High Court orders Meghalaya Govt to ensure road connectivity to Indo-Bangla border villages in East Jaiñtia Hills district

Shillong, Nov 30: The Meghalaya High Court has directed the Meghalaya government to ensure road connectivity to villages located along the Indo-Bangladesh border in East Jaiñtia Hills district.

In its order on Friday, the division bench which comprised of Chief Justice, Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice SR Sen said, “… we direct the Chief Secretary to hold immediate meeting with all concerns including the Chief Engineer (National Highway) and work out the modalities for construction repair/up-gradation of the road from Borkhat to Sonapur.”

Kynjaimon Amse, a resident of Umkiang village had earlier submitted a petition to Justice SR Sen on November 13, seeking the intervention of the High Court into the plights of border people due to the apathy of the state government.

The four villages – Lejri, Lahalein, Huroi and Hingaria –located along the international border with Bangladesh have a population of over 5,000, and have been neglected for the past many years.

The bench has also appreciated the concern voiced by Amse and hoped in future also he will espouse the cause of the public.The bench said that the decision on the matter should be taken by the High Level Committee headed by the chief secretary for ensuring road connectivity to the said area.

It also directed that the work should be allotted to a contractor who shall be in a position to complete the same within three months.

The bench also stated that it was informed that there were some proposals for construction/up-gradation and repair of road, some DPR have also been prepared but none of the proposals have so far been accepted much to the disadvantageous of the residents of the said area.

The Chief Engineer (National Highway) who is present in the Court, stated that he will prepare the DPR afresh but however, he has to take up the matter with the government.

Meanwhile, the bench while fixing deadlines for different incomplete road projects in the state also took strong cognizance on contractors taking their own leisure time to complete the works.

“It is quite astonishing that despite having issued the work orders, the contractors are taking their own leisure time for completion thereof. When urgency is there, how the contractors can be allowed to work at their own whim, engineering department ought to have impressed upon the contractors to wake up from deep slumber and to complete the un-finished projects (construction of roads which include resurfacing, repairing etc.) at an earliest,” the Court asked.

According to the bench, road connectivity being the lifeline, cannot be allowed to be compromised or allowed to be delayed.

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