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Residents from across several districts in the Garo Hills region of Meghalaya may finally heave a collective sigh of relief as many road projects, some connecting national highways and others comprising state roads, are finally on the verge of much-needed renovation.
While some of these projects have already started, the situation could only get better for Garo Hills as other projects, that are in the pipeline, show better prospects.
Some road projects that have already begun are the National Highway 51 between Dalu – Baghmara, the road between Baghmara in South Garo Hills up to Ranikor in South West Khasi Hills (SWKH) and the road connecting Damra in Assam to Bajengdoba in North Garo Hills (NGH).
The above roads have been in a state of disrepair for over decades, leading many to question the various state governments over their commitment to serve the state.
“It takes over six hours to complete the journey between Baghmara to Ranikor in the current road (150 km), at least 1.45 hours to travel the 50 km from Tura to Dalu and, about 1.30 hours to complete the 37 km route from Damra to Bajengdoba. Once completed, the travel times will halve at least and that is more than what we can ask for,” said a resident of Tura, SD Shira on the upcoming road projects.
The Tura – Dalu road is expected to complete first, as 40 per cent of the work is already completed. The project started at the end of 2018.
Another road, the Adokgre - Mangsang road between North and East Garo Hills (EGH), is also currently being worked on and is likely to complete soon.
Work on the dilapidated stretch section of the AMPT road between Phulbari and Chibinang has already started and is likely to complete early next year.
If sources are to be believed, there could be more good news for the people of the plain belt as the entire road is once again set for a complete facelift.
For those feeling left out, the road between Rongram through Dadenggre to Phulbari is also in the tendering process with work likely to start next year.
This road is one of the worst in Garo Hills and, many have asked the concerned department and local MLAs to turn the system around.
It is also a similar case with the section between Garobadha in South West Garo Hills and Selsella in West Garo Hills.
The Public Works Department (PWD) looks after the two roads mentioned above as they fall under the department, while the projects are expected to be funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Once completed, the roads would provide immense relief to commuters.
“We hope that the situation will improve and more projects will be completed with the utmost sincerity to ease the problems of the people. Without a proper road infrastructure, we will continue failing as a state and a community,” opined one SR Sangma from Phulbari.