‘The Pathetic Condition’ of NH6 Meghalaya; An Open Letter to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari

The people of Jaintia Hills have sent an open letter to the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, informing him of the “pathetic” state of National Highway 6 and the troubles it has caused.

The president of Sei Raij Jowai, OR Shallam, wrote in the letter that “this specific route is the lifeline of the Jaintia Hills region and the rest of the state.”

According to the letter, the road has potholes on at least 80% of its length and is now in the worst condition. “The people is left with hardships and confronting unconditional obstacles blocking routine transportation and conveyance of passengers,” Shallam stated.

The letter claimed that the Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, is visiting party meetings in other states while the people suffer, and asked the Union minister to intervene in the road’s renovation.

The letter also requested the Union Minister to take immediate steps to renovate and maintain the NH-6 Highway, warning that failing to do so would make it difficult for the entire Jaintia Hills to link to other northeastern states.

However, the poor condition of highways is not a new problem in Meghalaya; even though the NH-40, an all-weather road connecting Shillong and Gauhati, connects the state to major cities and states across the country, the road’s poor condition not only restricts service delivery but also prevents the emergence and growth of markets.

Why should citizens suffer when toll charges are used to fund infrastructure and maintenance? There have been times when landslides driven by rain have cut off road contact between Shillong and Gauhati, putting traffic along the National Highway NH-40 to a halt. On the Assam and Meghalaya borders, hundreds of vehicles used to become trapped. This has an impact on citizens since people are expected to arrive at the Gauhati train station or airport, and emergency services are disrupted.

Also Read ; Tolls are collected for maintenance and construction of highways: Let’s have a look at the condition of the Shillong-Guwahati Highway

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