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Garo Hills: Heavy rains sever Mendipathar – Resubelpara road connectivity; action sought against construction firm

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Shillong, June 19: Following the devastation caused in Meghalaya by incessant rainfall, especially the Garo Hills region, submerging most low lying areas, all critical road connections between Mendipathar and Resubelpara have been completely disrupted.

This has resulted in considerable woes to the daily commuters in both towns. Presently, the sole remaining route connecting these areas is via the Gajing elephant corridor, which itself is strained due to the concurrent construction of two vital bridges.

The primary cause of this disruption is attributed to severe delays in construction work, being executed by the infamous Badri Rai Company. The company has been in limelight in recent times due to substandard road construction works throughout the Garo Hills region, and other parts of Meghalaya, garnering quite a bit of disrepute. The current spell of heavy rainfall has once again put the company’s work under scrutiny.

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In a press statement, social activist Cherian Momin highlighted the effects of the road disruption between Mendipathar and Resubelpara on students and teachers with parents concerned over the safety and education of their children due to the lack of reliable transportation routes. Similar is the case with Office-goers, with many struggling to reach their workplaces on time. Local businesses are also experiencing interruptions in the supply chain, leading to a downturn in local commerce and added strain to already stressed communities.

He said this has adversely affected productivity and the economic stability of the region, and called for immediate and decisive action. “Given the severity of these disruptions, immediate and decisive action is imperative. The responsible department must urgently establish an alternate route to mitigate the immediate impact on local residents. This temporary measure is crucial to ensuring that daily activities can continue with minimal interruption while the main construction projects are completed,” he said.

He also called for stringent measures to be enforced to hold the Badri Rai Company accountable for its negligence and incompetence. “This includes a thorough investigation into the company’s practices and the imposition of penalties commensurate with the severity of their failures. It is essential that the company bear the full cost of any necessary remedial work to rectify the substandard construction,” he said.

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“As a community, we face unprecedented challenges due to infrastructure failures. The relentless rainfall and rising water levels have underscored the deficiencies in the Badri Rai Company’s work. It is unacceptable that our children’s education, daily work, and livelihoods are jeopardized by substandard construction practices and project delays. Immediate action is needed to establish alternate routes, expedite bridge projects, and hold those responsible accountable. Our community deserves better, and decisive action is necessary to ensure our safety and well-being,” Momin said.

Meanwhile, Momin has also suggested an Immediate Action Plan, which include:
1. Establishment of Alternate Routes: Immediate identification and development of alternate routes to facilitate uninterrupted daily life for residents.
2. Expedited Completion of Bridge Projects: Acceleration of ongoing construction projects with increased resources and oversight for swift and safe completion.
3. Accountability for Badri Rai Company: Imposition of penalties, including financial repercussions and exclusion from future projects, along with responsibility for remedial work costs.
4. Enhanced Oversight on Future Projects: Implementation of rigorous oversight and quality control measures to prevent recurrence of similar issues in future infrastructure projects.

Also Read: Faith Foundation meets Conrad, discuss child safeguarding and empowerment of youth

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