By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: PWD Minister HDR Lyngdoh was cornered by the Opposition members over the non-completion of the Dimapara-Deku Bazaar road in Garo Hills which was initiated way back in 1976.
And it took Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma’s intervention to ‘rescue’ the minister who was being grilled by the Opposition legislators.
However, there were heated arguments between the Chief Minister and the members of the Opposition over the delay in completion of the project with the Speaker suggesting that a debate should be avoided during question hour.
According to the Chief Minister, there was a missing gap of the road from 11 to 15 kilometers. “In 2006, the government had sanctioned a certain amount of money for the repair of missing portion of the road including the construction of bridges. However, the sanction made for construction of four bridges was pre-closed (de-sanctioned) in December 2008,” Dr Sangma said.
Reacting to this, Opposition leader Conrad K Sangma asked the Chief Minister the reason for de-sanctioning the scheme.
While indirectly blaming the previous government, the Chief Minister said that it was not possible for him to give the reason for the de-sanctioning adding that the Leader of Opposition should have a better knowledge of the same being the then Finance Minister.
Agitated by this reply, Conrad Sangma said that it was really shocking to see the Chief Minister was trying to shift responsibility.
“During the previous MPA Government, we decided to de-sanction many new projects as the financial health of the PWD was in a very bad shape,” Sangma said.
Meanwhile, replying during the Question Hour, the PWD Minister said that the government was not able to complete the road due to heavy landslide causing huge damage to road formation on the particular stretch from 5 to 10 Km.
“The amount sanctioned so far for construction of the road is Rs 388.73 lakh,” Lyngdoh informed.
Unhappy over the reply, the Opposition members questioned as to how could there be adelay of almost 36 years in the completion of the road on account of landslides.
The Opposition Leader said that it is not acceptable for a road project to take these many years to complete.
NCP’s James K Sangma said in a lighter vein that the Government is looking forward to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the unfinished project.
Former Community and Rural Development Frankenstein Momin also joined the Opposition members in criticizing the government.
Being unsatisfied with the reasons given by the government for non-completion of the road, Timothy D Shira (NCP) wanted to know whether the Government has not conducted any detailed study to find out the reasons which led to heavy land slide.
Replying to this, the PWD Minister admitted that the government is yet to conduct a detailed study of the road project.