Residents, NGOs take up road repair in Garo Hills

Correspondent

Tura, Oct 23: Various NGOs from Bajengdoba area in North Garo Hills along with local residents today got down to repair a road between Gokolgre and Achotchonggre villages, which due to years of neglect had become unnavigable.

Setting an example to all, including the administration and the state government, more than 2300 villagers from 34 villages got down to doing what should have been the prerogative of those in administration – easing their suffering by repairing the dysfunctional road.

The NGOs, Garo Students’ Union (GSU), AHAM, AYWO, JAC of Bajengdoba and the area development committee of Achotchongre, along with residents that have been affected by the deplorable condition road today got their hands dirty and repaired the entire stretch that had become untraversable even for 4-wheel drive vehicles.

The road in question had been sanctioned more than five years ago with a contractor from Williamnagar, Romilla Sangma, being awarded the contract. However, the contractor, after completion of about a km of the road under PMGSY, abandoned work. Ever since, the road has been neglected and left without any further development.

The neglect to the road has led to many sections turning a nightmare.

 “We have approached various departments, including the district administration, PWD and the C&RD Block for possible ways to make the road better but received no word on when it will be done, so we decided to do the work by ourselves,” said the development committee president, Tengsrang D Sangma.

The villagers began their work early morning and even repaired a wooden bridge on the same road. The bridge has been in a state of disrepair.

The road repair done today was despite the chill in the air due to inclement weather with rain being a permanent feature through the day.

 “We are extremely happy that everyone has come together to do their bit in repairing the road with even the Pik – Up association helping by providing their vehicles to pick up and drop people. We are extremely thankful to all who helped in ensuring we were able to complete the road,” said GSU president, Samar Marak.

The villagers repaired over 7 kms of the road on a single day, just a little less than the PMGSY standard of 7.5 kms.

The initiative to repair the road comes even as other places struggle with roads that have literally been left to run their course in many parts of Garo Hills. It comes even as authorities appointed only for this purpose look the other way when they are the ones that need to raise their hands and take responsibility.