Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Friday said the state has natural advantages for carrying out organic farming. Participating in the debate on the Governor’s address, Sangma said organic farming will be taken to the next level with the right intent, right programmes and right policy coupled with the special attention being given to the NE region by the Centre.
The chief minister said the government needs to focus on food processing industry and added that there is scope for a directorate of food processing. “For economic growth in our state, the next step should be food processing centres,” he said.
Mobile phones for farmers: On problems being faced by farmers in the state, the chief minister agreed that farmers lose out on profits as they do not have access to roads. He mooted the idea of digital technology where farmers can check the prices of their products on their mobile phones.
In this connection, he said, “We are trying to work on a telecom policy to allow mobile towers to be set up in a safe manner.”Sangma said that the government will focus on access to markets and better connectivity.
Traffic congestion: Sangma also raised concerns over the issue of traffic congestion and said that a task force will find ways and means to reduce congestion on ’18 choking points’ in the city and submit a report on the same.
He expressed optimism that the Mawlai by-pass will reduce congestion in the city.
Speaking of tourism prospects, Sangma said there are 2000 rooms available in the city hotels which would not be enough when the state hosts the National Games. “We need a number of 3-star, 2-star and 5-star hotels in the state. We need to work with MTDC in this regard,” he said.
The chief minister also spoke about cave tourism and added that tourists will love to explore different caves in the state.
Free medicines: Sangma said the government is committed to provide free medicines to people of the state and a review meeting in this regard was held on Thursday.
He also assured that the government will speed up the opening of the cancer wing of Shillong civil hospital. “There is also a plan to appoint community health officers who will act as nurses in the absence of doctors in rural areas of the state”, he added.
Source: The Shillong Times