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Meghalaya

Particulars
Description
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Area
22,429 Sq. Km.
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Population
29,64,007
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Capital
Shillong
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Language
Khasi, Pnar, Garo & English
>
Density
132 Per Sqr.Km
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Literacy
75.48 %

History And Geography

Sl.No. District Name Sl.No. Block Name
1 East Khasi Hills District
Hqr: Shillong
1 Mylliem C&RD Block
2 Mawphlang C&RD Block
3 Mawsynram C&RD Block
4 Shella Bholaganj C&RD Block
5 Pynursla C&RD Block
6 Khatarshnong Laitkroh C&RD Block
7 Mawkynrew C&RD Block
8 Mawryngkneng C&RD Block
9 Sohiong C & RD Block
2 West Khasi Hills District
Hqr: Nongstoin
10 Mairang C&RD Block
11 Mawthadraishan C&RD Block
12 Nongstoin C&RD Block
13 Mawshynrut C&RD Block
3 South West Khasi Hills District
Hqr: Mawkyrwat
14 Mawkyrwat C&RD Block
15 Ranikor C&RD Block
4 Ri Bhoi District
Hqr: Nongpoh
16 Umsning C&RD Block
17 Umling C&RD Block
18 Jirang C&RD Block
19 Bhoirymbong C & RD Block
5 West Jaintia Hills District
Hqr: Jowai
20 Thadlaskein C&RD Block
21 Laskein C&RD Block

22 Amlarem C&RD Block
6 East Jaintia Hills District
Hqr: Khliehriat
23 Khliehriat C&RD Block
24 Saipung C&RD Block
7 East Garo Hills District
Hqr: Williamnagar
25 Dambo Rongjeng C&RD Block
26 Songsak C&RD Block
27 Samanda C&RD Block
8 West Garo Hills District
Hqr: Tura
28 Rongram C&RD Block
29 Dadenggiri C&RD Block
30 Selsella C&RD Block
31 Tikrikilla C&RD Block
32 Gambegre C&RD Block
33 Dalu C&RD Block
34 Demdema C & RD Block
9 North Garo Hills District
Hqr: Resubelpara
35 Resubelpara C&RD Block
36 Kharkutta C&RD Block
10 South West Garo Hills District
Hqr: Ampati
37 Betasing C&RD Block
38 Zikzak C&RD Block
39 Damalgre C & RD Block
11 South Garo Hills District
Hqr: Baghmara
40 Baghmara C&RD Block

41 Gasuapara C&RD Block
42 Ronggara C&RD Block
43 Chokpot C&RD Block

Tucked away in the hills of eastern sub-Himalayas is Meghalaya, one of the most beautiful State in the country. Nature has blessed her with abundant rainfall, sun-shine, virgin forests, high plateaus, tumbling waterfalls, crystal clear rivers, meandering streamlets and above all with sturdy, intelligent and hospitable people.

Emergence of Meghalaya as an Autonomous State on 2nd April 1970 and as a full-fledged State on 21st January 1972 marked the beginning of a new era of the geo-political history of North Eastern India. It also marked the triumph of peaceful democratic negotiations, mutual understanding and victory over violence and intrigue.

The State of Meghalaya is situated on the north east of India. It extends for about 300 kilometres in length and about 100 kilometres in breadth. It is bounded on the north by Goalpara, Kamrup and Nowgong districts, on the east by Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills districts, all of Assam, and on the south and west by Bangladesh.

Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya is located at an altitude of 1496 metres above sea level. Shillong, which was made Assam's capital in 1874, remained so till January 1972, following the formation of Meghalaya. The capital city derives its name from the manifestation of the creator called Shyllong.

Meghalaya is subject to vagaries of the monsoon. The climate varies with altitude. The climate of Khasi and Jaintia Hills is uniquely pleasant and bracing. It is neither too warm in summer nor too cold in winter, but over the plains of Garo Hills, the climate is warm and humid, except in winter. The Meghalayan sky seldom remains free of clouds. The average annual rainfall is about 2600 mm over western Meghalaya, between 2500 to 3000 mm over northern Meghalaya and about 4000 mm over south-eastern Meghalaya. There is a great variation of rainfall over central and southern Meghalaya. At Sohra (Cherrapunjee), the average annual rainfall is as high as 12000 millimetres, but Shillong located at a distance of about fifty kilometres from Sohra receives an average of 2200 mm of rainfall annually.

Administrative units of state

The Governor: All Executive Authority of the State formally vests in the Governor. In actual practice, however, he acts as the Constitutional Head of the State Government. Every act or decision of the Governor is impressed to be taken in his name. Every such act or decision is based on a decision taken by the Council of Ministers or under the authority of a Minister except in so far as the Governor is by or under the Constitution required to exercise his function on any of them in his decision

Council of Ministers: The executive power of the State Government is exercised by the Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head. The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor. The other Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the State Legislative Assembly.

The Council of Ministers consist of Ministers who are members of the Cabinet and Ministers of States. The Cabinet, which consists of the Ministers appointed as its members, determines the policy of the Govt. and gives direction. The Ministers who are not members of the Cabinet attend meetings of the Cabinet when matters concerning their Departments are considered by the Cabinet, if so desired by the Cabinet.

Administrative relations between the Union and the State: The executive power of the State is so exercised as to ensure compliance with the laws made by parliament and in existing laws which apply in the State and also as not to impede or prejudice the exercise of the executive power of the Union. The Union may give such directions to the State as may appear to the Govt. of India to be necessary for the purpose in accordance with the Constitution.

Advocate General: The Advocate General for the State is the highest legal adviser to the State Govt. and is usually consulted in matters of importance involving interpretation of the Constitution, laws or other rules. He also appears in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Govt. to conduct important cases. Under Article 177 of the Constitution, the Advocates General has the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly.

Secretariat Officers

Chief Secretary: The Chief Secretary is the principal Officer of Govt. responsible for overall control and efficient administration of the State Govt. In addition to the regular Secretarial functions regarding the Departments under his charge, he is entrusted with the following special functions:

He is the Secretary to the Cabinet and as such advises Cabinet on all matters placed before it for consideration.
He is responsible for inter-departmental co-operation and co-ordination.
He advises the Chief Minister on all important policy decisions and important matters concerned with Government of India or with other States.
He may send for any file from any Department regarding a proposal, which has already been examined in the Department and with his view may send the file to the Minister in-charge or the Chief Minister through the Minister in-charge.
He is responsible for all other matters not specifically allotted to other Secretaries.

Secretary: A Secretary to the Govt. is the administrative head of one or more Departments. He is the principal adviser to the Minister on all matters of policy and administration within his department. Such Officer may be designated as Commissioner / Commissioner and Secretary or Secretary and may be assisted by a Secretary or Additional / Joint / Deputy / Under Secretary, Superintendent and other subordinate staff.

With the approval of the Minister-in-charge, an Additional, Joint, Deputy, or Under Secretary may be authorized by the Secretary to dispose off specified classes of cases without reference to the Secretary, provided that:

The Secretary may require cases of importance within the delegated classes to be submitted through him;
All cases, on return from the Minister, will pass through the Secretary; and
The Secretary retains the right of intervention in any such case at any stage.

In the absence of the Secretary of the Department, the next senior most officers will perform the duties of the Secretary.

A Joint Secretary / Deputy Secretary: A Joint Secretary or a Deputy Secretary is ordinarily in-charge of two or three Departments. The duties and responsibilities of the Joint Secretary and Deputy Secretary are ordinarily the same and they put up papers directly to their respective Secretaries or Ministers.

Branch Officer: The Officer in-charge of a Branch is called the Branch Officer. He is of the rank of Under Secretary or Special Officer or Research Officer of equivalent status or an officer of higher rank. An illustrative, list of his duties is given in Appendix III, Part I.

A Superintendent: A branch of the Secretariat Department or where there is no Branch the whole Department, is under the charge of the Superintendent. His role is very important and the general standard of efficiency in the Branch depends to a great extend on his personal example, supervision and guidance. He is assisted by a number of Assistants and typist. When justified by the workload he is assisted by an Assistant Superintendent. He is responsible for efficient administration of the Branch and prompt and satisfactory disposal of allotted business.

Offices of Heads of Departments and Subordinate Offices

Secretariat Departments have generally under them the officers of Heads of Departments. They are responsible for execution and implementation of policies laid down by the administrative Departments. They also provide technical advice to the administrative departments. In some cases, there are no Heads of Departments under an administrative department. This depends on either of the factors, namely, there is no executive direction involved as in the case of Secretariat Administration Department or the Executive direction involved is exercised through the general agency of Deputy Commissioners.

The Heads of Departments generally function through their subordinate offices in the field, which are responsible for detailed execution of the decisions or Govt. In some cases, however, the Heads of Departments function directly from their head office.

A Commissioner of a Division is an important Head of a Department responsible for generally watching the administration of his Division and seeing that it is efficient and is guided by considerations for the interest of the people. His role and functions are laid down by Govt. instructions.

Deputy Commissioners: There is a Deputy Commissioner in each district. He is directly responsible for law and order, revenue matters, land records, supply, excise, registration, treasury, relief and any other matter not specifically allotted to other district officers in the district. He is the main agency of Govt. in the district for execution of Govt. directions as well as for informing Govt. regarding public reaction to Govt. policies, for bringing to their notice any important incidents in the district such as strikes, deaths, accidents, floods, crop failure. He is generally responsible for efficient administration of the district.

Meghalaya Public Service Commission: The State Public Service Commission is a statutory body provided in accordance with the constitution. The main function of the Meghalaya Public Service Commission are to hold examinations for recruitment to the state Services and to advise on the principles and methods of recruitment to the civil services and posts and on the suitability of candidates for appointment to such services and posts. The Commission also is to advise on disciplinary matters affecting certain categories of Govt. servants. The details of its functions are given in the Meghalaya Public Service Commission Regulations, 1972 and the Meghalaya Public Service Commission (Limitation of Functions, 1972).

Vigilance Commissioner: There is a State Vigilance Commission headed by the State Vigilance Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor. The State Vigilance Commission enjoys the same measure of autonomy as enjoyed by the Meghalaya Public Service Commission. The Vigilance Commission can cause an enquiry or investigation to be made into any complaint or corruption or mis-conduct on the part of a public servant. It may also formulate proposals for the prevention and control of corruption.

Local Bodies: The Urban Local bodies in the State include Municipal Board and Town Committees. Though there are no rural local bodies like the Mahkuma Parishad, the Anchalik Panchayat and the Goan Panchayat but traditional institutions like Syiemship, Daloiship and Nokmas exist in the rural areas. The Municipal Boards and Town Committees are governed by the Assam Municipal Act, 1956, since adopted, and the Establishment and Administration of Town Committees Acts such as the Garo Hills District (Administration of Town Committee) Act, 1956; the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills District (Establishment of Town Committee) Act, 1960; and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District (Establishment and Administration of Town Committees) Act, 1975.

People & Culture

Meghalaya is the homeland mainly of the Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos. The Garos inhabit western Meghalaya, the Khasis in central Meghalaya, and the Jaintias in eastern Meghalaya. The Khasi, Jaintia, Bhoi, War, collectively known as the Hynniewtrep people predominantly inhabit the districts East of Meghalaya, also known to be one of the earliest ethnic group of settlers in the Indian sub-continent, belonging to the Proto Austroloid Monkhmer race. The Garo Hills is predominantly inhabited by the Garos, belonging to the Bodo family of the Tibeto-Burman race, said to have migrated from Tibet. The Garos prefer to call themselves as Achiks and the land they inhabit, as the Achik-land.

The Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos have a matrilineal society. Descent is traced through the mother, but the father plays an important role in the material and mental life of the family. While, writing on the Khasi and the Jaintia people, David Roy observed, 'a man is the defender of the woman, but the woman is the keeper of his trust'. No better description of Meghalayan matrilineal society could perhaps be possible.

Education & Literacy

The history of formal education in Meghalaya has been a recent one commencing with the formulation of a Khasi Alphabet in 1842 by Mr. Thomas Jones, a Welsh missionary. Similarly for the Garo Hills areas, a Garo Alphabet was evolved in 1902 by American missionaries using the Roman script. With requirements for a literate society not being high in colonial times, only a few elementary schools were functioning in what is now known as Meghalaya.

The first college in fact was established in Shillong only in 1924 by the Christian Brothers of Ireland. Being a hill station blessed with bracing weather and having a strong colonial influence, several quality colleges and Public schools have been established over the years. The alumni of these schools are spread all over the country and their footprints are also found all over the world. Some of them hold very distinguished positions and occupy high offices in foreign countries, as well.

Shillong has also been a favourite retreat of well known intellectuals and luminaries and in particular, Nobel Laureates Rabindranath Tagore and Dr. C.V. Raman. This historical legacy coupled with an enabling environment has been instrumental in the state being able to host several National Institutes of repute like the North Eastern Hill University which is a Central University, The North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health & Medical Science (NEIGRIMS), the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFT), Indian Institute of Hotel Management, Central Institute of English & Foreign Languages (CIEFL) and various other Prominent Institutes of Higher Learning. A new National Institute of Technology is also being set up in the world famous Sohra (Cherrapunji) town. Six private universities have also been permitted to open their campuses in the state. One little known feature in the State’s education scenario is the large number of out of state students who contribute significantly not only to the vibrancy and cosmopolitan nature of the student community but also to the State’s Domestic Product figures.

Meghalaya is perhaps the first state in the region to adopt a ‘communitisation’ model of education at the elementary levels. All the school managing committees, whether government or government aided include heads of traditional institutions and prominent citizens. Despite the slow start in the education front, literacy rates of the state has seen an exponential rise in the literacy rate from 26.92% in 1961 to 63.31% in 2001. With the implementation of flagship programmes like SSA and RMSA, the educational profile of the state is expected to improve further. The Education Department is also presently gearing up to meet the challenges of Human Resource Development in the light of the Right to Free & Compulsory Education(RTE), 2009 to foster a conducive climate for the development of the much required critical mass, which is expected to contribute significantly to the state and the nation’s growth and development. Efforts are also on to develop the existing institutions as cradles of potential excellence. Apart from resources drawn from Central and State Budgets, the Department of Education is also drawing up strategies to generate resources from other areas as well.

Health

List of Hospitals in Meghalaya
1. Government Hospitals:

Civil Hospital, Shillong
Civil Hospital, Tura
Civil Hospital, Nongstoin
Civil Hospital, Williamnagar
Civil Hospital, Jowai
Ganesh Das Hospital, Shillong
North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS)
North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda & Homoeopathy (NEIAH))
R P Chest Hospital, Shillong


2. Private Hospitals:

K J P Synod Hospital, Shillong
K J P Synod Hospital, Jowai
Nazareth Hospital, Shillong
Wood Land Hospital, Shillong
Bethany Hospital, Shillong
Christian Hospital, Tura
By 31-12-2003, 13 State Government Dispensaries, 22 Community Health Centres, 93 Primary Health Centres, 408 Sub-Centres and have been made functional in the State. According to 1995 data, there were 378 doctors, 81 pharmacists, 337 staff nurses and 77 lab technicians. A special program has been launched by the State Government for the treatment of Tuberculosis, Leprosy, Cancer and mental diseases.

Agriculture

Meghalaya is basically an Agricultural State with about 80% of its total population depending entirely on Agriculture for their livelihood.

In Meghalaya, summer is for a period of about 5 months, from May to September, with torrential rains caused by the South West Monsoon. Rainfall varies from place to place and from altitude to altitude. The amount of rainfall over Cherrapunjee and Mawsynram is quite heavy. During the last two decades, it has ranged from 11,995 mm to 14,189 mm in Cherrapunjee and over Mawsynram it was 10,689 mm to 13,802 mm. Nature in its generous abundance, has bestowed Meghalaya a unique array of vegetation ranging from tropical and sub-tropical to temperate or near temperate.

The total cropped area in the State has increased by about 42 per cent during the last twenty-five years. Food grain production sector covers an area of over 60 per cent of the total crop area. With the introduction of different crops of high yielding varieties in the mid-seventies, remarkable increase in food grain production has been made. A major break through was achieved when High Yielding Varieties of paddy such as Masuri, Pankaj IR 8 and other improved varieties series especially IR 36 which is suitable for Rabi season, fitting in the multi-cropping system have been widely cultivated all over the feasible areas of the State. A spectacular achievement was obtained when Megha I and Megha II which are cold tolerant rice varieties developed by the ICAR North East Region at Umroi near Shillong was released in 1991-92 for the higher altitude regions where there was no High Yielding Rice varieties at all earlier.

Besides the major food crops of Rice and Maize, the State is also renowned for its Horticultural crops like Orange, Lemon, Pineapple, Guava, Litchi, Banana, Jack Fruits and Temperate fruits such as Plum, Pear, Peach etc.

Potato, Ginger, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Areca nut, Tezpatta, Betelvine, Short-staple cotton, Jute, Mesta, Mustard and Rapseed etc. are some of the important cash crops in the State.

Apart from the above the State have achieved signal success in the cultivation of non-traditional crops like Tea, Cashewnut, Oilseeds, Tomato, Mushroom, Wheat, etc.

Today the State can claim that about 42 per cent area under paddy have been covered with HYV with the average productivity of 2300 kgs/ha. So also is the case with Maize and Wheat where the productivity have increased tremendously with the introduction of HYV from 534 kgs/ha during 1971-72 to 1218 kgs/ha of Maize and from 611 kgs/ha to 1508 kgs/ha of Wheat.

New emphasis is laid on pulses, oilseeds and cash crops. An autonomous board is set up to promote plantation crops, pioneering work done in tea cultivation, with the State having 253 small tea growers at present.

Marketing of agricultural produce facilitated by establishing Secondary Regulated Markets and building rural godowns.

Industry and Minerals

Mineral Based Industry

Meghalaya with its wealth of mineral deposits has tremendous industrial potential. There are extensive deposits of coal, limestone, granite, clay and other minerals.

Coal deposits are available in all districts and particularly in the southern slopes of the state. The coal bears a low ash content and its calorific value ranges between 6500 to 7500 K.Cal/Kg. The total estimated reserve of coal is in the region of 640 million tonnes. The coal is mainly of sub-bituminous type and can be utilised in varied industries ranging from power, fertiliser, cement and textile to paper, rubber, brick burning and also pottery based industries. The coal that is found in the State can also be converted into coke to recover value added chemicals like light, medium and heavy oil, phenol and producer gas.

Limestone is another mineral that occurs in an extensive belt (approx. 200 Km. Long) along the Southern boarder of Meghalaya. The quality of limestone found here varies from cement grade to chemical grade having three brands as well. Total inferred reserve limestone within the State is about 5,000 million tonnes. The quality of limestone in the state has CaO content of 53% and can be of use in steel, fertiliser and chemical industries.

Granite of excellent quality is at present being mined in the East and West districts of Khasi hills. Sizeable deposits are estimated and can be found in various shades and colours.

Clay of various types such as Kaolin (China clay), white clay, and fire clay are found in various parts of the states. These clay are suitable for the ceramic, paper, rubber and refractory industries. It has been estimated that there are a few hundred million tonnes of clay reserved in the state.

Beside the above, other economically viable minerals like gypsum, phosphorite, glass-sand, base metals, quartz and feldspar can be located in various parts of the state. The State is also credited with having one of the most valuable sillimanite deposits in the world.

Horticulture & Agro-Based Industries

The potential for Agro-based industries in the state of Meghalaya is very high. The state produces substantial quantities of oranges, peaches, pineapples, pears, guavas, plums and bananas of superb variety. It also grows plenty of potatoes, tapioca, bay leaves, ginger, maize and jackfruit.

Meghalaya's turmeric, particularly the variety that is grown in Shangpung in the Jaintia Hills, is considered the best in the world and its curcumine content is as high as 7.5%.

It may be mentioned that there is enough potential for setting up a starch based processing unit in the State.

Plantation crops like coffee, rubber, black pepper and areca nut are also becoming important products. A major breakthrough has been made in tea cultivation and tea gardens have come up in various parts of the State.

One of the areas in which there is tremendous potential for investment and development is food processing. There is ample scope for setting up a large scale fruit processing unit.

Power Generation

Meghalaya is one of the few states in the country with surplus power generation. Industrial units in Meghalaya have the unique privilege of uninterrupted power supply. The state possesses a hydro-electricity potential of nearly 1,200 MW. The river basins of Meghalaya have a potential feature of about 2,700 MW of Hydel Power. The State is a major beneficiary of the South West Monsoon. The average annual rainfall is 11,000 mm. All the river of Meghalaya are monsoon fed. The Umiam-Umtro basins have only been partly developed during the past forty years. This system has three concrete gravity dams, one weir, six earthing dykes, four reservoirs and a network of tunnels and open channels catering to five existing Power Stations.

The State is in the process of identifying agencies that can invest in the development of Meghalaya's considerable hydro power potential. The Investors in Power Sector will find a favourable atmosphere in the State of Meghalaya.

Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP)

This is proposed to be set up at Byrnihat, near Guwahati. It has an area of about 250 acres. The scheme to set up an EPIP has been formulated by the Government of India, Ministry of Commerce. A grant of Rs. 10.00 crores has been approved for Meghalaya for the purpose.

The scheme is to encourage development of exports.

The scheme requires the State Government to provide infrastructure facilities like power, water, roads, sewage and drainage, telecommunication facilities and other facilities for the Park. Units that are establishment in the park should have to export not less than 25% of their total product in value terms.

Power

In North East India, Meghalaya has the largest hydro-electricity potential, second only to Arunachal Pradesh. According to information available from the North Eastern Council Sources, The North East Region possesses a hydro-electricity potential of about 30,000 MW which is almost one-third of the total potential of the country. Out of this, Meghalaya has a potential of nearly 1,200 MW.

The proposed Garo Hills Thermal Project at Nangwalbibra is expected to generate an additional 30 MW of power. In the Jaintia Hills District sector of the Assam-Meghalaya border, the Kupli Hydro-Electric Project with a capacity of 150 MW has been commissioned by the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited.

The generation transmission, transformation and distribution of electricity is entrusted to the Meghalaya State Electricity Board which was constituted under the Electricity Supply Act, 1948. At present there are five hydel power stations and one mini hydel with a total installed capacity of 186.71 MW as shown below.

INSTALLED CAPACITY OF POWER PROJECTS (MW)

Project 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
1. Umiam Hydel Project
Stage 1 36.00 36.00 36.00 36.00 36.00 36.00 36.00 36.00 36.00 36.00 36.00 36.00
Stage 2 18.00 18.00 18.00 18.00 18.00 18.00 18.00 18.00 18.00 18.00 18.00 18.00
Stage  3 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00
Stage  4 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00
2. Umtrew Hydel Project 11.20 11.20 11.20 11.20 11.20 11.20 11.20 11.20 11.20 11.20 11.20 11.20
3. Nangal Bibra Thermal Project - - - - - - - - - - - -
4. Diesel
Project
- - - - - - - - - - - -
5. Sunapani Micro Hydel Project - - - - - - - - - 1.50 1.50 1.50
6. Myntdu Leshka H.E.P. - - - - - - - - - - - 84.00
Total 185.20 185.20 185.20 185.20 185.20 185.20 185.20 185.20 185.20 186.70 186.70 270.70

Transport

There are four National Highways NH 40, NH 44, NH 51, NH 62 in the State having a total length of 706.56 km. The public transport services have a sufficiently wide coverage linking the important places within the State and with places in neighbouring states.

The road length at the time of creation of Meghalaya in 1970 was only 2786.68 km only which has gone upto 7633.00 Km by 31st March 2003 and the road density increased from 12.35 km per 100 square kilometer to 7633 kms; out of which 3691 km is black topped and remaining 3942 km is graveled. The road density has increased to 34.03 km per 100 square.

Guwahati (103 km from Shillong) is the nearest railway station connecting the North-East region with the rest of the country through a broad gauge track network. There is a plan for extending the rail link from Guwahati to Byrnihat (20 km From Guwahati) within Meghalaya.

Umroi (35 km from Shillong) is the only airport in Meghalaya having landing facility for smaller aircrafts and is having flight connected with Kolkata, Aizawl and Silchar. Another small airport is planned near Tura. Borjhar, the most important airport in the North-Eastern Sector have facility for bigger jet aircrafts (like Boeing and Airbus) is 124 km from Shillong. There is also a helicopter service connecting Shillong to Guwahati and Tura.

Communication

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited offers the latest services that telecommunication technology can offer. Following services are being offered by BSNL viz. Telephone, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), Intelligent Network (IN), High Speed VSAT Network (HVNET), Remote Area Business Message Network (RABMN), Internet, Inet, Wireless in Local Loop (WLL), Leased Circuits, Telegraph, CENTREX SERVICES AT SHILLONG.

Meghalaya has an extensive postal network, which includes one General Post Office, one Head Post Office and 495 other Post Offices evenly distributed across the seven districts of the State. They offer additional services like hybrid mail services, satellite money orders, point to point speed post (courier) etc. There is one Post Office for every 3570 persons.

State of the art computer and communication network was also established in all the District Headquarters, linking through VSAT the District Headquarters with the State Capital and also with various states in the country and Central Ministries at Delhi through NIC.A SCPC DAMA VSAT was installed in the NIC State Centre for accessing INTERNET services and Video Conferencing. Another SCPC VSAT was setup in NEC, Shillong for Video Conferencing facilities. This enables Shillong to be connected with the rest of the country through Video Conferencing. A wireless link (RF link) has been installed in the three Secretariat buildings, NIC State Centre and also North Eastern Council. Another fifteen (15) sites RF connectivity was recently installed. This enable to extend a Local Area Network (LAN) from the Main Secretariat building to the other two Secretariat buildings and NEC building for accessing email and internet facilities. All the District Headquarters are providing INTERNET facilities using a direct PC VSAT.

Festivals

Khasis

Dance is at the very heart of Khasi life, rich in repertoire, performed often as a part of the "rites de passage"- the life-cycle of an individual in society or the annual passage of the seasons. Dances are performed at the level of individual villages (Shnong), a group of villages (Raid) and a conglomeration of Raids (Hima). Local or regional flavours and colours bring variations to the basic dance form, which is universal in Khasi folk culture. Different types of Festivals are :-

  • Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem.
  • Ka Pom-Blang Nongkrem
  • Ka-Shad Shyngwiang-Thangiap
  • Ka-Shad-Kynjoh Khaskain
  • Ka Bam Khana Shnong
  • Umsan Nongkharai
  • Shad Beh Sier

Calendar of Festivals

FestivalsLocal
Months
Gregorian
Months
Vedic Months
SolarLunar
Bam khana Kyllalyngkot January Tapas Magha
Shad Suk, Mynsiem Iaiong-Jylliew April-June Sue hi Asharha
Shad Nongkrem Naitung July Nabhas Sravana
Seng Kut Snem Naiwieng November Sahas Agrahayana
Christmas Nohprah December Sahasya Pausha

Jaintias

Festivals of the Jaintia Hills, like others, contribute significantly to maintaining a balance between man, his culture and his natural environment or eco-system. At the same time it seeks to revive the spirit of cohesiveness and solidarity among the people. Festivals of Jaintias can be broadly studied under the following names :-

  • Behdienkhlam
  • Laho Dance
  • Sowing Ritual Ceremony

Calendar of Festivals

FestivalsLocal
Months
Gregorian
Months
Vedic Months
SolarLunar
Tiger Festival

DuiyataraWisu Jan-Mar Tapas-madhu Magha-Chaitra
Bam Phalar/ Bam Doh Duiyatara January Tapas Magha
Rong Belyngkan Naisau-Naiynhru May-June Sukra-Suchi Jyeshtha-Asharha
Behdienkhlam Naihynru-Naiynhnaiaw June-July Suchi-nabhas Asharha-Sravana
Durga Puja Naikhynde-khonchonglad Sept.-Nov Isha-Sahas Ashwina-Agrahayana
Seng Kut Snem Khonchonglad November Sahas Agrahayana
Christmas /Bam Phalar /Bam Doh Kmaichonglad December Sahasya Pausha

Garos

The main festivals of Garos are Den Bilsia, Wangala, Rongchu gala, Mi Amua, Mangona, Grengdik BaA, Jamang Sia, Ja Megapa, Sa Sat Ra Chaka, Ajeaor Ahaoea, Dore Rata Dance, Chambil Mesara, Do'KruSua, Saram Cha'A, A Se Mania or Tata.

Calendar of Festivals

FestivalsLocal
Months
Gregorian
Months
Vedic Months
SolarLunar
Den'bilsia Polgin February Tapasya Phalgun
A'siroka Chuet March Madhu Chaitra
A' galmaka Pasak April Madhave Vaisakha
Miamua Asal June Sue hi Asharha
Rongchugala Bado August Nabhasya Bhadra
Ahaia Asin September Is ha Ashwina
Wangala Gate October Urje Kartika
Christmas Posi December Sahasya Pausha

Tourist Centres

Meghalaya is overwhelmingly beautiful, where everything is impossibly green and alive. The rolling mists in the valleys, the undulating hills, numerous lakes, waterfalls, caves, sacred forests, exotic flora and fauna, together with the unique and interesting destination.

Shillong the capital set amidst a picturesque landscape of pine covered hills, rapid streams and captivating water falls provides a perfect getaway from the heat.

Within the city are a number of places to visit, which include Wards Lake, Lady Hydari Park, Sweet Falls, and the Shillong 18 Hole Golf Course, which is one of the oldest in the country. Other Tourist sites around the city are the Crinoline Swimming Pool, Mattilang Park, Air Force Museum, Upper Shillong, Don Bosco Centre of Indigenous Cultures, the Butterfly Museum and Jaya Kalra's Art Gallery.

Besides offering a panoramic view of Bangladesh, the places to visit in Cherrapunjee are Nohsngithiang Falls (Mawsmai Falls), Nohkalikai Falls, Mawsmai Cave, Thangkarang Park, Eco Park, Khoh Ramhah, Green Rock Ranch, Sa-I-Mika Park and Kynrem Falls.