But 10-wheelers weighing more than 18MT will not be allowed

Connectivity: Except for loaded ten-wheeler trucks and trailers (loaded or unloaded), medium trucks are now allowed to use the bridge at Kamji on the Phuentsholing-Thimphu highway.

This was decided yesterday after a meeting among officials from project DANTAK, the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA), police, customs, Phuentshloling thromde, and the truckers committee in Phuentsholing.

Until yesterday, six-wheeler or DCM-sized trucks and oil tankers were not allowed to cross over the bailey bridge in Kamji. Although these vehicles did not carry more than 18 metric tonnes (MT) when fully loaded, the vehicles were not allowed to use the Kamji bridge.

However, it was decided at the meeting yesterday that a study should be conducted. After the survey was carried out, it was found that oil tankers did not weigh more than 17MT and DCM-sized trucks not more than 10MT when fully loaded.

It was then decided that such vehicles would be allowed to use the bridge irrespective of the load being carried, and without having to go over the vehicle-weighing machine.

The maximum weight for the bridge has been determined to be 18MT by DANTAK and other agencies.

Although the bridge can carry up to 20MT, the weight limit was kept at 18MT to increase the safety margin.

Police officials said that the meeting was arranged yesterday keeping in mind the blocks on the Pasakha bypass. “Since the bypass was blocked for three days, this issue was raised and the meeting arranged” a police officer said.

However, larger trucks will have to go through the weighing machine. If the trucks weigh more than 18MT, these vehicles will not be allowed to use the bridge. But large trucks without loads and weighing below 18MT will be allowed to use the bridge.

But loaded larger trucks coming towards Phuentsholing will have to use the Pasakha bypass because there are no weighing bridges on the way to Phuentsholing from Thimphu. Trailers, however, will not be allowed on the bridge even if there is no load.

Meanwhile, the Pasakha bypass was closed to traffic yesterday stranding many trucks.

A landslide occurred at the 18km point from Phuentsholing on the morning of October 1 and the situation has not yet improved. Although the block was cleared on October 2, rain yesterday worsened the situation.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing