Shillong: To ensure that no one goes hungry and the people of Meghalaya do not face any kind of scarcity of food and essentials amid the 21-day lockdown over coronavirus, chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said that all deputy commissioners of the state have been empowered to release funds of Rs 25 lakh from the MLA scheme to the legislators concerned so that they can ensure smooth supply of essential commodities.
Deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong had earlier informed that the MLAs have been asked to utilise funds from the MLA scheme to help people during these critical times.
Addressing the media, Sangma said that the MLAs have to submit a detailed list of the essential commodities to be distributed to the people and avail of the funds, which will then be sanctioned from the deputy commissioner’s office on immediate basis.
Sangma added that MLAs and MDCs have been requested to work in coordination with the district administration in ensuring that essential commodities are made available. He said that during this time of crisis the public representatives, social organisations and volunteers have to come together to aid the government.
He informed that the government has been engaging with MLAs of different districts to solicit their views and suggestions which will enable the government to streamline the delivery mechanism.
He informed that cabinet ministers in charge of different regions of the state — Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills — are continuously working at the regional level to ensure that all essential commodities are available and making all effort to address the concerns of the people.
“A system for coordinated efforts between the grassroots, the administration, and the government has been put in place and we are working to ensure that all necessary measures are taken, which is in the interest and welfare of the public,” said Sangma.
“There are issues and concerns which are very challenging but we will try our best to address those concerns. We have received positive suggestions from public representatives. The cooperation extended by the public representatives are very supportive and have united representatives from across parties,” he said.
He said that the government is working round the clock to address all grievances.
“This is an unprecedented situation and the administration under the leadership of chief secretary has been working tirelessly to address public concerns,” Sangma added.
When asked about steps the Meghalaya government has taken after positive COVID-19 cases were reported in Assam, Sangma said as per ministry of home affairs (MHA) guidelines the inter-state and inter-district movement has been restricted.
Responding to a query on post-lockdown after April 14, the chief minister said that along with India, Meghalaya as a state is prepared to deal with the situation. Going forward, the state government would designate a hospital for such cases.
Urging the people of the state to cooperate with the government during this crisis, the chief minister said that through this lockdown we should be able to break the transmission chain.