The New Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma called on the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy & Space, Dr Jitendra Singh here today and discussed with him a wide range of development projects and schemes in the State.In the meeting, Dr Jitendra Singh told Shri Sangma that the immediate priority should be the upgradation of the Airport at Shillong. He said that it is an irony that Shillong, though being the original capital of erstwhile Assam, still does not have a full-fledged upgraded airport. He disclosed that the work of extending the length of the air-strip has already been funded by the Ministry of DoNER, but the overall upgradation of airport would require an active involvement of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation. This, he said, is also essential for promoting other avenues including tourism.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the tourism potential of Meghalaya, in spite of its rich scenic beauty, has remained under-explored, but given the high priority accorded by the Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, to the upliftment of the region, this sector is also being keenly attended. He stressed on the importance of encouraging ‘home tourism’, which has already picked up in Shillong and other destinations in the last two years. He also suggested to the Chief Minister whether a corporate five-star hotel chain could be persuaded to set up hotels in the State.Shri Conrad Sangma told Dr Jitendra Singh that very soon he will revert back to him and hold a detailed meeting along with the Chief Secretary and other senior officers of the State Government, to put forward some of the other proposals for development projects. He said, as Chief Minister, his priority will be to concentrate and promote the three sectors of tourism, education and healthcare in a big way.Shri Conrad Sangma was also informed by Dr Jitendra Singh that the Ministry of DoNER had set up "APJ Abdul Kalam Study Centre" at IIM Shillong, where the late President Kalam had breathed his last during a lecture visit.