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NHAI team assesses Nongpoh flood

Local MLA apprises CM of poor state of drains, footpaths

NONGPOH/ GUWAHATI: A team of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) officials visited Nongpoh on Wednesday, a day after flash flood crippled traffic on NH-6, to discuss the situation with leaders of the Nongpoh Town Committee.
Speaking to The Shillong Times, Lt Col Rajeev Malhotra, project director for Shillong PIU NHAI, said the flash flood problem “is being taken up with higher authority of NHAI” and that the drainage system would be cleared to prevent water logging.
The town committee had written to the NHAI chairman for enhancement of drainage, footbridge and other projects and Malhotra’s office was waiting for approval by the ministry.
On Wednesday, town committee members, led by its secretary Rayonald Kharkamni, met the NHAI officials, represented by HP Rahiya, independent consultant, Shillong-Jorabat Expressway, who expressed concern over Tuesday’s situation.
After inspecting and auditing the site of flash flood, he sent his findings and reports to NHAI.
Meanwhile, Nongpoh MLA Mayralborn Syiem on Wednesday met Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and apprised him of the deplorable condition of drains and footpaths along NH-6 in Nongpoh.
Submitting a letter, the MLA requested the chief minister to improve the condition of drains and footpaths in the town and direct NHAI in this regard at the earliest.
Syiem mentioned in the letter that despite raising the issue in the Assembly and taking up the matter with NHAI, there had been no response.
The MLA reiterated the need for a foot over-bridge in Nongpoh town at the earliest to facilitate students and pedestrians.
Double-lane road
Syiem further apprised the chief minister of the poor condition of the single-lane Nongpoh-Umden-Umtrai-Topatoli Road (connecting Assam) and the increasing traffic congestion on the route.
He requested Sangma to consider the matter of converting the 53-km road into double lane under the Bharat Mala or any other centrally-sponsored scheme.
The MLA informed that the concept paper prepared by the executive engineer, PWD (Roads), Nongpoh division is with the department.
Pala move
Shillong MP Vincent H Pala expressed concern about the condition of NH-6 and has urged Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, to immediately take up the issue as it is the lifeline of many northeastern states.
Kharkamni said, “Despite many complaints, NHAI did not take up our suggestions seriously and constructed a small drain which obstructs free flow of water and resulted in unexpected flash flood and since, the joint inspection between NHAI and the Town Committee has given recommendation and petitioned the Ministry, let us wait for approval and take appropriate action accordingly.”

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