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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Will the corrupt go scot-free?


There was much hype and excitement for the people of the state after the ISBT in Mawlai started to function from April 1, eight months after its inauguration by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.The general public eventually got a sense of relief expecting that the traffic snarls that started from Polo all the way to the GS Road would eventually ease  up to a certain extent.

But the expectations were short-lived as there were a series of problems that eventually came to light after the ISBT started functioning. Firstly, there was no mechanism in place to regulate taxi fares which are a huge burden on the passengers as the taxi drivers would charge a huge amount of up to Rs 300 to ferry them from Shillong city till the ISBT complex. This has caused great inconvenience to the passengers, especially students coming from a middle-class background.

The problem didn’t seem to end there as the shoddy construction of the ISBT building was exposed on May 13 after heavy rain wreaked havoc across the state. How can the Rs 48-crore project that just recently opened develop cracks on the ceiling and walls just because of heavy rain that hit the state for a few days? If the building was constructed with high-end materials, will we even see this kind of damage just six weeks after the building started functioning? This kind of sub-standard construction should be properly investigated and contractors involved in such activities should be blacklisted by the government.

The Rs 48.31-crore ISBT project was sanctioned by the DoNER Ministry through the North Eastern Council wherein the PWD had floated the tender and the project was awarded to Dhar Construction Company.The project which was executed by the State PWD was handed over to the Transport department last year after its inauguration. With regard to the cracks on the ceilings and walls, a PWD official shifted the blame to the Transport department stating that prior to the handing over of the building, there were no such complaints of shoddy construction. If such is the case, who is to take the responsibility of such kind of sub-standard constructions?

Who is to blame for this kind of inefficiency? Should we put the blame on the PWD or the Transport department or the Dhar Construction Company that took up the project? Up to what extent will the government overlook such kind of heinous crimes that are being committed one after the other in our beloved state? It is high time that the authority steps in and books the culprit and put a stop to such large-scale corruption!

Jordan Diengdoh
Shillong – 793002

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