Shillong, January 25 : In a landmark move, Meghalaya has laid the foundation stones for three crucial road projects that will pave the way for the development of the New Shillong Township and improve connectivity within the existing city. This ambitious initiative marks a significant step towards enhancing infrastructure, fostering sustainable growth, and easing traffic congestion in the region.

The first project focuses on constructing a road from Lumshyiap Bellafonte to New Shillong Township at Umsawli via Mawpat to improve connectivity and transportation. The proposed new road includes a cycle track, footpath with CC drain cum Utility Duct, carefully chosen for optimal accessibility and minimal environmental impact. The main goal is to ease traffic congestion on the existing Shillong Diengpasoh Road, connecting Shillong to New Shillong Township via Nongmynsong and Itshyrwat junction. With an investment of over Rs. 49 crores, the new road aims to provide an alternative route, accommodating increasing vehicle volume, enhancing accessibility to key areas, and improving overall connectivity in the region.

The second project involves the construction, including metaling and black topping, of the road from Bribah Mawpat to IAS Colony Umsawli, incorporating advanced technology for sustained durability and efficiency. The proposed lane is an intermediate lane standard of 5.5m carriageway width with an investment of Rs. 21 crores.

Thirdly, the ongoing commitment to enhancing road infrastructure is evident in the Shillong Diengpasoh Road. The current 14 km stretch is undergoing improvement, widening to a 2-lane standard, now spanning 21.20 km for a more accessible and secure travel experience, with an investment of over Rs. 55 Crores. This upgrade is crucial as the road serves as a vital exit from Shillong, connecting key institutions like NEIGRIHMS (Northeastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, NEIAH (Northeastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homeopathy), NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) Shillong, and the new assembly building of the Meghalaya legislative assembly. The existing single-lane road struggles with increasing traffic volume, resulting in peak-hour congestion.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma emphasized the long-term vision behind these projects, stating, “It’s not only about building the New Shillong city, but also improving the existing city while decongesting traffic.” He further highlighted the government’s commitment to invest over Rs. 2000 crores in the Smart City project, new road infrastructure, and the construction of a new Secretariat.

Recognizing the importance of community involvement, Sangma emphasized the need for collaboration between the government and community-owned properties. He encouraged residents to actively participate in shaping the development of New Shillong, stressing the importance of shared responsibility and technical expertise.

Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong echoed this sentiment, stating, “A planned city is set to develop within the next three years. We are fully committed to this project, and I appeal to the traditional heads to collaborate closely with the government.”

Several Dorbar shnongs from the region were invited to the programme and witness the auspicious inauguration of the road projects which will benefit their respective villages in the long run.