SHILLONG, July 17: Batting for the elevation of the plain belt road of Garo Hills into a national highway, the Tura MP, Conrad Sangma has called upon Union Minister of Road and Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari, urging for his intervention in this regard.
Submitting a memorandum to Gadkari at New Delhi on Monday, Conrad urged for the upgrade of the road connecting Agia in Assam to Garobadha in South West Garo Hills in Meghalaya via Tikrikilla, Phulbari, Rajabala and Singimari, which is currently under North Eastern Council (NEC) as National Highway.
In July last year, he had submitted the plea to the ministry seeking intervention.
“The proposed road is a major lifeline for the people living in that region where a population of over 2 lakh people is affected. During rainy season the population suffers badly as they completely get cut off from the rest of the state and country, as it gets flooded in the absence of proper road”, said Conrad in his request to Gadkari.
He informed Gadkari that the people living in and around these areas connected by these roads are facing immense and untold hardships as the roads are completely neglected by the Central as well as the State government for many years.
“As the road condition has worsened, people are now forced to take an alternate route which is a much lengthier in distance as they have to take NH-52 by crossing two district, thus making it much more expensive to travel and much precious time wasted”, Conrad added.
Time and again the people from the plain belt area of Garo hills have raised their concern on the poor road connectivity, however, the demand was turned down by the state government. Recently, several organisations led by the Anti-Corruption League had called for a protest rally at Bhaitbari near Rajabala seeking the government intervention. However, the rally could not be held due to inclement weather as part of the plain belt area faced a flood-like situation.
Conrad told the central minister that he had inspected the two roads personally last year and found their concern to be a genuine case. “And since it has been almost a year now after I raised the issue to your kind self, the roads have now become bad to worse, as no action has been taken,” Conrad said.
He also reminded Gadkari that the construction of a mega bridge connecting Phulbari - Dhubri is in the pipeline while adding that it will be very critical to upgrade the roads to National Highway serving a multipurpose use and for economic growth of the region.