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Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Thursday, April 18, 2024

When corruption becomes deeply rooted


Come early Sunday morning and we all wake up to a shocking yet not so new news of another shoddy construction work in Meghalaya; the dome which seems to be an important part of the new assembly building at Mawdiangdiang had collapsed. The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly’s estimated construction budget of the building is Rs 145 crore. With the collapse of the steel dome, it is said that a loss of more than Rs five crore has occurred. Recently, we are coming across many news reports of shoddy construction work of buildings, bridges, and roads in Meghalaya. Nature’s fury has brought to light all that is happening in the dark. Government departments and corruption seem to go hand in hand, and the PWD is not new to this. In fact, to my knowledge and from what I have been hearing from a number of people, the PWD has always been plagued by corruption and corrupt activities with a contractor-politician nexus rooted deeply.

It’s interesting to note that the PWD (Roads) under the watch of Deputy CM and Minister, PrestoneTynsong and the PWD (Buildings) under the watch of Minister, Dasakhiatbha Lamare are both going down in flames. Bridges and roads are either breaking down or showing cracks, while buildings are seeping water, developing cracks and some have even toppled down. Such an irony that the ones we elect to make our state and our lives better, fail to perform their duties well to ensure the safety of our people. If one uses their imagination, then we all should be thankful that the assembly building is still under construction and not yet functional, otherwise, we could not have stopped a fatality from occurring. What is going to be the fate of the assembly building now that the dome has come crashing down will be an interesting watch, as the building was scheduled to be inaugurated this year. So, the departments under the watchful eyes of our two leaders, we can see a Meghalaya with broken bridges and roads, and toppling buildings. What then are we expecting as answers or even solutions from them? Not another inquiry please, as it is clear who is at fault. The ISBT incident and the Mawlai bypass bridge incident also point to the same inferior construction practices of the PWD and Transport department, the departments that are both important to ensure that our lives become better with better infrastructure facilities provided by them. Sadly, we the people are bearing the brunt of their infinite wisdom and incapable leadership coupled with the need for only benefitting themselves while Meghalaya goes down the drain.

Come 2023, we as citizens need to analyse the performance of these MLAs and what they have done to add to the development of the state and, in turn, for us. It would be better to have a few elected representatives working for the good than a flock of them who under-perform and instead of adding to the growth of the state, are putting our lives and many others at risk with the shoddy practices that are going on.

Maitshaphrang Khongwir

Shillong – 793008

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