Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to Meghalaya, as many as six chieftains or A’king Nokmas and a host of other land owners are demanding early release of compensation for their land that was given away for construction of the two-lane national highway (NH-44).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the road on Saturday and dedicate it to the people of the State.

The Nokmas from Nengminza Adok, Rongapggre, Mangsang Adok, Dilmaggre, Ampanggre, Samanda and Rongalggre, though had welcomed the project and gave away huge plots of land for this but compensation has been delayed for years now.

Moreover, as many as 32 land owners who lost shops, houses and plantations are yet to get money from the government.

The new Deputy Commissioner of East Garo Hills, Ram Kumar, has assured the affected villagers that their dues will be paid soon as the final papers on the land deal are already on the table of the State Government.

“It may take another few days as the matter has already been approved by the deputy Chief Minister. We are just awaiting the final paperwork to be complete before compensation is released,” said Kumar.

But those at the receiving end are losing their patience. “The inauguration for the new road is going to take place whereas those who parted with the land are yet to get any compensation. It has been five years since land was given away but no compensation has reached us till this day,” rued one of the affected nokmas.

The new highway, which begins from Jengjal (around 30km from Tura) in West Garo Hills and passes through Songsak, Rongjeng, Nongstoin, Mairang before reaching Shillong, has been termed by travellers as one of the best maintained roads in the state though poor road alignment in some portions between Rongjeng and Shallang have been an eyesore for drivers.

The road will facilitate people to travel across both the regions, especially at a time when frequent road blockades are called by various groups in Assam.

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