Shillong, Oct 14 (UNI) The Meghalaya government has come under sharp criticism from Union Ministers, lawmakers and citizens for the deplorable condition of National Highway 40.
The Ri-Bhoi Youth Federation has announced a four-hour Gawahati-Shillong road blockade on October 16 from 0900 hours to 1300 hours, to enable its members to repair NH 40, presently in a pitiable condition, RBYF leader H Ramshon said.
Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Jairam Ramesh and MPs Nirmala Deshpande and Dinesh Trivedi also slammed the state government for poor maintenance of the road.
Irked by the poor road condition, Mr Pawar even posed a direct question to Meghalaya Chief Minister D D Lapang as ''What are you doing with NH 40?''.
Mr Pawar asked Mr Lapang to take up the matter with the Centre at the earliest for getting funds to repair the dilapidated highway.
Anupam Bordoloi, a tourist taxi driver, who takes passengers from Guwahati to Shillong said, ''No tourists would like to visit Meghalaya if they come to know about the pathetic road condition.'' However, the authorities here maintained that steps would be taken up within a period of two months to improve the road.
''The deteriorating condition of the road was due to the non-sanctioning of schemes for improvement,'' Chief Secretary Ranjan Chatterjee said.
He added, ''The Centre has taken steps to improve the road and a series of meetings were held at the higher level.'' UNI