Shillong Arunachal Bhavan in shambles

[ Pisi Zauing ]
SHILLONG (Meghalaya), Sep 29: Arunachal Bhavan, situated at Cleve Colony here, is in shambles.
The bhavan was acquired by then lieutenant governor KAA Raja through exercise of his constitutional authority and immense love for the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The historic building was popularly known as ‘Brown House’ during the British days. Many would admit that the bhavan is testimony to many of the accomplishments that Arunachal can boast of today.
The Arunachal Bhavan here was a place of great interest for our state’s leaders till the ’90s, but their interest gradually shifted to Guwahati and New Delhi, owing to reasons best known to them. The shift of interest in the last two decades has brought the heritage building to shambles as maintenance activities have halted since then. If some amount was sanctioned for renovations in the intervening years, it was siphoned off midway as no inspection was done by successive state governments.
Over the years, the bhavan, along with the circuit house nearby, deteriorated to such an extent that almost every inch of the buildings needs replacement. Many outdated furniture that served many visitors until two decades ago still stand undeterred, only to invite fury and a humiliating smile on the faces of visitors. The bathrooms and sanitary tanks emit stink. There is no gardener, sweeper, launderer or plumber to maintain the state assets. Acute shortage of staff and irregular payment smacks of foul play by the higher-ups. The quarters for the attendant of the circuit house are in peril as erosion in the past already eroded half of the building.
The bhavan has a vast area, part of which can be utilized for accommodating students of our state pursuing studies in various schools and colleges in Shillong.
The state government can solve the accommodation problems of Arunachalee students by coming up with a lucrative project as the bhavan and the circuit house together have sufficient land. Mizoram House, situated a few metres down the road, is in great shape. Though its share of land is smaller, the Mizoram government has developed its land properly.
Apart from education, Arunachalees also go to Shillong to avail of better healthcare services offered by the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS). Patients with different ailments thronging the NEIGRIHMS cannot afford expensive hotels in Shillong.