Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the upgradation of the Rongram-Phulbari Hill Road in West Garo Hills.
Besides the CM, the foundation laying ceremony was also attended by deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong, power minister James PK Sangma and MLAs Thomas A Sangma and SG Esmatur Mominin.
With the aim of the Meghalaya government to upgrade the state road network and with this objective, the project was sanctioned to upgrade the highway road from single lane to intermediate lane for smooth traffic movement.
The 60 km road, sanctioned at Rs. 139,02,65,000, starts from 85th Km of NH-51 at Rongram Bazar, passing along the hilly terrain and meets the AMPT road at Phulbari town.
The road falls under the state highway road category, connecting two important towns of West Garo Hills namely Tura and Phulbari.
Covering over 40 villages, running through areas with high agriculture produce, the road will impact the livelihood of the people apart from their ease of travel.
The scope of work includes earthwork in road formation, metalling and blacktopping, cross drainage works, protection walls, traffic signage, etc.
At the event, chief minister Sangma said, “The Rogram-Phulbari Hill road is one of the oldest and crucial roads of West Garo Hills district which provides connectivity to the interior areas of the northern part of the district from the district headquarters.”
Recalling former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma, the chief minister said, “My late father used to tell me about this road, which has been neglected for years.”
“He (PA Sangma) had the desire to improve and upgrade this road from his time and I am happy that our government has been able to initiate the upgradation of this road, fulfilling his dream and the dream of people residing in the 40 villages that this road will impact,” he said.
The chief minister further said, “Our government has accorded highest priority to building road infrastructure, and in the last three years, we have invested over Rs 1,800 crore for roads in Garo Hills.”
“We will further work towards ensuring that our roads and communication facilities are improved across the state,” the chief minister said.
Thanking the deputy chief minister, who also holds the PWD portfolio, the chief minister said, “I thank the deputy CM, under whose leadership, PWD and the road sector has visible transformation.”
Applauding the MDA government’s performance, the chief minister stated, “Prior to 2018, there was the poor performance of PMGSY road construction, however, during the current dispensation, there has been a tremendous achievement. Currently, road construction amounting to Rs. 2800 crore under PMGSY is underway in the entire state.”
He also asked the deputy commissioner and the PWD to continuously monitor and ensure completion of the road by December 2022, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a statement.
Deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong said, “Not less than Rs 1,800 crore in the road sector has been invested by the present Government. From 2013-2018, the then Government was able to pump-in Rs. 700 Cr in the same sector for the region.”
Stressing on the importance of the project, Tynsong said, “Because this project is so important for the people, the Hon’ble Chief Minister proposed that we should spend it from the State Plan. Rs 139 crore is no joke but we did it to ensure the people from the hill area and the plain belt of Garo Hills improve their livelihoods”.
Power minister James PK Sangma said, “From 2008, as MLA, I tried to pursue the matter for upgradation of the road. I even raised the issue in the Assembly repeatedly, however, my plea was unheard and turned down.”
“It is because of our able leadership under chief minister Conrad Sangma that our long-pending demand for this road was finally accorded sanction,” he added.
He also appealed to the public to cooperate with the department and the construction firm to ensure timely completion of the road, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) further added.