Shillong: Meghalaya deputy chief minister and minister incharge of PWD (Roads) Prestone Tynsong on Thursday said the expert team that was sent to Sonapur has reported that immediate repairing is needed to fix the bridge and that it will be completed within 45 days.

The Sonapur bridge in East Jaintia Hills connects Meghalaya with Cachar District of Assam and other Northeastern states like Tripura and Manipur.

The bridge recently developed some cracks, which led the minister in charge to chair a meeting with project director of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and PWD officials to discuss its condition.

The repairing work has already started and is being looked at by NHAI Chief Engineer and restrictions on the movement of commercial vehicles is already in place, the minister said.

The minister added that the Chief Engineer has assured that a maximum of not more than 45 days will be required to repair the bridge. “The question of construction of a new bridge doesn’t arise; only repairing work will be done,” informed Tynsong.

Asked if any study has been conducted why such important bridges are getting damaged often, Tynsong said the bridge was constructed by the BRO and then handed over to National Highway authority. According to the experts there is no major damage and they have recommended some repairs, he added.

Meanwhile, as concerns are also being raised over the ageing structure of the Umiam Dam bridge, Tynsong said the bridge may look old but experts have already assessed it. He stated said experts have accordingly issued prohibitory orders restricting plying of heavy vehicles on the bridge.

“Once the Western bypass is constructed then commercial vehicles won’t need to ply through Umian Dam bridge,” the minister said, adding that the status of the western bypass is at the stage of land acquisition.

The minister also informed that the work order for Dwar Ksuid will be issued soon. “It won’t take much time. Maybe in one year, the construction work will be completed. It will be a new bridge but on the same alignment,” informed Tynsong.

Also read: How Rabha villagers along Assam-Meghalaya border will cope with ‘give-and-take’


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