‘Bridge over Umkhen river unsafe for locals’

Shillong, Aug 20: Military authorities today said that bridge over Umkhen River near Assam Regimental Centre is damaged and to avoid any accidental mishap it was closed down.

Residents of Jyntah village, near Madanryting had stated that the Assam Regiment had forcefully closed the bridge which they have been using for the past many decades.

“The British era pedestrian bridge over Wah Umkhen River near Assam Regimental Centre, which falls in A-1 Defence Land has developed cracks and support structure is broken,” Defence PRO Shillong, Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh in a statement today said.

He said the army has also sensitized locals on the damaged and unsafe British era foot bridge to avoid any accidental mishap due to inadvertent crossing by civilians.

The area has Army’s Rifle Range and learners driving track complex for the newly trained driver’s hugging the bank of the river, demanding restricted access and movement in the area, he added.

“This has been done purely with the intent of keeping the safety of people in mind and not for any kind of discomfort or harassment as reported in media. There is a new concrete bridge presently under construction for military traffic only and not opened for military traffic as yet, due to incomplete work of retention walls of the bridge,” he said.

Pointing out that the existing PWD causeway to cross the river is routinely and extensively used both by army and civilians and is safe with no history of any mishap in last few years Wing Commander Singh said that it is only during heavy rains that the causeway has 4 to 5 inches of water and army has been assisting the public to ensure safe passage. “Army has even gone ahead with cleaning this causeway as part of Swach Bharat Abhiyhan recently,” he added.

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