Medium and heavy motor vehicles (MMVs and HMVs) have been banned from using the under-repair Umiam Bridge, the East Khasi Hills District Magistrate has ordered today.
Repairs to the bridge began yesterday, seemingly catching hundreds of commuters and others off guard. The repairs, which are expected to take four months, are meant to extend the lifespan of the bridge after fears were expressed about its continued use decades after it was constructed.
Only passenger buses and light motor vehicles (LMVs) can use the bridge for now, the District Magistrate notified in her order under Section 144 of the CrPC.
Medium and heavy vehicles that are coming from Jaintia Hills should use the Shillong Bypass from Mawryngkneng. Those coming from West, South West and Eastern West Khasi Hills should use the road from Pomlakrai to Mawryngkneng and then the Shillong Bypass.
Yesterday, police introduced a diversion for vehicles coming towards Shillong, taking them towards Umroi Airport and then to the so-called VIP road to Mawlai, which posed challenges for those unfamiliar with this particular route.
The diversion applied only one way – those coming down from the state capital could use the highway. Now the DM has limited this to only light vehicles and buses.
The order comes into force with immediate effect and will remain in place until further orders.