Shillong: The first artificial turf football ground of Garo Hills in Meghalaya, built at a cost of Rs 5.40 crore, was inaugurated on Saturday.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma inaugurated the ground in Tura, announcing that another Rs 3 crore has been sanctioned for the construction of galleries and other amenities.

The chief minister, however, faced protests on the way to the programme over the appointment of his brother-in-law Rakesh Sangma as the Chief Executive Member of the Garo Tribal Council.

The chief minister said he was hopeful that the ground will help in developing footballers in the region.

The construction of the indoor swimming pool and the renovation of Tura District Auditorium will be completed within March, he said.

A new convention centre will be built at Dakopgre locality in Tura at a cost of Rs 150 crore, Sangma announced.

Four junctions in the district – Chandmary, Ringrey, Hawakhana and Araimile – will be beautified at a cost of Rs 20 crore, the CM said.

Besides, road projects worth Rs 13 crore and a state-of-the-art street light project have also been taken up under the ‘Smart Tura Town’ project, he said.

A skill centre will be set up at Babadam, for which the foundation stone will be laid on March 26. The project will be built at a cost of Rs 280 crore, Sangma said.

A ‘garbage-to-energy’ project will soon be taken up, and the tender for mechanised cleaning system will be floated, he said.

Raising slogans such as ‘Conrad has no shame’, a huge crowd protested with black flags as the chief minister was on the way to the venue.

Since the appointment of Rakesh Sangma as the CEM, people of the Garo Hills along with some NGOs have been protesting, demanding his removal.

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