Khliehriat, March 30: Thousands of border residents staged a road rally today to express their disappointment over the delay of the state government and the DoNER ministry to release funds for the upgrade of the Rymbai-Bataw-Borkhat-Sonapur road (RBBS) and the Sonapur-Borkhat road.
The residents of these villages which lie in the proximity of the Indo-Bangladesh border such as Lejri, Lahaleiñ, Huroi and Hingaria extended full support to the road rally organized by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Dorbar Shnongs of Lejri, Lahaleiñ, Huroi and Hingaria which began from Deiñchymrum and proceeded to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of the district.
The rally also witnessed the participation of the local MLA, Shitlang Pale and the MDCs of the area such as Dr Sankey Shangpung and Emlangki Lamare. Bearing placards which read ‘No Road No Vote’, ‘We Suffer from mud during summer and dust during winter’, ‘We have to walk 4-5 hours just for 1Kg of rice’, ‘If you cannot give us road should we ask for a helicopter?’, ‘Its an era of online education but we are still offline’, the protesters demanded immediate release of the funds allocated for the two roads.
After the rally, a public meeting was held near the office of the DC where the waheh shnong of Huroi, Golden Marbaniang said that during the monsoons, people of his village have to walk all the way to Borsara and Umkiang because of the absence of vehicles.
“If the government does not listen to our calm appeal, we are ready to go to Shillong and camp in front of the Secretariat,” he said.
Meanwhile, the waheh shnong of Lahalein, Lamsing Tynsong said that the present road was constructed during the tenure of former MLA of Rymbai, Nihon Ksih but has been left unattended to till date. Highlighting how dilapidated the road has become today, Tynsong said that even cattle are unable to use it.
Also taking part in the meeting, Sutnga-Saipung MLA, Shitlang Pale said that the people of the area have a right to demand proper facilities from the government. Stating that he has raised this issue with PWD minister, Prestone Tynsong recently, Pale said all that has come of this is assurances.
He also said that the funds allocated for this project have been diverted to West Khasi Hills district.
“All my assurances to work with the people of the constituency in this matter are in vain because the state government has no funds,” he said.