HC wants Jowai bypass, Ratacherra road motorable

Shillong, June 13: High Court of Meghalaya stressed the need of maintaining the Jowai-Ratacherra portion and Jowai bypass in motorable codition.

Hearing a PIL on the matter on Tuesday, the division bench has taken note on the status reports filed both by the state pertaining to the Jowai bypass and by the National Highways Authority of India pertaining to the rest of NH-6 between Jowai and Ratacherra.


Judicial notice is taken of photographs published in Shillong newspapers over the last couple of days indicating the treacherous condition of the Jowai bypass despite the repair work apparently having been completed by the State PWD (Roads).

The petitioner carried photographs to demonstrate that the repair has not even lasted a couple of days.

“While it is appreciated that bitumen is water-soluble and heavy rains may affect the road conditions, yet all this has happened before the monsoon has set in,” the bench said.

“Further, it can be no excuse, particularly given the heavy rain in this part of the country during the monsoon, that the roads will remain un-motorable during the rainy season. The repair work has to be undertaken keeping in mind the weather and climatic conditions and the extent of rainfall that the road has to endure.”

The bench also directed the Additional Advocate General K Khan to meet senior officials of the State PWD (Roads) so that the matter can be taken care of before the actual onset of monsoon.

The NHAI has informed that some of the stretches between Jowai and Khliehriat need to be repaired. Even beyond, the Sonapur tunnel requires some repair work.

NHAI said the contract is about to be issued and the work is expected to be completed by the end of July.

The bench however said that it would have been better if the work had been completed prior to the heavy rain setting in.

“However, since it is too late in the day to expect the work to be completed over the next week or so, NHAI should ensure that extra care is taken that the repair work undertaken in the midst of rains is not immediately washed away,” the bench said.

The court directed that both the NHAI and the state should report on the progress on either stretch when the matter appears next week.

The petitioner pointed out that landslides that have taken place several months back on the Malidor to Ratacherra stretch have not been taken care of yet.

Hence the bench directed that “If such is the position, NHAI should look into such aspect of the matter and ensure that the debris is cleared and the necessary repair work undertaken at the earliest.”

The next hearing on the matter will be held on June 21.

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