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Meghalaya DY CM urges Syiem to end hunger strike

Bindas Syiem, a mother of three from Umden, entered the sixth day of her hunger strike on Tuesday in demand of the construction of the dilapidated Nongpoh-Umden to Sonapur road.

News Arena Network - Itanagar - UPDATED: June 11, 2024, 03:15 AM - 4 mins read

Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister in-charge of PWD (Roads) Prestone Tynsong (L), Bindas Syiem entered the sixth day of her hunger strike on Tuesday in demand of the construction of the dilapidated Nongpoh-Umden to Sonapur road (R).

Meghalaya DY CM urges Syiem to end hunger strike

Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister in-charge of PWD (Roads) Prestone Tynsong (L), Bindas Syiem entered the sixth day of her hunger strike on Tuesday in demand of the construction of the dilapidated Nongpoh-Umden to Sonapur road (R).


Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister in-charge of PWD (Roads) Prestone Tynsong has appealed to Bindas Syiem to call off her hunger strike, assuring her that the state government will request the Centre for over ₹100 crore for the reconstruction and widening of the Nongpoh-Umden road.

 

Bindas Syiem, a mother of three from Umden, entered the sixth day of her hunger strike on Tuesday in demand of the blacktopping of the 58 km road from Nongpoh via Umden to Sonapur, which is currently in deplorable condition, causing significant hardship for travelers.

 

Addressing the media, Deputy CM Tynsong stated that in March 2024, the government submitted a proposal to the Government of India via the North Eastern Council (NEC) and the Ministry for Development of the North Eastern Region (DoNER) for the reconstruction and widening of a 20 km stretch from Nongpoh to Umden, estimated to cost ₹51-52 crore.

 

“The detailed project report (DPR) is being prepared and will soon be submitted to the planning department before being forwarded to the NEC and subsequently to the Ministry of DoNER,” Tynsong said. 

 

He assured that he and the Chief Minister would meet the Union Minister of DoNER to push for the immediate sanctioning of the project.

 

Tynsong explained that the government plans to convert the road from Nongpoh to Umden into an intermediate lane, accounting for the traffic volume in the area. He also informed that the second phase of the project, a 39 km stretch from Umden to Lum-nongrim, is included in PMGSY-III at a cost of ₹50-51 crore.

 

“The total amount for the two projects will exceed ₹100 crore. These roads will significantly benefit the villages along this route, from Nongpoh to Lum-nongrim,” Tynsong stated.

 

Tynsong urged Syiem to end her hunger strike, noting that he had invited her for a meeting and remained open to further discussions. He revealed that district administration officials and the executive engineer had met with Syiem to explain the project's status, yet she continued her protest.

 

Highlighting the long-term planning of the project, Tynsong mentioned that the MLA and MDC of Nongpoh constituency and other leaders from Umden and Marmain had approached him multiple times about the road's condition. 

 

He added that the project was previously included in the World Bank’s priority list but could not be implemented due to budget constraints.


“In fact in the last tenure of the MDA government-1, we have already been included in the priority list of the World Bank. However, due to the crossing of the amount earmarked by the World Bank, we could not implement this particular project,” he said.

Meanwhile, Syiem said that she was totally fed up with the false promises made during elections.

“Those who win and lose in the elections have promised to give us this road but it turned out to be just a lie. Because of this, I am totally frustrated given the fact that I personally had to face a lot of difficulties due to the condition of this road. Therefore, I feel that I have every right to demand for a better road,” she had stated.

According to doctors who are conducting regular checkups on Syiem said that till now her health is stable. 

Support for Bindas Syiem's indefinite hunger strike is growing, with numerous noted individuals, pressure groups, and political parties rallying behind her cause.

 

In a show of solidarity, leaders and members of the HITO Umden Circle halted traffic today to protest the state government's lack of response to Syiem's demands. 

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