MePGCL calls bids for audit of bridge over Umiam dam

Representational image of dam.

SHILLONG, Aug 5: With fears about the durability the bridge over Umiam dam looming large, the Meghalaya government has decided to invite technical and financial bids for rehabilitation and safety audits of the bridge over spillway of the Umiam dam in Ri-Bhoi district.
The estimated value of the bid, invited by state-run Meghalaya Power Generation Corporation Limited, is Rs 88 lakh.
So, the authorities have found a suitable alternative way to bypass the bridge which has already served for six decades.
Many feel that the options before the government are extremely limited since there are private commercial constructions which are providing to be a major handicap.
Another concern which can directly influence the condition of the bridge is movement of heavy vehicles.
Earlier in May this year, the state government had tasked the then Chief Secretary RV Suchiang and the Ri-Bhoi district administration to prepare modalities to regulate plying of overloaded trucks on the Umiam bridge.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong had said that the modalities will put restriction on the carrying capacity of loaded trucks plying through the bridge.
Moreover, the PWD was also directed to engage a consultant to identify the location for a new bridge since the Umiam bridge has crossed its lifespan.
Tynsong had said one available space is occupied by the Army for boating services, even as he had said that effort would be made to try to connect the route directly through Nehru Park.
“I will not be able to give details until the consultant firm has completed its task and prepared a detailed report,” he had said.
The High Court of Meghalaya too had stated that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) have agreed that the Umiam bridge needs to be replaced by a more robust structure to withstand regular traffic. It had directed the government to start working on replacing the bridge without waiting for the existing one to collapse.
Reacting to this, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had assured of steps to ensure the safety of the bridge.