
He appealed to all sections of society and every citizen to continue to make honest contributions for lasting peace even as the Naga people in general reiterate their call to the negotiating parties to resolve the issue without further delay.
Rio said a democratic and just settlement of the Naga issue will not only bring peace and stability to the entire north eastern region of the country but it will also directly strengthen the democratic foundations of this great nation. According to him, 23 years of ceasefire and political dialogue is more than enough to reach a logical conclusion to the issue.
�Even as we commemorate the 74th Independence Day of the world�s largest democracy, we cannot but be reminded that 23 years of ceasefire and political dialogue is more than enough time to reach a logical conclusion,� Rio said.
In Manipur: The Independence Day was celebrated in Manipur on Saturday. The main programme was held at the 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles Parade Ground here wherein Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh hoisted the flag.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister appealed to the people to extend help and support to the government in fighting the COVID-19 disease. In this context, the Chief Minister said that the State government had already introduced a number developmental schemes for the betterment of the people. �Under the bold leadership of the Prime Minister, the entire region has seen a massive growth,� he said. On the occasion, in recognition of valour and gallant spirit of late Riflemen Ratan Salam of 4th Assam Rifles, Chief Minister handed over a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to the wife of late Riflemen.
He also handed over the Chief Minister�s Trophy for Community Service Awards to SP Bishnupur district, Priyadarshini Laishram, Inspector Oinam Ajit Singh, and Women constable Okram Bijeta Devi.
In Tripura: Along with the rest of the country, Independence Day was celebrated across the State with full honour.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, while attending the main programme, said the BJP-IPFT government has been working untiringly to make the State economically sound and vibrant.
The hard work rendered by the present government has already started yielding results with per capita income and Gross State Domestic Production (GSDP) increasing with every passing year, he claimed.
�The government has been making all out efforts to make Tripura an antmanibhar state by using available raw materials and forest resources. An amount of Rs 75 crore will be invested in bamboo sector,� he said.
The Chief Minister also announced Mukhyamantri Agarbati Antmanirbhar Mission to encourage the people involved in agarbati manufacturing. He said the State�s export increased from Rs. 6.46 crore in 2017-18 to Rs. 30.34 crore and introduction of a single-window system for setting up industries would attack entrepreneurs to look at the new possibilities in Tripura.
In Arunachal: Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday celebrated the 74 th Independence Day with enthusiasm and patriotic fervour.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu unfurled the national flag and took salute from the parade contingents of State Police, paramilitary forces, school children, NCC, Scouts and Guides in the main function at IG Park here.
In his Independence Day address, the Chief Minister extended heartfelt gratitude to the frontline workers and COVID warriors for their hard work and dedication in fighting this COVID-19 pandemic in the State.
Their untiring service to the people of the State will remain etched in the memories for generations even after we win this battle against COVID-19, Khandu said.
Calling upon the people to follow the COVID-19 protocols like maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands frequently to prevent the virus from spreading, he said, �We have to understand that our battle against COVID-19 will have to continue as long as a vaccine does not come out.� We are also recruiting more than 100 specialists, around 60 medical officers and more than 400 nurses. These are major reforms and we are confident that by August 2022, when we celebrate 75th anniversary of our independence, we would be proudly hosting a better health infrastructure,� he said.