NHAI removes employees from VIP lane over alleged illegalities

SHILLONG, Feb 22: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) removed its employees from the VIP lane of the Pahammawlein toll plaza on Monday after reports in the media about alleged illegalities there.
The matter was also discussed in a meeting held between NHAI officials and Chief Secretary MS Rao here on Monday.
“We saw the situation on the way to Shillong and removed the staff from the VIP lane and the toll plaza manager has been asked to monitor the situation,” an official said.
During the meeting, NHAI officials also asked the Chief Secretary to ensure security at the toll plaza by giving necessary directions to the SP and Deputy Commissioner besides proper implementation of FAStag. The Chief Secretary said instructions have already been issued.
Claiming that the situation was under control at the toll plaza, NHAI officials sought the cooperation of the local residents, government and road users to ensure that the toll plaza functions to the best of its capacity for hassle-free movement of vehicles.
Earlier, it was reported that the NHAI toll plaza at Umling along the Umiam-Jorabat Expressway had attracted attention for illegalities alleged by drivers of commercial vehicles.
Detailed discussions were also held at the meeting for a Bailey bridge on Shillong Bypass that has been under construction for a few months now.
The suggestion for a Bailey bridge was in view of cracks detected on the Dwar-Ksuid bridge following which heavy vehicles have been moving through the city at night.
“The work has been delayed since necessary precautionary measures are being taken for the safety and most likely, the Bailey bridge would be completed before March 10-15,” the official added.
State Transport Minister, Sniawbhalang Dhar, said that he will visit the site next week for an inspection of the ongoing work.
‘Half of compensation released for land owners’
The state government has so far released half of the compensation to those land owners who are parting ways their land for the much-awaited Shillong-Dawki Road project.
Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong, on Monday informed that the process of compensation is on and currently not less than 50-53 per cent of the compensation has been released to the land owners.
According to Tynsong, in those stretches where payment has been made, both the deputy commissioners of East Khasi Hills and West Jaintia Hills are in the process of handing over the land to the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).
Albeit four packages of the proposed Shillong-Dawki Road have been allotted to the contractors, the construction work is yet to start.
The PWD has also drawn an afforestation plan since the road will pass through a wooded area. However, there has been a delay in receiving a no-objection certificate from the Defence authorities for a part of the road.
The 71-km-long NH-40 will be converted into a four-lane highway from Umshyrpi bridge in Shillong to Bañiun at 7th Mile in Upper Shillong, and two lanes, thereafter, till Dawki at an estimated cost of Rs 1,251 crore.
The project includes construction of a new bridge over the Umngot River at Dawki.

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