By Our Reporter
SHILLONG, Feb 12: Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Ronnie V Lyngdoh on Monday revealed that the MeECL had proposed retrofitting and renovation of the Umiam Bridge to the state government over a decade back.
“We are a disappointed since the renovation work should have been taken up when the proposal was put before the government. However, it is a good thing that the work has now been taken up,” Lyngdoh said after leading a team of Congress MLAs and MeECL and PWD officials to inspect the ongoing renovation work of the Umiam Dam.
Stating that the work would be completed in four months, Lyngdoh expressed concern that the movement of traffic has been restricted due to which people have been inconvenienced.
Asserting that the Dam Safety Act does not permit the bridge over the Umiam dam to be used as a national highway, the CLP leader expressed hope that the PWD and MeECL will work together to find alternative route to avoid vehicles plying through the dam to increase its longevity.
He cautioned that any damage to the dam will endanger the life and property of the people living downstream.
Asked if the amount of Rs 48 crore sanctioned for the renovation of the dam is justified, he said there are other components of the project.
MeECL Additional Chief Engineer, Edward Syiemlieh said they had initially targeted to complete the work in four months. “Two months have already passed. We are confident that we will able to complete the work in another four months time by bringing in more machines and engaging more workers,” he said.
PWD Executive Engineer (NH), WR Lyngdoh said the department is conducting a survey to check if they can come up with an alternative route downstream of the dam. According to him, the officials are also trying to trace the landowners there.
“We will be submitting a proposal to the government and the government will take a call,” he said.
Opposition Chief Whip Saleng A Sangma and Congress legislators Celestine Lyngdoh, Gabriel Wahlang, and Charles Marngar were part of the inspection team.