The Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People Ri war Mihngi circle had raised the possibility of a landslide taking place, but no heed was paid to it.
The unit’s information secretary, Evanfield Khonglam, told The Meghalayan that the matter was raised with the office of the Sub-Divisional Officer Pynursla, on April 6.
“We submitted a letter along with pictures of that particular site but there was no response from the office. If the SDO says that the letter didn’t reach then it means that there’s a loophole in the functioning of the office there,” while pointing out that the letter was officially received by a staff of the office.
Prior to this, the organisation since May 2022 had raised the issue with the district administration regarding the ARSS Infrastructure Projects Limited to take care of the danger zones along the area but to no avail.
“One of the agreements we had was that the ARSS will have Quick Response Team deployed in the area but it never happened,” he said.
The organization has demanded that the state government intervenes to stop the company from continuing the work further in the area.
Interestingly, the rampant stone quarrying in the area is said to be one of the reasons such faulty work comes to light according to the residents here.
“There’s a target of 50 trucks per day by individuals who export the stones to Bangladesh. That’s why there’s a rush in cutting the mountains mercilessly,” a resident alleged. Though hundreds of trucks ply along the highway, “only a few” benefit from the stone quarries, he informed. Most of them rely on farming and daily wages for a living and the majority of the people working in the stone quarries come from other districts of the state, he said.
At this point, locals are looking forward to a better and wider road while commuting on this one with fear. Yet, at the same time, some are even skeptical about the need for a bigger road at present when trade and commerce in this stretch is not up to the mark. Developments and infrastructures are expected to benefit the locals, but when such an incident occurs, the big question arises, how many more lives have to be lost before such infrastructures are completed?