Monday, July 22, 2024

Overloaded boulder trucks from Bhutan on AMPT road roil locals


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Tura, June 2: Residents of the plain belt have vented their anger and frustration after overloaded dumpers, apparently belonging to Bhutan, have been continually making a mess of a newly repaired section of the AMPT road in West Garo Hills (WGH).
As per reports from locals, hundreds of overloaded trailers (weighing close to 50-60 MT) have been using the AMPT roads between Sign Board (near Agia) and Dalu (border of Bangladesh in WGH) on a daily basis as part of an agreement to allow the transport of boulders between the two countries with India just being a transit partner. While no one has had an issue with what is taking place, what has been transpiring on the ground has been completely different.
According to PWD officials, the AMPT road under PWD – NEC is a state road which has been built to a capacity to handle low weights (12 MT and below) though many vehicles do carry in excess of this weight. However with boulder trucks from Bhutan, the situation is completely different. Each truck (trailer) comes with an excess of wheels and accentuated weights (earlier nearly 80-90 MT) to now about 50-60 MTs of stones.
These excessive loads have been making a mockery on the road as even newly constructed sections have come under tremendous pressure when these vehicles are parked by the road side.
“We are really frustrated at what is happening. For close to 5-6 years now, we have had a pathetic example for a road. Now that our road has been repaired and is usable, these excessively loaded trucks have begun to cause catastrophic damage to the road,” said a resident of Hallidayganj on condition of anonymity.
The newly improved section starts from Rajabala and continues for close to 40 kms into Gonglanggre where it meets up with the Tura – Selsella road near Garobadha. The road repair has been taken up following intervention from the Meghalaya HC after appeals were filed by local residents.
The maximum load on the road (practical) is 30 MT though the trailers that have been making their way through are more than double the permissible limit. “The road contractors have done a wonderful job, even going to the extent of adding extra infrastructure in place that was not there for the sake of the people. We appreciate their efforts but what is happening now is really making people angry. Why has the government allowed such excessive loads on this road when they are aware this will damage the road itself? We urge the government to look into the matter and ensure we are not bereft of a working road in the coming days due to their negligence.
The district administration, PWD or transport officials could not be contacted despite the importance of the matter.


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