Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today inaugurated a vital stretch of road that is likely to provide respite from the recurrent traffic snarls on the Umiam-Mawiong road leading to the State capital.
Sangma inaugurated the 8-km road, dubbed as the Shillong- Mawlai bypass, built at a cost of Rs 20 crore. This will provide an alternative route to enter Shillong from Mawiong to Mawkynroh near the North Eastern Hill University gate. The road is a diversion from Mawiong where the Government is constructing an inter-State bus terminus.
Once the ISBT is built, all inter-State buses will not enter the State capital. It is expected that the new road will ease the traffic problem by over 30 per cent.
The proposal to build the bypass was received by the PWD in 2012. However, there was delay in executing the project due to difficulty in acquiring land. The work order to build the crucial diversion was received in 2015, but it took another four years for the road to be completed.
Over the past few years, with more tourists entering the State, the stretch of the National Highway-40 from Umiam to the State capital has been witnessing frequent traffic snarls. In some cases, a vehicle which took an hour-and-a-half to reach Umiam from Guwahati, took almost two more hours to enter the city alone.
The Chief Minister said there would be more tourist inflows with the opening of the bypass. Urging the people to help maintain the road, Sangma said the society has to come forward to assist the Government in this regard.
He also expressed the hope that the bypass does not become a dumping ground, a parking lot or a place for antisocial elements.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also inaugurated the Mawkynroh Police Outpost. Sangma said officials from the outpost would help the people of the area and also ensure smooth traffic flow on the Shillong-Mawlai bypass.
The Chief Minister also flagged off 14 first responder traffic police bikes on the occasion.