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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Shillong-Dawki Road

By the Editor

Due to inclement weather the state government has expressed doubts about completing Shillong-Dawki Road on time. Four-laning of the National Highway 40, that is, Shillong-Dawki Road, with assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was expected to start during the financial year 2017-18 and supposed to be operational by 2021. Maintenance work was anticipated to be completed by 2025. Guidelines for environmental and social considerations had been fulfilled before construction began.

During December 17-21, 2018 four public hearings were held to clear misunderstandings and to avoid mitigation after which people were satisfied and welcomed the road. NH40 is a key resource connecting Meghalaya with Bangladesh which will greatly benefit both parties as trade and commerce will flourish and prosper besides saving distance and time.  Rules and norms prevalent in the state, including those of the Sixth Schedule, are fully followed. Alternative land in lieu of land acquired or land compensation, job for one person per nuclear family, rehabilitation grant in lieu of job, housing benefits to all affected families will be provided as per guidelines.  After completion of the road, the value of land will go up, the flow of tourists will increase, shops and rest houses will derive more income, and economic activities will expand.

National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) has expressed doubts over timely completion of the project due to onset of monsoon which usually extends for four or five months at a stretch and that too at the height of the working schedule. Secretary, Public Works Department (Roads), and Chief Engineer of National Highway of the state have been instructed to follow up and ensure its timely completion as far as possible. Due to geographical conditions, as seen from past experiences, landslides and landslips are frequent occurrences which affect smooth operation and time. When accidents and mishaps happen, which are also frequent, work ought to be stopped at once for one or even two days as it involves police investigation.

Furthermore, unforeseen circumstances might cause inconveniences and affect time schedules and thus problems will be compounded. To expedite work, people’s alertness and cooperation whenever and wherever necessary is required because in the end they will be the ones who will benefit. They can also bring to the attention of government authorities as early as possible if they notice any slight aberrations before greater harm or danger occurs.

Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, who is in-charge of PWD (Roads), informed about conditions and alarming situation of Guwahati-Shillong National Highway since flash floods are unpredictable causing damage to life and property besides obstructing smooth traffic for hours. Culverts and proper drainage systems are to be well- taken care of otherwise when rainfall is heavy water will overflow to the roads. This highway is very important because it connects with Shillong-Dawki National Highway as well as with Shillong-Jowai-Silchar National Highway.

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