SHILLONG,March 23: The Executive Member in-charge of the Department of Building in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), Teiborlang Pathaw expressed sadness over the allegation made by the HNYF, EKHD unit on the construction of the Traditional and Cultural Heritage Centre at Kalong bridge, Umiam as the Council has already supplied all the information to the organisation in the RTI report.
He said that in the Executive Committee also, talks were never held only over money, and posed a question as to who from amongst the HNYF members were present in the EC who knows that talks were held only over money. The EM further stated that the allegation of misusing the money for the election is also incorrect, and it is sad that the organisation has simply criticise about something which they do not know.
With regards to the road which has been alleged to have incurred an expense of up to Rs 3 crores, he said that the organisation must seek the information on how the money was spent as it was not only the construction of the road, but walls and drains also had to be constructed and the laying of water pipes was also carried out to prevent the sliding off of the road.
Pathaw further stated that the planning for this road was made after permission from the PWD of the Government was received, and the construction was carried out not only for the centre but after a thorough inspection, it was found that the road needed preventative measures to safe guard it from sliding off, for which the construction of the walls was firstly carried out to stabilize the whole length of the site and drains were also constructed, and maybe they did not see that and the organisation should have sought proper information on this as well.
On the matter of the construction delay, he said that the construction of the road slowed down due to the onslaught of the COVID-19 in the past two years, and after that the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board through the Court ordered a temporary stop to the construction as arrangements had to be made to ensure that the new construction should not affect the Umiam Lake.
On being asked, Pathaw said that the released of the bill is from the financial year 2018-19 so that the process can move forward, he also informed that apart from the road, the money already paid to the contractor is Rs 5.87 Crores and the remaining is Rs 1.63 Crores from the Rs 7.50 Crores that was allocated.
The EM of the KHADC said that the purpose for constructing the centre is to have a special place for the people to show case their gifts and talents innate in them.