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Inquiry demand into road project

Shillong, July 4: An inquiry has been demanded into the alleged inordinate delay in the completion of the 20-km road from Wahkaji to Mawthabah village under Meghalaya’s South West Khasi Hills district.

The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) had funded the road project. The area has rich deposits of uranium. The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), on behalf of the UCIL, undertook the project.

It was in 2006 that the project was conceived with a budget of nearly Rs 20 crore. However, another Rs 20 crore was sanctioned in 2010.

Even after Rs 40 crore has been invested, villagers are discontented with the tardy construction.

Hestingland Sangriang, who is the general secretary of the Kylleng Pyndensohiong Uranium Landowners Association, today alleged that out of the 20-km stretch, only 4km has been blacktopped.

Sangriang, who is also the chairman of around seven villages said while the initial earth work was given to locals and landowners, the blacktop work was given to contractors who were mostly from outside the area.

According to him, the initial target for completing the 20-km road was 18 months, and the construction was to be done according to CPWD norms.

“We consider the road as a blessing for us as now, even when the blacktop is yet to be fully completed, smaller vehicles can travel,” Sangriang told reporters here.

Sangriang, though, still keeps his jeep as a souvenir as it stands testimony to those difficult days when the roads were non-motorable.

However, he demanded a probe into the inordinate delay in the completion of the project as the targeted period for completion has already lapsed for several years now.

In 2007, there were allegations of large-scale financial irregularities in the road project.