Deputy Chief Minister in-charge PWD (Roads), Prestone Tynsong laid the foundation stone for the improvement of Riding Quality and Sealing of Distressed Pavement of the Shillong Sohra Road from 22nd Km to 53rd Km under the Systematic Maintenance Programme at Mawkdok on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion, Tynsong expressed his happiness in being able to lay the foundation stone for the project at Mawkdok, as he says it is appropriate for it being one of the most renowned tourist spots of Meghalaya.
He said that the government is committed to bring about an overall change, not only in the major towns of the state but is working tirelessly to bring about an all-round development concentrating in the rural areas particularly focusing on the road sector.
He stated that roads and infrastructures are the basis of any economic development and progress. He highlighted that the Umtyngngar Sohra road is one of the most important roads in the state as it connects the countless number of villages in the region stretching right up to Shella and all the way down to the border of Bangladesh.
He further stated that the road also holds significance as Sohra is an important tourist destination and hundreds of vehicles ferrying Tourists travel on this important stretch, which in turn provides gainful employment to the people residing in these areas. Therefore, he says, the government is prioritizing the repair and improvement of the road from Shillong to Sohra.
Furthermore, he informed that the Government is planning to further develop the road connectivity up to Shella which will allow tourists to visit areas beyond Sohra like Wahrew and Shella. He informed that the Government has sent a proposal to the Centre to consider converting the Umtyngar Bholaganj road to a National Highway and he says the Centre is studying the proposal. The areas under Sohra Civil Sub-Division is also rich in limestone, fruits and various agricultural products like Bay leaves, Broomstick, pepper and others, and the road facilitates the transportation and export of these goods to the markets within and outside the state.
The Scheme, “Improvement of Riding Quality and Sealing of Distressed Pavement of Shillong – Sohra Road from 22nd Km to 53rd Km” was included in the Budget 2020-2021 of the Government of Meghalaya under the ‘Systematic Maintenance Programme (SMP)’ implemented by the Department of PWD for the repairing and improvement of Roads.
The total budget sanctioned for the above project starting from Umtyngngar upto Sohra is Rs.12 crores. The Scheme would include blacktopping of the road from Umtyngar
to Mawsmai through Semi Dense Bituminous Macadam (SDBC).
The Road from Umtyngar to Sohra was last repaired under the Special Plan Assistance (SPA) Scheme in the year 2013. Since then, no more repairs were made on the road and over time, the road has deteriorated and at various parts and stretches of the road, rots and cracks have developed due to overdue surface renewal.
Others who spoke at the function were Sohra MLA Gavin M Mylliem, Shella MLA Balajied K Synrem, Secretary, PWD (Roads and Building), TG Nengnong, SDO (Civil), Sohra Civil Sub-Division, AS Mukhim, Chief Engineer, PWD (Roads), LD Suchiang, and Syiem of Hima Sohra, Freeman Syiem.