Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong’s demand for an FIR into the Rngain landslide that claimed the lives of two motorists is nothing but a smokescreen to protect the real culprits, the state’s Mahila Congress said today.
In a release, its president, Joplyn S Shylla, conveyed the Mahila Congress’s deepest condolences to the families of the deceased.
A portion of a hilltop collapsed and fell on the road at Rngain on Friday evening at. The two victims, travelling in the same vehicle, were crushed under huge boulders.
Tynsong, on a spot visit, blamed the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL), calling them “useless” for their alleged failure in overseeing the safety procedures while carrying out the construction work of the Shillong-Dawki road.
However, others have blamed illegal quarrying for the tragedy.
Shylla said that the demand for an FIR was “nothing but a smokescreen to protect the culprits, knowing fully well of the illegal stone excavation without proper regulation.”
The NHIDCL had contracted the work for this stretch of road to ARSS Infrastructure Projects Ltd.
Shylla questioned why the company was “irresponsible” given that the road is used frequently by vehicles conveying tourists and others. She also said that there have been several serious accidents involving trucks “racing” towards Dawki loaded with boulders “without proper papers and registration”.
“What is the state Transport Commissioner doing and, for that matter, the office of the District Transport Officer of East Khasi Hills?” An unfortunate incident like this has put a question mark upon the efficiency of the Sub-Division Officer and the absolute carelessness of the state PWD (Public Works Department) for not adhering to environmental norms. The party has asked for the immediate transfer of the officers concerned and compensation from the state government, NHIDCL and the mining association to the bereaved families,” she concluded.
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