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Meghalaya Deputy CM Prestone Tynsong

Shillong: The Meghalaya government will file a defamation suit against All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) national spokesperson Saket Gokhale on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said.

Terming Gokhale a ‘psycho’, Tynsong said the AITC’s national spokesperson’s intention was just to spoil the government’s image.

Gokhale had alleged largescale financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 632 crore in the Meghalaya Ecotourism Infrastructure Development Project (MEIDP) headed by an IAS officer Dr Vijay Kumar. The TMC spokesperson claimed that irregularities happened under the company Meghalayan Age spearheaded by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s top aide Vijay Kumar. He had alleged that the Meghalayan Age Ltd. is a government-run company founded in 2020 and it is responsible for implementing the Meghalaya Ecotourism Infrastructure Development Project for which the Meghalaya govt has taken a loan of Rs 632 crore from the New Development Bank (NDB).

“This man keeps making such allegations about the functioning of the state government. I personally feel he has become like a psycho. Now we have no more patience. By tomorrow, we will have filed a defamation case against him,” said Tynsong.

Denying all the allegations made against the government, the deputy chief minister clarified that all records are available and that even the tendering process has been done online.

He further clarified that the project cost for the Meghalaya Ecotourism Infrastructure Development Project (MEIDP) is about Rs 731 crore and is one of the many externally aided projects (EAPs) being implemented in the state.

Tynsong added that out of Rs 731 crores, the tender which has been called and has been allotted is Rs 230 crores. “The work allotted and orders to reach Rs 731 crore are in the pipeline where we have to go for tendering process depending on the projects under which department it falls. As of now, only three departments that are implementing this project are funded by NDB. These are sports, tourism and PWD,” said Tynsong.

The deputy chief minister informed that a total of nine projects under the tourism department have been listed wherein four have already completed the tendering process. 

Tynsong mentioned that the list of projects is – landscaping building tourism amenities at Wards Lake, infrastructure and tourism facilities at Crinoline swimming pool, revamping the convention centre at Orchid Lake Resort, upgradation of tourism amenities at Umiam Watersports complex, redeveloping the viewing area at Nohkalikai waterfall, infrastructure at Chibragre Village Wangala festival venue, developing heritage village and landscaping at Mawphlang and David Scott trail, integrated hospitality and convention centre at Tura.

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