Residents of North Garo Hills district, most of whom have to use the Damra – Bajengdoba road, have expressed their disgust at the delay in the restart of the construction of the road that should have seen work on in full swing.
The project, which is currently being worked on by a road construction company from Shillong, Badrinath Private Limited, who were awarded the project and begun work on the same more than a year ago. However, progress has been extremely slow. Locals have complained that the company seems to only have a few excavators and JCBs being put to use.
“What are they trying to achieve through neglecting our road. The road should have seen progress and most sections should have been almost on the verge of completion. However they have hardly started anything. What do they think we are,” asked NGO member Gregory Sangma.
The GSU earlier had signed a complaint to the deputy commissioner against the construction company alleging neglect and reticence to start work.
Despite the complaints, no pressure seems to have been placed on the company as they are yet to start any form of work on the road, despite setting up a camp at Damas. A visit to the site showed a few heavy machines lying there but none of the construction company officials were at the site.
After the NGOs reached out to Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma during his recent visit, the company had responded to the CM promising that work on the project would begin in the month of October. The promise, from the current work status, seems to have been a lie as till the time of reporting, no work has commenced.
“We are not ready to accept their excuses. What kind of construction company lie about its work? They may have a thousand projects in their hand but not being able to do the Damra – Bajengdoba just shows their incompetence,” added Walseng Sangma, the GSU Resubelpara president.
The frustration on the situation had even led to residents of the district start repair work on the road as it had become a landmine to travel on. This was done more than two months ago. In spite of this, there has been no move from the company in getting serious about what they have been contracted to.
“If they have too much work, they should just quit and leave the work to someone who can do it. It makes no sense that they put an entire district to ransom just because they are lazy,” said another resident, Wilness Marak of Resubelpara.
Representatives of the PWD, the district administration or the company were available for comment on the matter.