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Five villages threaten to boycott elections over ‘neglected’ road

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From Our Correspondent

The dilapidated Tynnai-Manad road.

MAWKYRWAT, April 8: People from five villages under Manad area in Riwar Sepngi of South West Khasi Hills have warned that the people will one day take the drastic action of boycotting elections if crucial amenities such as roads are not seriously taken care of.
The villagers have urged both representatives of Mawkyrwat Constituency, MLA Renikton L Tongkhar and MDC Carness Sohshang to take up the issue of blacktopping the Tynnai-Manad road seriously.
“Long ago, when we demanded this road (Tynnai-Manad road), we clearly told the government and the public representatives that if they don’t give us the road, we will boycott elections. It is time that the people of this area question themselves,” president of the Synjuk ki Rangbah Shnong 5 Shnong Area, R Shylla, said.
He asked the public to implore if voting is even necessary when the public representatives do not care about the basic needs of the people.
“If it is like this, we do not need elections. What will they do for the benefit of the general public, if not development,” he asked.
He asked the MLA and MDC to take up the matter with the state government, and get the sanction for the blacktopping of Tynnai-Manad road approved.
“The drivers, passengers, patients, especially pregnant women have faced lots of problems because of the terrible condition of the road,” he pointed out.
He reiterated that if the government and the public representatives sit on their demand, the people of the five villages in Riwar Sepngi will have no option but to boycott the elections.
Last month, Dorbar Shnong of Mawlai Syllaikariah in Shillong had threatened to boycott the upcoming Lok Sabha polls as a mark of protest against the failure of the state government to repair the roads in the locality.
The decision was taken by the Executive Committee of the Dorbar Shnong.
Mawlai Syllaikariah Rangbah Shnong C Shullai had revealed that the roads in the locality were damaged in view of the laying of blue pipes by the PHE department for Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS) Phase III funded under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
He alleged that the PHED had failed to take steps to repair the damaged road since 2022 despite repeated reminders from the Dorbar Shnong.
The Dorbar Shnongs had renovated the roads the locality prior to the laying of the blue pipes by the PHED for the betterment of the people, according to him.
Shullai had even urged the local residents to support the decision to boycott the upcoming elections.
The deteriorating roads in Shillong have prompted many stakeholders to call out the state government seeking action.
Meghalaya is a place which experiences one of the highest rainfalls in the world, and this makes maintaining roads daunting. However, there has been concern from certain fronts about the lack of a proper maintenance plan for quick remedial action.
The Lok Sabha elections in the state’s two seats – Shillong and Tura — will be held in the first phase on April 19.

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