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Umiam dam repair puts interstate travellers in a fix

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SHILLONG, April 26: While the rehabilitation work on the Umiam dam and bridge is experiencing delays, the restriction pertaining to heavy vehicles on the dam is causing significant problems and hardships for interstate passengers and buses.
Numerous interstate buses operate from Shillong ISBT to various destinations in the Northeast. However, due to the restrictions on the dam, buses and other heavy vehicles originating from the ISBT at Mawiong are not permitted to approach the dam.
Since April, these buses have been operating from a Government-owned lay-by near the Umiam viewpoint. Nevertheless, this restriction has caused major issues for both passengers and bus operators. Upon disembarking at the Umiam viewpoint, passengers are left at the mercy of local cabbies, who sometimes charge up to Rs 800 per passenger for the journey to Shillong.
“The situation is dire for passengers, and bus operators are also facing significant challenges,” some individuals remarked.
Additionally, it is alleged that certain individuals are collecting Rs 200 as parking charges from buses daily, despite the buses being parked in lay-byes constructed by the government adjacent to the highway.
“There are no toilet facilities, water or shelter, yet parking fees is being imposed on scooters, buses, and vehicles parked in that area,” some individuals stated, urging the district administration and government to promptly address the issue.
Overcharging by local taxis from interstate passengers, whether at ISBT or Shillong airport, is not uncommon in Meghalaya. Passengers often find themselves paying exorbitant amounts, while the state government seems to be overlooking the problems faced by the general public.

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