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) Jitendra Singh in New Delhi on Monday and discussed with him a wide range of development projects and schemes in the state.

In the meeting, Jitendra Singh told 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.

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 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.

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The CM told 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 CM, his priority will be to concentrate and promote the three sectors of tourism, education and healthcare in a big way.

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