The Meghalaya Public Works Department came into existence along with creation of the State of Meghalaya on the 21st January, 1972 with Shri G. C. Momin as the first Chief Engineer and Secretary. There were two Circle offices at Shillong and one at Tura. The number of Divisional offices were five number in Khasi Hills, two number in Garo Hills and one at Jowai with minimum number of Sub-Divisional offices. The Government of Meghalaya realized the urgent need of creating a good road network, as in this landlocked hilly State, the only mode of transportation is by road. There has been fast expansion of the Department to take up the challenge of road network building, which is the most essential infrastructure for development and growth of the state and the people in general.
When Meghalaya was carved out of Assam as an autonomous state, it inherited a total road length of 2786.68 kms including 174 km of National Highways with road density of 12.42 km per 100 square kilometre. Considerable achievement has since been made after attainment of statehood, and up to 01-04-2015 total road length has reached up to 9666 kms; out of which 6689 km is surface and remaining 2977 km is un-surface. The road density has increased to 43.10 km per 100 square kilometre, which is quite significant. However we are still far below the national average.
Meghalaya has to strive harder to construct more roads and bridges, so as to connect more villages. Up-gradation of the existing roads and bridges with a view to properly utilize the existing assets of the state has become most essential in view of the increase in the commercial traffic. Rapid exploitation of minerals like coal and limestone has seen considerable growth in the traffic intensity and also put more pressure on the existing pavement structure of roads, which cannot cater to the increased load and intensity of present day traffic. Efforts have been made to upgrade the existing roads by way of improvement, widening, strengthening, metalling and black topping, construction / reconstruction of bridges and culverts. The department is making all efforts to bring road network closer to the rural habitations in phased manner.
The Public Works Department (Roads & Buildings) is responsible for the construction and maintenance of Roads, Bridges and Buildings in the State. The Department is also implementing Flood Control Projects. The Meghalaya P.W.D. is also taking up Medium Irrigation Schemes in the state of which Rongai Valley Medium Irrigation Project (RVMIP) at Chibinang is one such Project. A Project Engineer in the rank of Superintending Engineer along with a team of engineers is looking after the implementation of this Project.
The main objective of the Department therefore, is to formulate, plan, design, construct, operate and maintain public infrastructure efficiently and effectively in order to protect public safety and enhance the economic activities of rural and urban habitations.