From puddles to ponds,the wretched plight of roads in Meghalaya!
Shillong June 29: With six months left for the year to end, Meghalaya will again witness the much awaited General Assembly Elections. The election which is bound to take place next year is all set for the mega event as candidates from various constituencies are gearing themselves up for their own battles starting from this year itself. As we can see everyday in the newspapers, candidates are doing their best to capture votes from their own constituency be it inauguration of roads, distribution of household items or making promises about development etc.But the question is that are these developments really taking place? Do the candidates deliver what they promise? Well the answer to that is unsure…
After every five years, different candidates come up with their bucket list or wishlist of a particular political party and the irony to it is that the term 'DEVELOPMENT' is the main purpose for them to achieve. However this seems to be a difficult task to accomplish. A start to something might take place but to complete it, is uncertain. This is the situation that is happening in Meghalaya whereby many projects have been started but has been stalled for a long period of time. These kind of projects are mostly related with the development of roads, so as a commuter I find it confusing to understand whether our state has really developed in this part.
Of course the construction of the four lane NH-44 is a big boon for the state, but what about development of roads in rural and urban areas. The deplorable condition of these roads have left many questioning whether the government is covering a facade by giving importance to big projects but not smaller ones. Does this mean development is taking place in the state?
As a concerned citizen of the state I find it very hard to travel to certain places around because of the pathetic conditions of the road. On a personal account the road which leads to Sumer village is in a very sad condition. This village has immense potential from the beautiful landscape to the adventure sports one will get to explore or to the various resorts that one can find. Speaking to a local entrepreneur who owns a resort in Law Byrwa village, he says, "This place can attract a lot of tourist but one thing that is saddening is the condition of the roads which hampers the people to visit this area".
The road which is supposed to make travelling easy is proving a hindrance for people to visit this area. As soon as you enter the village one will be welcomed by a huge puddle that looks like a small pond,then as one commute further to Byrwa village,Umtham etc pot holes and big puddles are everywhere and especially on a rainy day the journey becomes very difficult. The local Rangbah Shnong says the road has been neglected for the past '20 years' and nobody would intervene into this matter- be it the MDC or the MLA etc which makes the people question their negligence to them. The MPDCL dam is also located in this area so supposedly in the near future if the road conditions become worse then automatically the dam will be shutdown as it will make commuters difficult to check on the dam which of now is generating a portion of the electricity of the state benefiting a part of the state's revenue.
This is the condition of a village but what about urban areas too? Do they face the similar plight? Well sad to say but yes they do… If one has to take the Cantonment road towards Khlieh Iewduh(Upper Bara Bazar),the road is terrible. Big puddles everywhere, drainage system is lacking and commuters have to deal with this everyday.
Talking to a trader she quotes, "I have been in the business for the past 8 years and I commute by this road every single day and no one till now has taken the initiative to renovate the road". Another trader who owns a petty shop says "what to do? We have to run our business to provide meals at the end of the day so we cannot crib but to remain silent and go about with our daily routine". The hustle-bustle around the area is what that actually covers the sad plight of the road.
Thus 2018 is coming soon and DEVELOPMENT is what we all will be hearing again. So the adage "Practice what you preach" is something one should ponder upon and look forward to!
By Natasha Dkhar
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the writers own and TNT-The Northeast Today may not hold the same views