Bias attitude towards rural population: JAC

Through this medium, the people of Hingaria, Huroi, Lahalein and Lejri under the banner of the Joint Action Committee wishes to express our deep anguish and sadness over the attitude of the North Eastern Council towards our road proposed under NERSDS and the bias attitude towards our rural population.

It may be noted that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) Sonapur-Borkhar Rd proposed under NERSDS has been submitted way from 2008-09 and has finally been forwarded to the MDoNER for approval but till date the same is yet to be approved for reason best known to the NEC & MDONER. The State Government vide its letter dated 03/03/2021 the Chief Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya has issued an undertaking, which certifies that the Government of Meghalaya undertakes to fund the balance portion of Rs.88.33 crore (Phase-II) and to complete the whole project in case NERSDS is not continued during the 15th Finance Commission period. In the said letter dated 3rd March, 2021, a request has been made to NEC to kindly consider sanctioning the amount of Rs.62.20 crore for the first phase of the road project at the earliest. This face has been recorded in the Meghalaya High Court Order dated 20.04.2021.

However, even after the state government has given such an undertaking the NEC did not recommended the Sonapur-Borkhat Rd for approval to the MDONER which is to be accounted from the balance outlay of 2020-2021. What angers us the most is the fact that NEC has instead recommended a project in the state of Nagaland which the DPR has submitted only on 30th December 2020 and consequent to this recommendation the MDONER has approved and sanctioned the project from Nagaland in March 2021. Our road inspite of its strategic location and the affect on the livelihood of the people, the NEC has ignored our prayer inspite of the dire need. Our road project has been proposed very long time but even then the NEC officials did not deem it fit for recommendation.

The NEC as per information received has sent again the DPR for Sonapur-Borkhat on 4th May 2021 for consideration of the IMC as and when the NERSDS is approved by the 15th Finance Commission, however till date no progress has been made on this matter. The lack of political will has delayed the approval of our project for a very long time much to the disadvantage of the rural population.

How many more lives does the Government want before it approves the road? All this years , the people only have been given false assurance by the Government even after the protest held in Khliehriat.

We once again wish to appeal to the Government of Meghalaya, NEC and MDONER to see and work out that the much delayed project of Sonapur-Borkhat rd is approved as soon as possible without looking for any political consideration. The people deserve the road and hence should be sanctioned as priority. Any further delay in approving the road project will only invite agitation from the people of the border village. We will lead a much larger and bigger protest against the Government and even NEC if the request is not met within a reasonable period of time. We will not shy away even to protest before the Meghalaya Secretariat and NEC office, if need be.

From Shri. Raja L Suchen Secretary Huroi village and Joint Action Committe of the Dorbar Shnong of Hingaria, Huroi, Lahalein & Lejri

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