Shillong, June 30: The Grand Council of Chiefs of Meghalaya has written to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong urging the government to take measures to develop parts of Ri Bhoi district.
The letter sought development of the 80-km Umsning-Jagi Road and creation of Mawhati district.
The road connecting several villages is in a deplorable condition for the last nine years.
“Thousands of farmers, schoolchildren, residents who have to access the road from Umsning-Raitong-laiphewdiengngan-Mawdiengan-Mawhati-Umsohlait-Sohnidan up to Umsiang-Jagi Road are deprived of basic facilities like healthcare and education, besides others. Roads play an important role in all aspects of development like agriculture, fishery, health, education, small-scale industries, trade etc,” said John Kharshiing, chairman of the Grand Council, in the letter.
Kharshiing pointed out that absence of a good road is stagnating the socio-economic development of the villages.
In this context, he also flagged the problem of broken roads saying there was an urgent need to review the quality of construction. “We cannot continue to blame the monsoon. We need to introduce stringent independent road construction inspections prior to the release of payments as done by NHAI,” he added.
As the second step to development, the Grand Council chairman suggested creation of Mawhati district.
Referring to the upgradation of Mairang from sub-division to a district, Kharshiing said, “The backwardness of Ri Bhoi also needs urgent attention… we request your consideration to also create a separate Mawhati district out of present Ri Bhoi district to include Mawhati, Umsning and Umroi Assembly constituencies so as to effectively improve communication, livelihood and bring administration closer to the people of the area.”