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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bypass construction stalled

Shillong, Dec. 12: Irate landowners, farmers and students today put a stop to the ongoing construction of the Shillong bypass from Mawryngkneng to Diengpasoh village, alleging that no compensation was paid to the farmers.

This comes at a time when Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma was actually planning to inaugurate the 47km stretch from Lad Umroi in Ri Bhoi district to Mawryngkneng in East Khasi Hills district later this month.

Mawryngkneng is around 20km from Diengpasoh and both fall in East Khasi Hills district. Mawryngkneng is 30km from here.

The Shillong bypass road covers prominent areas like Lad Umroi, Umroi, Nongtraw (all in Ri Bhoi district), Diengpasoh and Thangshalai before culminating at Mawryngkneng (in East Khasi Hills).

According to the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Mawryngkneng circle, farmers from three villages — Diengpasoh, Thangshalai and Mawryngkneng — have not received any compensation for the past two years in spite of their fields having been allegedly ruined by the earth tossed by the construction company, GR Infraproject Pvt Ltd.

With no respite, union members, farmers and landowners today stopped the construction work on the road, which would ease traffic congestion in the city, from Mawryngkneng to Diengpasoh.

The KSU, Mawryngkneng circle, had set a deadline till November 30 to compensate all those farmers whose fields had been severely damaged.

Really S. Nongspung, general secretary of KSU, Mawryngkneng circle, said the decision to stop the construction was because of the delay on the part of the government to compensate the farmers.

“How will the chief minister inaugurate the road when the farmers have not been compensated?” Nongspung asked.

He said the construction would be allowed to resume only when the compensation money has been paid to the farmers.