File photo of Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on February 27 said that his government has accorded highest priority to building road infrastructure in the state.

“We have invested over Rs 1800 crore for roads in Garo Hills. We will further work towards ensuring that our roads and communication facilities are improved across the state,” Sangma said after laying the foundation for the upgradation of the Rongram-Phulbari Hill Road.

The project was sanctioned to upgrade highway road from single-lane to intermediate lane for smooth traffic movement. The 60-km-long road sanctioned with over Rs 139 crore starts from 85th km of NH-51 at Rongram Bazar, passing along the hilly terrain and meets the AMPT road at Phulbari.

“The Rogram-Phulbari Hill road is one of the oldest and crucial roads of West Garo Hills district which provides connectivity to the interior areas of the northern part of the district from the district headquarters,” the Meghalaya chief minister said.

Meghalaya deputy chief minister and in-charge PWD Prestone Tynsong informed that not less than Rs 1800 crore in the road sector has been invested by the present government.

From 2013-2018, he said the-then government was able to pump-in Rs 700 crore in the same sector for the region.

Stressing on the importance of the project, Tynsong said: “Because this project is so important for the people, the chief minister proposed that we should spend it from the state plan. Rs 139 crore is no joke but we did it to ensure that the people from the hilly areas and the plain belt of Garo Hills improve their livelihoods.”

Power minister James Sangma recalled that he had raised topic of upgradation of the Rongram-Phulbari Hill road since 2008 in the assembly, but in vain.

“I tried to pursue the matter for upgradation of the road. I even raised the issue in the Meghalaya assembly repeatedly, however, my plea was unheard and turned down. It is because of our able leadership under chief minister Conrad Sangma that our long-pending demand for this road was finally accorded sanction,” James said.

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