I live in a town called Nongpoh, in the state of Meghalaya. It is the district headquarters of Ri-Bhoi district, one of j the outlining districts lying close to the state of Assam. Nestling amidst the pine I groves and undulating hills, Nongpoh is a small tourist town, standing as a gateway to Shillong, the state’s capital. Perched on a small plain below the Northern tip of Meghalaya Plateau, it is a beautiful town bustling with business, commerce and tourism.
Nongpoh is situated almost half way between Guwahati and Shillong. Guwahati is hardly one-hour journey from Nongpoh while little more than an hour takes to reach Shillong. It is one of the major tourist commercial towns of the state. It is situated on the Northern plains lying below the Meghalaya plateau. The town lies in the heart of this small plain surrounded by a series of hills on its eastern and western borders.
The main people of my town consists of Khasis- the main inhabitants of the state of Meghalaya, though there are few others from other states. The township has about 5000 people working in all walks of life. More than half of this population is engaged in hotel catering and tourism-related activities. Being a district headquarter the town has all the essential facilities. The 50-bed hospital lies close to the main town while post-office and the main market lie in the heart of the town itself.
The other important offices such as, D.C’s office, PHE, PWD, School office, Banks, Bus station etc. are clustered together in one area making public transactions easy and convenient. The main market constitutes the heart of the city. It is characterised by constant movement of vehicles and people. Nearly 200 buses and over 1500 private vehicles stop at this place for tea break and snacks. Therefore, food catering and hotel industry have made much headway in the town. The town also offers excellent educational facilities.
Majority of the local people being Christians, the town also has three or four churches, belonging to different denominations. A mini-stadium capable of accommodating over five thousand people constitutes an important part of the town. One of the lacunas of my town is that it does not have a public library and a Public Reading Room. It also lacks adequate entertainment facilities, such as theatres or parks.
Since its erection as District headquarters a few years ago, the township has been progressing leaps and bounds. Every year some new office or public building has been started in the town. The town offers a lot of scope for further development.
Today, Nongpoh stands merely as roadside snack station or a bus- stop station, offering a bit of break to the numerous travellers who pass through the town. If proper night halting facilities, few sightseeing spots and adequate entertainment facilities are provided, the town can progress much more as it would offer an ideal resort for those who want to escape the scorching heat of the Assam plains.
I am proud of my town and I am happy to live in this town. It is a small township marked by liveliness, social harmony and development.
I am sure in the years to come my town would rise from its present status as a mere bus- halting station to a fine town bustling with tourism, commerce, business, industry, etc. The plain nature of the land, temperate climate of the area, and excellent travel and communication facilities available in the town offers immense possibilities for further development.