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Monday, June 24, 2024

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Monday, June 24, 2024

71 years of GHADC celebrated in backdrop of unpaid salaries to staff

Education border areas and general administration department minister Rakkam A Sangma spoke of the glorious days of the GHADC and how crucial this institution has been for the Garos.

Our Special Correspondent | TURA: The oldest autonomous institution in the Garo Hills region- Garo Hills Autonomous District Council celebrated 71 years on Friday with a gala event at the Tura district auditorium that saw the participation of Education minister Rakkam A Sangma as the chief guest.

Education border areas and general administration department minister Rakkam A Sangma spoke of the glorious days of the GHADC and how crucial this institution has been for the Garos.

The Chief Executive Member Albinus Marak also highlighted the achievements of the district council and taking it to new heights.

While the Council authorities spoke at length on the historical significance of the GHADC that came into being many years before Meghalaya even attained statehood, yet it wasn’t lost on anybody that the council has been in dire financial crisis for well over a decade having to depend on dole outs from the centre and the state to remain in operation.

Employees of the GHADC continue to remain unpaid for well over two years despite attempts by authorities to clear the huge pending backlog.

The last time the council authorities cleared pending dues of four months was early this year, but the backlog continues to stretch each time a month goes without salary payment.

The sparse turnout for the celebrations in the district auditorium, with a majority of the staffers missing, showed how salary clearance is a priority for the employees and not celebratory shows.

The council employees have, in the recent past, staged numerous protests and penned down strikes to demand from authorities their pending salaries, but council authorities have pointed out the grim task of revenue generation from within the council itself.

Ever since the state took away the mining rights and other departments from the council, the GHADC has had to depend on royalty shares from the minerals which seldom are released on time.

Interestingly, the district council has in its possession the largest share of land for revenue generation but has so far failed to turn it around into an income generating factory.

Corruption in projects, most recent being the centre’s funding for development works valued at over Rs 100 crores, has sullied the image of the district council and led to a host of sitting MDCs and executive members being voted out of power by the electorate of Garo Hills.

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