HDR wants realignment of proposed road project

Shillong-Nongstoin-Tura road should pass through Sohiong, says PWD Minister

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The State Government which already has its hands full with the controversy over construction of the four-lane road in Ri-Bhoi district is now embroiled in another dispute with PWD Minister HDR Lyngdoh demanding a change in the alignment of the proposed Shillong-Nongstoin-Tura road.

Official sources revealed that the PWD Minister is insisting that the road should pass through Sohiong village in East Khasi Hills which is his constituency.

As per the original alignment the existing road would be diverted from Lad Mawreng on the way to Mawngap and it would meet the existing Shillong-Nongstoin road after crossing Sohiong village.

Official sources revealed that it was felt necessary to prevent the road from plying through various villages like Mawngap, Mawmaram and others to ensure smooth flow of vehicle and also avoid demolishing several houses along the roadside, since it could lead to opposition from the local population.

The sources also made it clear that people of Sohiong had not demanded for realignment of the road as was being claimed by the PWD Minister.

“So far the Government has not received any kind of representation from any of the villagers of Sohiong. This demand has come only from the PWD Minister,” the sources said, while adding that this unrealistic demand on the part of the PWD Minister would lead to uncertainty and put at risk the implementation of this important road project which would improve connectivity between Garo Hills and the rest of the State.

The PWD Minister, however, was of the opinion that if the road did not pass through Sohiong village it would have a huge impact on the economy of the people.

Lyngdoh also argued that if the vehicles stop plying from the existing road then most of the roadside shops would have to close down.

It may be mentioned that there are many food stalls and wine stores along the roadside at Sohiong which provides employment and generates revenue for many of the villagers.

The official sources pointed out that if the Rs 1494-crore road project is constructed as per the original alignment then it would adversely affect Lyngdoh’s fortunes in the 2013 Assembly elections.

It may be mentioned that a Hyderabad-based firm M/S BSC-C &C (JV) was allotted the project on February 21, 2011. The firm has been given three years to complete the work.

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