Meghalaya govt prohibits movement on over bridge

Meghalaya government today issued orders prohibiting movement of pedestrians and hawkers in the historic Motphran over bridge here after the latter showed signs of distress, an official said.

"We have imposed Section 144 CrPC prohibiting pedestrians to walk across the bridge and also selling of all kinds of items by hawkers on the over bridge," Additional district Magistrate Cyril V D Diengdoh told PTI.

He said major components of the bridge like the steel column has become weak as signs of twisting of thin walled section were observed and it may further progress due to over loading or during seismic events.

Lately, the over bridge was occupied by second hand clothes merchants and other hawkers leaving very little space for the pedestrians.

The bridge was built near a sandstone monument erected by the British to pay tribute to the brave souls who selflessly laid down their lives for the cause of Britain during the World War I.

Diengdoh who is also the chairman of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), had chaired a meeting in the last fortnight discussing on the outcome of an expert committee report seeking its dismantling at the earliest.

Based on a recommendation of a technical expert from IIT Guwahati, the Public Work Department had also conducted an inspection at the site where it submitted a report to the district administration seeking to dismantle the over bridge at the earliest to prevent fatalities.