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From Our Correspondent | TURA, September 29, 2018

Various organisations like the GSU, FKJGP, AAYF, ASCOR and NH-62 SMC under Rongjeng in East Garo Hills met the chief minister on Thursday to submit a memorandum seeking the diversion of the upcoming road (National Highway – 62), which is set to be strengthened and widened in the coming days, so as not to hit the town.

The NGOs further submitted a memorandum to the CM, Conrad Sangma seeking his understanding of the matter on the demand for diversion.

“If the widening and construction of the existing road is carried out, major public institutions and places will be lost on account of acquisition of land for the construction of the existing road. The most important public properties are situated on the approximate 3km stretch of existing road starting from Rongjeng Reserve to Upper Rongjeng,” said the NGOs in the memo.

According to them, the Community Health Centre (CHC), Holy Family Church, Veterinary Compound, Rongjeng Govt ME School, Block Resource Centre, United Higher Secondary, Meghalaya Co operative Apex Bank, Vivian Vivid Academy, Darusak Bandasal LP School and playground are all in danger of being run over.

“These are situated just metres away from the existing road. Hence the widening of existing road, if not diverted, will result in gargantuan loss to the people and in particular to the student community. We are aware that the government will compensate but the question is that non availability of land.

The NGOs further stated that the lack of land has made things difficult with even the MeECL and SBI looking for land to set up their offices but still unable to.

The non availability of land has stalled development activities according to the NGO.

Further the lack of parking space has led to vehicles parking on the roadside leading to traffic chaos.

“The lack of parking space has created chaos and with coal trucks from SGH plying, things become worse. The situation becomes such that the administration has directed coal trucks not to ply along this route during day time in view of safety of school going children. This has been leading to a huge loss in business,” added the NGOs.

The NGOs demanded a resolution to the problem of parking in Rongjeng.

The NGO also blamed pecuniary interests to allow for construction of the road through the same area without a diversion.

“These people have mainly focussed on the compensation but failed to stress on the public importance and consequences. They have also built temporary houses along the roadside in the hope of getting compensation. We are not jealous but we are concerned. We want a better future, not one time compensation,” stressed the NGOs.

They groups also reminded about the compensation issues faced by land losers on NH 44 where some land owners were still to be compensated.

“Many have not got and many have got compensation that is not consumerate with the land value. Surprisingly some people received close to a crore though the value of land did not correspond to the granted amount. A thorough study of the matter is required before taking hurried decision. The people should also be taken into confidence before taking up the matter,” stated the NGOs.

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