Wednesday, February 21, 2024

TMC alleges scam by those manning Umiam Bridge


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, Nov 5: The opposition Trinamool Congress has accused those stationed at Umiam of running a lucrative scam where they accept payments in exchange for allowing trucks carrying heavy loads to cross the bridge safely.
“As the former representative of Umroi, whenever I cross the Umiam Bridge late at night, a racket seems to be in operation where there are people who have been stationed there only to facilitate overloaded trucks in crossing the bridge,” TMC vice president George B Lyngdoh asserted on Sunday.
He stated that whenever certain actions are subject to legal repercussions, some entities take advantage of the situation and profit illegally.
“It appears that these entrepreneurs, who are merely searching for ways to get around the system, are being supported by the government. I don’t know how serious the government is about carrying out its own directives and making sure that the trucks’ weight is genuinely regulated in accordance with IIT Guwahati’s suggestions to extend the life of the bridge,” he stated.
Lyngdoh’s response follows a request to the Transport Department from the Power Department to prohibit trucks carrying excessive loads from using the bridge that spans the spillway of the Umiam concrete dam.
“I have been constantly raising this issue expecting that some measures would be taken to ensure that the bridge is protected,” Lyngdoh said in reference to the IIT’s recommendations that the maximum allowable weight of the bridge be restricted to 15 MT.
“However, the government remained haughty and claimed that there was no crack or any other foreseeable damage caused due to the plying of overloaded vehicles,” he said.
“The fact that these overloaded trucks, which are transporting limestone, boulders or timber, begin to play at three or four in the morning is concerning. The Transport Department does not regulate timber trucks; therefore those travelling to the Umiam industrial area don’t adhere to the minimum weight notification,” he stated.
He claimed that changing the trucks’ route to go through Mawryngkneng would be expensive because each journey would cost an extra 7,000–8,000 rupees, which would just drive up the cost of food items.


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