By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The much-awaited Shillong Bypass project will be delayed till next year despite Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma’s announcement that the same would be inaugurated by mid-December and serve as ‘a Christmas gift to the people of the State’.
A group of journalists who visited the site on Wednesday found that large portions of the road project in the East Khasi Hills sector, especially ones along the stretch of Diengpasoh and Mawryngkneng, are still under construction.
When contacted, a senior NHAI official said that the project would only be completed by March, 2013.
According to the official, large sections of the road are yet to be blacktopped and construction of proper drainage system on the roadside is still to be done.
“We also need to erect metal crash barriers on the road sides to prevent accident. Putting up of road markings (in the middle and both sides of the road) and warning signboards to guide the drivers all along the highway are also to be done. With so much work still pending, the project cannot be inaugurated before this Christmas,” he said.
It was noticed that a major filling up work is still going on in a portion of the road in Diengpasoh and when inquired about the tentative time for the completion of the same, workers at the site informed that it would take at least another month to ‘complete the task and roll the road’.
An important composition of the project, a tunnel at Diengpasoh, is also under construction and the technical staff of GR Infra Limited, which is implementing the project said, “It would take not less than two months to complete this tunnel.” Earth movers were also seen cutting the hillocks in some portions of the Bypass.
Besides this, mud-filling was also in progress in few low lying stretches of the site.
Earlier on November 8, the Chief Minister had claimed that the Shillong bypass will be inaugurated by mid-December adding that inauguration of the project will be like a Christmas gift for the people of Meghalaya. Sangma had also said that he would write a letter to Union Minister for Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) to decide who should come from the Centre to inaugurate the project.