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Meghalaya CM spells out steps to decongest Shillong

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Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said on Wednesday that the government has conceptualized different interventions to decongest and beautify Meghalaya’s capital, Shillong.

“Shillong is a historic city, which has been the capital of the eastern region prior to Independence and of the undivided Assam. We have not seen the kind of growth that Shillong deserves. Urbanization and increase of population have led to a lot of challenges, when it comes to facilities and amenities. With these in mind, we have come up with various interventions to decongest and beautify Shillong,” he said after laying the foundation for Wah Umkhrah Riverfront Development Project at Polo in the city.

The project envisages redevelopment of the Wah Umkrah riverfront to a central hub for recreational, cultural, and social activities, with a cost of Rs 39 crores. It aims not only to restore the ecological balance of the river but also to create a harmonious blend of modern amenities.

Stating that mere beautification of the riverfront is meaningless, the Chief Minister said, “Developing the riverfront and maintaining the river are two different aspects. We are working closely with the Union ministry of jal shakti to clean up Wah Umkhrah and Umshyrpi rivers”.

Sangma said that the central government has asked the State to revisit its proposal for cleaning of Umkhrah river and Umshyrpi river and the proposal is being considered. “We will be working towards cleaning of the rivers, which is very much needed,” he added.

Seeking cooperation from different stakeholders, the Chief Minister urged the community to join hands to ensure their bit in the success of the project by involving in protecting rivers and streams that form the identity of Shillong.

On the decongestion of Shillong city, he said that different areas have been identified for multi-level parking lots and hawker zones.

“A piece of land in Polo between Hotel Polo Towers and Majestic Hotel, which has been lying without any use will be transferred to urban department from the forest department and will be developed for multi-level parking,” he informed.

He further said that the government has identified many lands in the city, including one near Meghalaya Secretariat which would be developed for multi-level parking.

Talking on congestion in Khyndailad (Police Bazar) and Ïewduh (Bara Bazar) which is due to unregulated vehicular movement, Sangma said, “The government has identified choking points, and is planning alternatives to decongest the two popular markets with demarcated areas and zones for buses and taxis to park”.

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