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Opposition Congress raises concerns over damaged roads in Meghalaya

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Shillong, March 22: Opposition Congress legislator from Umsning Dr Celestine Lyngdoh said the saying that ‘roads are the backbone of the state’ is not the case in Meghalaya because the “damaged” roads are the reasons for people to break their bones.

Lyngdoh stated this while raising a supplementary question on the load bearing capacity in the state during the Assembly on Wednesday.

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In his reply, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said the load bearing capacity was as per guidelines laid down by the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) right from the national highways to the major district roads.

He said that load ranges from 12 tons to 18 tons adding, “However, there are incidents where trucks are carrying 35-40 tons.”

Tynsong also informed that the technical specification for state PWD roads thickness has been followed as per the specifications laid down by the IRC.

Lyngdoh, however, pointed out that the situation in Meghalaya and that of in the state of Rajasthan is totally different and said, “Is it not the duty of the state government to demand for thickness of the road in the state.”

On this, the deputy chief minister clarified that the RIC had conducted a study in each and every state not necessarily only Rajasthan before coming up with the manual (relating to the thickness of the road).

With regards to the issue of maintenance of the roads, Tynsong said that the government is taking initiative to incorporate warranty of the road even for state funding projects.

He informed that the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sevak Yojana (PMGSY) rural roads follow all the specifications as stipulated in the RUral Roads Manual, 2002 (SP-20) of the IRC.

Regarding the annual maintenance contract (AMC) of PMGSY roads for five years after completion of the projects, Tynsong said provision for maintenance is kept for schemes sanctioned under RIDF XXVI onwards and also some schemes sanctioned under systematic maintenance programme (SMP).

Meanwhile, UDP legislator from Mokaiaw Nujorki Sungoh also requested the government to look into the three PMGSY roads in his constituency which are in very bad shape to which the deputy CM assured that the point raised has been noted.

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