Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Admin orders closure of Motphran overbridge

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Vendors continue to operate business on ‘dangerous’ bridge

SHILLONG: Additional District Magistrate of East Khasi Hills, Cyril V.D. Diengdoh, has promulgated Section 144 CrPC on the Motphran overbridge prohibiting movement of pedestrians and setting up of stalls by hawkers.
The ADM issued the order in the wake of concern being raised about the condition of the overbridge which is in a dilapidated state due to its old age.
The order further said that the major component of the bridge like the piers (steel columns) have become weak as a sign of twisting was observed and it may further aggravate due to over loading or in the event of any seismic activity.
However, the decision to impose Section 144 CrPC has met with opposition from the vendors who are operating their stalls on the overbridge.
It is learnt that a Magistrate on Monday went to the footbridge and asked the hawkers to clear their stalls from the bridge by Tuesday since the bridge was not considered safe enough.
Following this a group of hawkers along with KSU and FKJGP members under the banner of Synjuk ki  Nongdie Jain Jingkieng Motphran met the Additional District Magistrate and expressed their opposition to the move of the District Administration to remove the hawkers from the overbridge.
During the meeting, the hawkers lamented that they should have been given additional time to vacate the overbridge since it was a question of their livelihood.
The ADM assured that he would take up the matter with the Syiem of Mylliem and the Shillong Municipal Board on Wednesday to seek alternative space for the displaced hawkers.
The vendors, meanwhile, have decided to continue their business on the overbridge till the time the Government provides them with alternative space.
It may be mentioned that the overbridge at Motphran is an issue that requires immediate attention as the old bridge has become a potential danger to passersby and shopkeepers.
A study on the longevity of the bridge had already been done two years ago by the PWD and the department had termed the bridge ‘unsafe’.
The PWD had proposed to shift the bridge but it didn’t work out due to land acquisition problems and resistance from several quarters.

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