Irked by overloaded trucks transporting illegal coal, villagers of Elaka Sumer in East Jaiñtia Hills district have decided to repair broken and loose bolts of the weakened Rimanar Bridge, located near Samasi village.
The decision was taken today by the villagers led by ka Sur u Paidbah ka Bri Sumer and supported by the Jaiñtia National Council (JNC), Sumer circle. It was decided that iron rods will be placed along the bridge to prevent such trucks.
According to the leader of the group, Albinus Lamurong overloading by trucks is rampant particularly those transporting illegal coal. He said extreme load will damage the weak bridge and endanger lives.
He reminded that overloaded trucks were banned to pass through the bridge through an order passed by the district magistrate in 2018.
Lamurong said a petition to prevent overloading was also submitted to the PWD Executive Engineer with a copy to the Deputy Commissioner last month. However, no action was taken by the authorities, he added.
The JNC said the iron bridge is in poor condition and its use by such trucks could lead to a disastrous collapse.
“The iron bridge is lying in a pitiful condition. Out of long-term disrepair, the bridge floor and bridge girders are in potential danger all the time,” the JNC said.
The council warned truckers to immediately stop using the bridge if they are overloaded. The JNC said that it had written to the authorities on the matter some time ago but no action was taken. It claimed that the lifespan of the bridge is 20 years but it is now 40 years old.