A delegation from East Khasi Hills led by two young journalists, Shri KhrawhoklangThabah and Shri RiningLyngdohMawphlang, today called on the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances,Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr.Jitendra Singh and submitted a proposal-cum-project report for construction of a “rural market complex” at Sohiong village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya.
Appreciating the effort undertaken in preparing the project report, Dr.Jitendra Singh said, “rural market complex” is a relatively new concept which could actually be applicable even in other parts of the country with similar topography and hilly terrain. For example, in the State of Jammu & Kashmir also, several remote rural areas in peripheral districts like Kishtwar and Doda could be benefited by such projects, he observed.
The proposal submitted to the Minister provides a detailed outline of the project envisaged to be brought up on a 10 acre land in HimaSohiong at a cost of Rs.10 crores. Once the project is complete, it could be a “dream come true” for backward and remote village people who will get in their midst a Market Complex catering to diverse needs of farmers, traders and consumers.
Dr.Jitendra Singh assured the deputation that he will ask the officers in his Ministry to further develop the project report, and, if need be, seek professional help for its further modification and improvement. An on-the -spot assessment of the proposed venue will also have to be undertaken,he added.As for the estimate of expenditure, he said, he will have to check whether it would be possible to include it in the upcoming budget which is already in the final stages of preparation in the Union Finance Ministry. Alternatively, it could be found out from which other source can the amount to be spared,he assured.
He said, the State Government of Meghalaya will also be taken on board and he will ask Secretary, North Eastern Council (NEC) to take up the matter with Chief Secretary of Meghalaya.
If the initiative proves successful, Dr.Jitendra Singh said, it could open a new chapter in providing comprehensive shopping complexes or malls in village areas, which would not only serve the local needs, but could, to a significant extent, also bring down the trend of migration of youth and other people from rural to urban areas.