PMGSY road to remote Kalimpong villages hit dead end

Mukesh Sharma
Kalimpong,3rd July

My no objection certificate ( NOC) was given for the road which according to survey report would help reach my remote village. I cut my large cardamom field, along with many other trees with which I used to burn wood for almost a year. We were very happy that our village was to get road connectivity but the road did not reach our village. Our dream was shattered and we are still waiting for the road, said Prem Lal Rai of Gumti from Gitabling gram panchayat
under Algarah block in Kalimpong.

The PMGSY road which was built in 2012 from Deorali to Pochok was of 9.075 kms but the road ended at 6 kms at Mandir Goan. The villagers said that the rest of the road, which was to connect Sanke Gaw to Ghumti has not reached the villages.

The villagers who were facing huge problem due to lack of road filed an RTI application a year ago but they have still not got their reply, said Mr Sogden Lepcha, a resident of the area. The villagers of Sanke and Ghumti have to walk almost one and half hour to reach the road which ended at 6 kms away at
Mandir Gaw.

Apart from being badly hit by the 2011 earthquake, the torrential rainfall last year too washed out many lands in the area.

The PMGSY signboard at the starting points reads ‘Deurali to Pochok’, the length of road reading 9.075 kms made with a total cost of 602.22 lakhs but the villagers said that the road construction started from DI Fund Buddhabarey to Mandir Gaw.The 3 kms road to Deurali was reconstructed by another department whose budget was different, informed Mr Lepcha.

“We want the rest 3.075 kms road to reach our village, our students face lots of problem to reach their school,” said Mr Tshering Lepcha of a Gumti village.

The villagers too complained about the lack of drain and protection wall which is posing a great danger to villagers of the lower area.

waiting for the road
Meanwhile on the allegation of a villager Mr Pasang Lama, the contractor associated with the road construction said the actual the road was of 9.075 kms but due to other department which constructed the road from Deurali to DI Fund Budhawary the road was cut short to 6 Kms. He said a revised signboard has been kept where the road length has been mentioned as 6 kms and the fund at 552.165 lakhs.

Meanwhile when the matter was inquired to Mr Niten Chettri, AE about the allegation and problems of the villagers he said actually the 9.075 kms road was sanctioned but Deurali to DI fund road of 3 kms was already constructed by another department so they revised the plan and constructed the 6 kms road. He informed that while constructing the 6kms road they faced difficult terrains, mountains for they called their higher authority to visit.

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