ACHIK Body demands Tura as second capital of Meghalaya

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TURA, March 30: The A·chik Conscious Holistically Integrated Krima (ACHIK) organization has given a memorandum to the Conrad K Sangma government reminding it of the importance of establishing Tura as the Winter Capital of Meghalaya.

The idea of having a Summer Capital in Shillong and a Winter Capital at Tura was proposed by the yesteryear leaders of the Hills State Movement, who envisioned it as a roadmap for the development and administration of the state of Meghalaya. This vision was shared by the founding fathers of the state, irrespective of their ethnicity, and it remains a long cherished dream of the people of Garo Hills, stated the ACHIK organization in their petition.

It stated that the delay in implementing the establishment of Tura as the Winter Capital would only lead to further injustices and frustrations for the citizens of the Garo Hills.

“The generation that fought for the creation of the state of Meghalaya has not forgotten the promises made by the leaders of the Hills State Movement, and the vision they had for the people of Garo Hills. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that the present government takes action to fulfill this long-standing promise,” stated the organization in their memorandum which was signed by its president Thomas M Marak, vice president Greneth M Sangma and general secretary and advocate Ms. Bernita R Marak.

According to ACHIK organization, Tura as the second capital would promote equal development as Garo Hills remains backward with most of its interior parts still inaccessible due to poor infrastructure and underdevelopment.

“One way to achieve this would be to institute a Winter Capital in Tura for six months from October to March and a Summer Capital in Shillong from April to September. This would ensure that the government is present in both regions at different times of the year and can address the issues specific to each area,” it mentioned.

It stated that since the State of Meghalaya comprises very different ethnic groups, there needs to be fair and equal treatment and the difference of ethnicity is another major reason for the setting up of two capitals in the state.

“There are several examples of Indian states having multiple capitals. Andhra Pradesh has three, Himachal Pradesh two, Jammu & Kashmir two, Karnataka two and Maharashtra two. These states have adopted the model for efficient and fair governance considering the social and ethnic diversity amongst other reasons,” points out the ACHIK body.

The organization wants the shifting of the state’s Additional Secretariat from Shillong to Tura to expedite the implementation process of devolution of power and promotion of development in the Garo Hills region.

It has also demanded that the offices of the Additional Chief Secretary and Additional DGP (Police) must be permanently posted in Tura which will pave the way for decentralization of powers and ensure all round development of Garo Hills.

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