In the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, authorities worldwide, including Meghalaya, took swift measures to establish screening centres to closely monitor incoming travelers. In Meghalaya, a well-equipped facility was initially constructed in Byrnihat at a significant expense to fortify the state against the virus.
However, due to the limited capacity of the Byrnihat centre, authorities decided to invest in a larger facility in Umling. This decision, prompted by congestion in Byrnihat, aimed to enhance monitoring capabilities. Interestingly, the Umling centre not only effectively screened travelers but also served as an information hub, providing tourists with details about the state’s picturesque locations.
As the global situation gradually stabilized, the surveillance of travelers waned, leading to the abandonment of the once-crucial Corona Screening centre. This abandonment resulted in both financial loss and the unfortunate waste of resources. Of particular concern is the fate of the original center in Byrnihat, located near the Friday market, which has now transformed into a neglected space being used as a makeshift toilet and dumping ground, emitting a foul odor.
The transformation of the Byrnihat Corona Centre into a neglected and unsanitary area raises alarm bells among local residents and authorities. There is a growing concern that the abandoned space may attract undesirable elements, including criminals and drug users, posing a potential risk to the community.
Local residents are urging authorities to address the issue promptly, emphasizing the need to either repurpose the space for a beneficial community use or implement measures to secure the area and prevent its deterioration into a potential hotspot for illicit activities. The fate of the once crucial Corona Screening Centre serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by the aftermath of the pandemic and the importance of strategic planning for such facilities in the long term.