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Umrynjah bridge may collapse, fear residents

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SHILLONG, Feb 20: Owing to repair work on main Umiam bridge — commonly known as the gateway to Shillong, commuters and heavy vehicles are taking a diversion through the Umroi Bypass, passing via the Umroi Airport-Umrynjah-VIP Road into the city. This has raised concerns among villagers and residents, especially regarding the safety of the aging Umrynjah Bridge, which is on the brink of collapse under the strain of heavy vehicle traffic.
VPP MLA from Mawlai, Brightstarwell Marbaniang, highlighted this issue on the third day of the budget session of the Assembly, calling attention to the potential danger posed by the bridge.
Marbaniang highlighted that the bridge’s capacity should not exceed 9 tonnes, while warning that continuous movement of heavy vehicles could lead to its collapse.
He stressed that the road construction, blacktopping, and metalwork of the bridge were not designed to accommodate heavy vehicles, which poses a risk to safety, particularly considering the state’s topography and gradients.
Responding to Marbaniang’s concerns, the Urban Affairs Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, Sniawbhalang Dhar assured action. Following complaints received by the local Dorbar, the Chief Engineer of the PWD (Roads) was directed to conduct a load assessment of the bridge. Once the assessment report specifies the weight capacity of the bridge, the Deputy Commissioner will issue a notice to disallow heavy vehicular movement to prevent potential accidents, he said.

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