Led by the Hynñiewtrep Youths Council (HYC) of Raid Nongtung and supported by local people and village leaders, a protest rally was organised from Umpowin Village to Mawlasnai demanding that the state government immediately black-top the dilapidated road connecting Liarbang to Mawlasnai and other adjoining villages in Ri-Bhoi.
So fed up are the residents that they have threatened to boycott next year’s state election if the road is not repaired. Protesters continually slammed local MLA Dasakhiatbha Lamare and the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government. The boycott threat might hurt the MDA but it will not affect Lamare, who has already made it clear that he has every intention of running from a different constituency next year.
The rally was also supported by other pressure groups, youth organisations and commercial vehicle drivers from the area who ferry passengers on a daily basis on the appalling road.
The Liarbang-Mawlasnai Road is one of two major thoroughfares in Mawhati constituency – the other being Umsning-Mawhati-Umsiang – and locals face hardships in transportation due to the awful condition of the road, which has not been repaired for several years, residents say.
Hundreds of small villages, including several along the Assam border, connect to the outside world via the pathetic road.