Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Bridge swept away in Meghalaya


Incessant rains in Meghalaya for the past few days has caused major infrastructure damage across the state with several people remaining cut off and facing hardship.
A bridge on Sonapur-Borghat road near Shymplong village in East Jaintia Hills district was washed away near the India-Bangla border. This bridge was the lifeline of six remote villages in the area to connect with the other parts of Meghalaya and the rest of the Country.
The washing away of the bridge has affected over 8000 villagers residing in the six remote villages of Shymplong, Lejri, Huroi, Hingaria, Lahalein and Borsara.
Assistant headman of Umkiang village, Kynjaimon Amse said all the six villages are now cut off from the rest of the state after the RCC bridge at Shymplong was washed away on Tuesday morning.
The villagers are now short on food and medical supplies, Amse said, adding the only alternative is to carry the essential supplies on foot trekking 40-50 Km, which might take a couple of days. These villages have no proper healthcare centre and the nearest Public Health Centre is at Umkiang village on National Highway 6. These villages are only 2-8 kms away from the Indo-Bangla border and 50-60 kms away from NH-6.
East Jaintia Hills District Magistrate, Abhilash Baranwal has imposed Section 144 Cr.P.C prohibiting any vehicular movement near the bridge and attempts to cross the stream on foot and boats.
“Efforts are on to restore connectivity of the villages and PWD engineers have been engaged to find ways to do it. The district authorities are also trying to establish contact with the villagers. Efforts are already on to send essential commodities to the villages,” Baranwal said.
Meanwhile, a vital road – Sonapur-Ratacherra stretch on the NH-6 – in East Jaintia Hills district remained closed due to landslides. The road connects Meghalaya with Mizoram, Tripura, Barak Valley (Assam) and parts of Manipur.
There was heavy landslide in different stretches of the highway last week, but these were cleared on Monday, but the fresh landslide left hundreds of commuters and goods laden trucks stranded
Officials said the National Highway Authority of India ( NHAI) and PWD are trying to clear the landslide to restore the road connectivity. No loss of life has been reported so far.

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