Govt constitutes panel to break four-lane deadlock

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The State Government has constituted a committee to find an amicable solution to the ongoing controversy over the construction of the four-lane highway along the Umsning stretch.

“We have decided to constitute this committee to find an acceptable solution over the four-laning work in Umsning. This committee has been given one week’s time to submit its report to the Government,” Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma said here on Friday after his meeting with leaders of various NGOs to discuss the four-laning of the Umiam-Jorabat road, especially the controversial Umsning stretch.

He said the committee would comprise representatives from Ri-Bhoi district administration, PWD officials and four Rangbah Shnongs of the area.

Replying to a query, the Chief Minister said Chief Secretary WMS Pariat would decide the official who would head this committee.

According to the Chief Minister, the members of the committee would take the views of both the pro-bypass and anti-bypass group before submitting its report.

“The members of the committee have been directed to take the views of each and every land owner along the proposed Umsning Bypass and also along the existing road,” he said, adding that the basic objective of consulting the land owners is find out how many land owners there are in each of the contending groups.

Dr Sangma said the Government would then have a clearer picture as to which group has the maximum number of land owners.

“We need to understand that even if one land owner does not want to give his land it would affect the progress of the project,” the Chief Minister said but added that the Government does not want to bulldoze this issue.

“Whatever we do there will be opposition from one or the other group. We want to have complete clarity on the minds of the people before taking a final call on this matter,” Dr Sangma said.

When asked why the Government had delayed in addressing this issue which has been lingering for the past several months, the Chief Minister said the Government is engaged with the issue and examining it from different angles.

Meanwhile, KSU president Samuel Jyrwa believed that the committee should be given a chance to meet the landowners and to ascertain their views on this entire controversy.

“We feel that this impasse should come to an end and that an amicable solution should emerge on this matter,” Jyrwa said.

He also appealed to the NGOs of Ri-Bhoi district to call off their agitation while also demanding the release of the two JAC members who were arrested on Thursday.

BJP seeks clarification

on four-lane issue

The State BJP has expressed concern over the dilapidated condition of NH-40 due to the four-laning of the highway between Jorabat and Umiam, where construction work has came to a standstill due to the deadlock over the Umsning bypass issue.

“We would like Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma to immediately clarify on the Government stand over the Umsning Bypass,” State BJP general secretary Dipayan Chakraborty said in a statement issued on Friday, while also asking the Chief Minister to clarify on the need to construct the four-lane road along the existing Umsning road.

“We also want the Government to clarify on the nexus between politicians and businessmen to realign the four-lane through Umsning instead of the bypass,” the statement added.

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