SHILLONG, June 14: The PWD road at Mawtap Pyllun in East Khasi Hills (EKH) district has ben blocked by the residents of the village for the last 3 days in protest against the department’s decision to disallow construction of footpaths sanctioned under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).
The protesters, who are mainly those enrolled as job card holders under the scheme, have blocked the road with big boulders in the village which falls under Sohiong constituency and vehicles were also not allowed to pass through the road.
They have also demanded the office of the Executive Engineer, Public Work Department (Roads), National Highway Division, Shillong to immediately clarify on the reason for disallowing the construction of the footpaths along the stretch of the road.
“We have decided to protest against the PWD’s order which suddenly asked the village to stop the construction of the footpaths,” village sordar A War, who is also the chairman of the Mawtap Pyllun Village Employment Council (VEC), said on Thursday.
He said the order was issued at a time when the construction works were ongoing and also despite of the fact that the department had already granted permission for the same in the previous year.
“We had sought permission from the PWD for construction of the footpaths in 2016 and now all of a sudden the department is asking us to discontinue with the construction without any reason,” War said.
The sordar also informed that a delegation from the village had also met the PWD (Roads) Executive Engineer WR Lyngdoh, who had assured that the matter will be resolved just in two days time but unfortunately there was no positive response till date.
Following this, he said an emergent meeting of the VEC was convened and it was unanimously decided that no vehicle will be allowed to use the road till the time that the PWD is ready to resolve the issue.
“We demand the PWD to immediately clarify on the reason behind its decision to cancel the permission,” War said.
He said that the objective of constructing the footpaths along the PWD road was to ensure safety of pedestrians especially students who are using the road every day.