HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
Meghalaya was created as an autonomous State within the State of Assam on 2 April 1970. The full-fledged State of Meghalaya came into existence on 21 January 1972. It is bound on the north and east by Assam and on the south and west by Bangladesh. Meghalaya literally meaning the abode of clouds is essentially a hilly state. It is predominantly inhabited by the Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos tribal communities. The Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills which form the central and eastern part of Meghalaya is an imposing plateau with rolling grassland, hills and river valleys. The southern face of the plateau is marked by deep gorges and abrupt slopes, at the foot of which, a narrow strip of plain land runs along the international border with Bangladesh.
AGRICULTURE AND IRRIGATION
Meghalaya is basically an agricultural State in which about 80 percent of its population depends primarily on agriculture for their livelihood. The State has a vast potential for developing horticulture due to agroclimatic variations, which offer much scope for cultivation of temperate, sub-tropical and tropical fruits and vegetables.
Besides the major food crops of rice and maize, Meghalaya is renowned for its oranges (Khasi Mandarian), pineapple, banana, jackfruits, temperate fruits like plum, pears and peaches, etc. Cash crops popularly and traditionally cultivated include potato, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, arecanut, betelvine, tapioca, short staple cotton, jute and mesta, mustard and rapeseed. Special emphasis is presently laid on non-traditional crops like oilseeds (groundnut, soyabean and sunflower), cashewnut, strawberry, tea and coffee, mushroom, medicinal plants, orchids and commercial flowers.
The estimated irrigation potential of the State both from surface and ground water is about 2.13 lakh hectare, the potential created so far is 55,182 hectare.
Roads : Six national highways pass through Meghalaya. The State has 7,328 km of both surfaced and unsurfaced roads under P.W.D.
Aviation : The only airport in the State at Umroi, 35 km from Shillong is functional.
AREA, POPULATION AND HEADQUARTERS OF DISTRICTS
| Sl. No.
|| Area (sq. km)
||East Garo Hills
|| East Khasi Hills
|| Jaintia Hills
|| West Garo Hills
|| West Khasi Hills
|| South Garo Hills