Meghalaya High Court

Shillong: The Meghalaya High Court on Wednesday directed authorities concerned to bar heavy vehicles weighing more than 10 metric tonnes from plying on Umiam bridge.

The two-member bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W Diengdoh, while hearing a PIL, said that the existing bridge on Umiam Dam may not be able to bear the present traffic load.

“This is a situation which cries out for a stitch in time so that Shillong is not cut off for the want of a bridge over a reservoir,” the bench said.

The court directed the state government to ensure that a replacement is planned and work commenced without waiting for the existing bridge to collapse.

“The state must also immediately regulate the flow of traffic along the bridge to ensure that not only the vehicles weighing more than 10 MT are not allowed on the bridge, but also to see that two heavy vehicles do not use the bridge at the same time to cause any further damage thereto,” it said.

“Measures should be taken so that the traffic is regulated at either end and the flow is not disrupted, yet not too many vehicles use the bridge at the same time, particularly keeping in mind the total weight spread over the bridge,” it added.

The court said that the Meghalaya government may approach the Centre for the release of funds since the matter pertains to the shortest access to the state capital.

The next hearing on the matter will be held on June 1.

Also read: Meghalaya AITC chalks out roadmap for 2023 elections

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