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Shillong ‘flyover’ still a distant dream

SHILLONG: The State Government’s proposal to construct a flyover from Raps Mansion to Sweeper Lane is still hanging fire as the Defence Ministry has not given land clearance.
The flyover was proposed more than a decade ago to lessen traffic congestion in the city. Officials said a part of the flyover will pass through defence land and that the State Government is waiting for the Ministry’s approval.
According to the officials, earlier the State Government used to pay compensation to Defence authorities for transferring land, but now the Defence authorities are demanding land of equal value in return.
“It is a difficult situation but the Revenue Department has identified two to three locations which can be handed over to the Defence authorities and the Government will have to acquire land for that,” the official said.
The official also said technically the project cannot be called a flyover as it would pass through the ground in some locations.
The Government also plans to construct a flyover from BSNL quarters near Bivar Road to Polo parking lot, besides connecting New Shillong Township with an expressway. However, it is still in a nascent stage since large portions of land would be required for such project.
However, sources admitted that constructing public utilities, including flyovers and roads in Shillong, is not an easy task due to the peculiar land tenure system as landowners are not willing to compromise despite promises of lucrative compensation against land.

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