Meghalaya news

Meghalaya Government Reverses Shop Closure Decision in Shillong Amidst Protests

Correspondent Correspondent
Friday, July 14, 2023
Meghalaya Government Reverses Shop Closure Decision in Shillong Amidst Protests
Meghalaya Government Revises Decision on Shop Closure and Odd-Even Rule Following Protests.
Meghalaya, July 14, 2023: The Meghalaya government has made a surprising reversal of its decision to close all shops in Shillong by 10 pm after facing strong opposition from local hawkers. Initially, the government aimed to maintain law and order in the city, but the decision received significant backlash from the affected parties.

In addition to the shop closure, the government had also planned to implement an odd-even rule for commercial vehicles in the Khyndailad-Motphran area. However, taxi drivers protested against this rule, expressing concerns about increased traffic congestion.

In response to the opposition and concerns raised, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong conducted a comprehensive review meeting on the matter. Following the meeting, new instructions were issued to the district administration. As a result, the government has decided to modify the original order and restrict the opening hours of businesses in three specific areas of Shillong until 11.30 pm. Tynsong emphasized the importance of improved policing in these areas to ensure safety and security.

Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills district, R M Kurbah, revoked the previous order and issued a fresh notification in light of the revised regulations. According to the new directive, food stalls in the Khyndailad, Polo, and Urkaliar areas, which were adversely affected by the restrictions, can now remain open until 11.30 pm.

The decision to impose the initial order came as a response to a recent incident involving a drunken brawl in the Laitumkhrah area. The altercation escalated into a mob attack on a nearby police station, resulting in the burning of four vehicles. However, hawkers, particularly those operating makeshift food stalls, strongly opposed the restrictions and expressed their dissent during the visit of the enforcement agencies to the Khyndailad area.

Acknowledging the concerns raised by various ministers and political parties within the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, the government reconsidered its stance. Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh criticized the order, stating that punishing the entire city for a minor incident in a specific locality would damage its positive image. Similarly, Bernard Marak, the vice president of the BJP state unit, expressed that the order had instilled fear among the people.

With the withdrawal of the initial order and the introduction of revised regulations, the Meghalaya government aims to strike a balance between maintaining law and order and addressing the grievances of the hawkers and taxi drivers. The government's decision reflects its willingness to listen to the concerns of the affected parties and find a solution that benefits all stakeholders involved.