Meghalaya: NGO threatens to stir over plying of boulder trucks from Bhutan

Meghalaya: NGO threatens to stir over plying of boulder trucks from Bhutan

TURA | JAN 7, 2020:

In view of the continuous degradation of the AMPT road, angered NGOs have threatened to hit the streets in order to stop the vehicles from plying if the exporters did not fall in line and carried legal loads.

Bhutan based exporters have been using the AMPT road to export boulder to Bangladesh through the export port in Dalu in West Garo Hills (WGH) as per the trade agreement of SAARC. However despite the illegalities of the Bangladesh bound trucks, no action has been initiated by the WGH administration over fears of repercussions to fragile international relationships.

"They are bringing 18 wheeler trucks through the AMPT road and loads to match with it. Imagine a 10 wheeler truck is carrying over 40 MT, so now think of how much they carry in a 18 wheeler. We don't mind trade being carried out legally but they have to follow rules laid down by our country while transporting loads through our roads," said Francewell Marak, the president of GSU – Phulbari unit.

The NGOs had earlier tried to highlight the problems being faced by the residents to the administration asking that such transport be regulated keeping in mind the state of the AMPT road.

"Repairs have just been made on the road and most of it is peeling off. Can they just continue to abuse the road in name of trade and now bother about the condition of the people? This transport needs to stop with immediate effect or regulations have to be put in place to ensure illegalities are not performed by the Bhutan trucks. We, as Indians, have the right to a safe and secure environment and such trucks flouting rules cannot be allowed in the name of international trade," added CEPARD president, SR Sangma.

The NGOs have threatened to come out on to the streets if the spectacle of laws being broken continues while the administration turns a blind eye.

"We are surprised that the local MLA (SG Esmatur Mominin) has not voiced out against this continued destruction of the road. We are the ones suffering and he needs to step in and ensure such illegal acts are stopped. While we understand transport of boulders on AMPT road has been allowed, we can't understand where it states that overloads, to destroy the road is also allowed," added the NGOs of Phulbari.

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