From A Correspondent
Tura, July 31: Over 500 youth from plain belt area of West Garo Hills district took out a rally near here on Monday demanding immediate repair of the road from Agia (Assam) to Garobadha.
The rallyists gathered at Bhaitbari playground, about 55 km from here, and took out a peaceful procession in the town.
The rallyists expressed their concern over the poor road connectivity and blamed Chief Minister Mukul Sangma for being partial to his home constituency Ampati.
“The road in South West Garo Hills has improved a lot. The road connecting even small villages with 50 households are better than our main road, which is the lifeline for nearly two lakh people,” said Mostafa Kabir, secretary of Anti-Corruption League (ACL), a pressure group from Bhaitbari-Rajabala area.
He castigated Mukul for working in the interest of his home constituency and neglecting different parts of Garo Hills, particularly the plain belts, which are domited by the minorities.
“As Chief Minister, it should be his responsibility to work for the holistic development of Meghalaya. But the condition of our road is a testimony of his government’s step-motherly attitude towards minorities,” Kabir added.
He said the Chief Minister claims that the plain belt area will reap benefit from the new connectivity from Srirampur in West Bengal to Phulbari (NH-127 B) via Dhubri, where India’s longest 14-km bridge will be build over the Brahmaputra river, but the need of the hour is immediate connectivity for the people.
“The proposed new route and bridge from Dhubri to Phulbari may take years, but we want urgent solution,” said Nur Islam of All Meghalaya Minority Students’ Union (AMMSU)
In 2013, the 50-km stretch of road from Singimari to Agia via Rajabala, Bhaitbari, Phulbari and Tikrikilla was repaired, but, it was damaged within five months.
The Monday’s rally also demanded that the government blacklist old contractors, who have been blamed for the sorry state of roads in the plain belt.
Recently, Tura Lok Sabha MP Conrad Sangma had submitted a plea to Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari to declare the stretch from Agia to Garobadha as tiol Highway and speed up road development.