Meghalaya: Status of Road Projects, Is State Government Really at Fault?

Mukul Sangma

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The projects that needed funds and support on various parameters by the government, can be explained for the delay. But then, there have been some projects that were being funded by the state government, some completed on time and some not. The government should be ready with the explanations for the incomplete projects by the state government as well. Because the upcoming elections would surely make the opposition target the Sangma Government!

The State Government is being targeted on incomplete projects and some of them are the road projects that are grabbing the attention of the opposition.

THE MAWTHABAH ROAD PROJECT

For the Mawthabah Road Project, the Union Ministry of Road Transport (MoRT) had split the project into three packages. The estimated cost was coming to a whopping Rs 1000 crore and thus the ministry had to split it into small packages. The state government did try to control the work speed for the completion of the project but the funds were not released in time to get it commenced. When CM Mukul Sangma was asked about the completion of work,

He said, “The ministry sanctioned the amount in three packages. But following the sanction, there was hue and cry raised by certain sections who alleged that the construction of the road was to facilitate uranium mining. However, we are often compelled to delay the projects due to hurdles in land acquisition process”. 

THE SHILLONG-TURA HIGHWAY

Recently, PM Modi inaugurated the Shillong-Tura Highway while his visit to Meghalaya.

The state government was working on this project for the last six years. The agreement to execute the work was made on February 21, 2011, but the actual work started in November the same year. The approval to commence the project had come in the UPA rule and it took around six years to get the project done by the state government. The project till now cost around 2,300 crores and has completed the length of 264 km.

Speaking to the people associated with the project we got to know that the labourers had been to the site even while it used to rain, to get the work completed within the desired time-frame, for which the people of Garo Hills have applauded the state government. It must be noted that the people used to travel through Assam to reach Garo Hills. The Shillong-Tura highway was declared the National Highway in the year 2004.

CM applauded the work of UPA and said,Placing on record, express my deep gratitude to Madam Sonia ji & Sh. Rahul ji for sanctioning the Shillong-Nongstoin-Tura Road project. I thank PM Modi for his seal of approval to the project and also laud the commendable work done by the PWD & other departments leading to the realisation of this road. This project will improve connectivity, bring countless opportunities & become the catalyst for all-round, inclusive development of the state

Eventually, it came out that the project was executed by the efforts of the state government. And it did irk the CM when PM Modi targeted the state government for ‘no development’ in the state.

On being asked about several other projects being delayed, the CM lashed out at the center for not fulfilling the parameters.

CM Mukul Sangma in Assmebly House had said, “The general remark that State Government has failed is not acceptable. There are factors behind the delay which relate to the parameters set by the Centre”.

Also, the state government had got it clear that various road projects got delayed, for ex- the Shillong-Guwahati Highway had got delayed because of the NH40 was passing through a church and various religious organizations along with the locals had put the massive protest against the project. On the other hand, 220.35 crore Shillong by-pass project was delayed because the land-owners and the NGOs were protesting against the project.

But then, the question arises, there have been some projects that were being funded by the state government, some completed on time and some not. The government should be ready with the explanations for the incomplete projects by the state government as well. Because the upcoming elections would surely make the opposition target the Sangma Government!

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