Shillong, April 5 (PTI) The construction of a border fence, along the Zero Line, has displaced at least 100 families in Meghalaya’s South Garo Hills, forcing them to live on the other side of the fence, an NPP legislator told the Assembly today.
Rakkam A Sangma, an MLA from Rongara Siju constituency, demanded that the construction work should be limited to a distance of 150 yards from the Zero Line and urged the state government to take up the matter with the Centre.
During a debate on the Governor Ganga Prasad’s address in Assembly, which resumed business after a gap of 12 days, the National People’s Party (NPP) MLA said, over 100 families have moved to the other side of the border due to the construction work.
Meghalaya shares 443-km-long border with Bangladesh.
To make matters worse, he said, these families do not get any support from the state for health, electricity and other facilities, he asserted.
“As per convention, the fencing should be erected 150 yards away from the border. In this case, the fencing has stretched to over 200-300 metres from the border. In some places, it even went up to half a kilometre from the Zero Line,” he said.
The legislator also stressed the need to develop the South Garo Hills district, which, at present, “lacks road connectivity, education and health facilities”.
Due to bad road conditions, Rakkam said, he nearly lost his wife once as it took him hours to take her to a hospital at Tura, around 100 km away from the district.
On education, Rakkam said some schools in the district run with only one teacher.
There are many schools here that open seasonally due to absence of roofs, Rakkam lamented, urging the authorities to take stock of the situation.
Talking about health facilities, the MLA said the district hospital was accorded a Civil Hospital status six years ago, but no district medical officer or specialist have been posted there.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.