The damage of a 230 feet long Bailey steel bridge over the Umïam river at Dwar Ksuid in Meghalaya’s Ri Bhoi district within two weeks has raised questions over the manner in which overloaded trucks were allowed to ply cross it by the Meghalaya transport department.
Meghalaya deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong inaugurated the bailey bridge on March 25 this year.
Personnel of the Border Roads Organization (BRO) worked tirelessly and completed the bridge in a record time of five days.
The project was taken up under SARDP-NE and the bridge can support a heavy vehicle with a load below 40 metric tons.
The damage of the steel bridge 18 days after the first day of the movement of traffic on March 25, pointed out failures of the transport department especially in restricting movement of overloaded trucks.
Officials in the state PWD (roads) remained speechless as the damage of the steel bridge came as a big embarrassment to the Meghalaya government.
“The NHAI and the state PWD (Roads) were tasked with the responsibility to construct the steel bridge which has been completed. It’s not our responsibility to regulate movement of vehicles,” an official said.
The state transport department is being blamed for the cracks as it failed to check and regulate the movement of overloaded trucks.
The transport portfolio is being held by state industries minister Sniawbhalang Dhar.
Now movement of vehicles via the steel bridge has been stopped following the major cracks.
The RCC bridge adjacent to the steel bridge is already in danger as cracks have developed last year.
With the damage of both the steel bridge and RCC bridge at Dwar Ksuid, now the national highway through Shillong city is bracing for another chock-a-block with traffic.
Prior to March 25, Shillong city had witnessed huge traffic jam as hundreds of goods-laden trucks were plying through the city every night.