State cut off as landslide,bridge snap hit both lifelines

TML/Imphal, 8th July: Traffic along NH 37 (Imphal-Jiribam road) came to standstill after a panel of the new Barak Bridge broke down on Sunday. On the other-hand, NH 2 (39), also known as Imphal-Dimapur road has been cut off due to sinking of the road near Nagaland state capital Kohima on Sunday. An official of National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), the agency responsible for the upkeep of NH 37, has informed that the damaged panel of the new Barak Bridge will be repaired by afternoon of July 9.

According to a source, the new Barak Bridge which is constructed along NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam Road) in between Kambiron and Sibilong village of Tamenglong district broke down again at around 11am while a tipper truck carrying stone chips was passing over. However, there is no report of any casualty.

Light vehicles (two/four wheelers) are now passing through the adjacent old bridge, but hundreds of loaded heavy trucks and empty trucks have been stranded on both sides of the bridge. NHIDCL officials informed that as soon the report of break down of Barak Bridge was received, officials concerned and technical experts started repairing the bridge and it will be completed by July 9.

It can be recalled here that Transporters and Drivers’ Council (TDC) had sent a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on June 1 demanding the strengthening of the present 360-feet long Barak Bailey Bridge, 240-feet long Makru Bridge and 140-feet long Irang Bridge to enable carriage of load as per Central Motor Vehicle Act.

After receiving the letter, the PMO had directed NHIDCL which is under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to construct the bridges at the earliest after which, NHIDCL sent a letter to Garden Rich Shipbuilder and Engineers Limited’s (GRSEL) Kolkata Regional Office for construction of the bridges.

According to the letter, Barak, Makru and Irang bridges need to be strengthened from the present 24 metric tonne capacity to 40 metric tonne capacity. It also asked the NHIDCL to send a proposal detailing the cost and design of the bridges.

In the meantime, the second life line of Manipur, Imphal-Dimapur Road (NH 2) has been cut off following sinking of road near Kohima. The road sank down 5 feet while huge cracks have developed over a distance of 100 feet. Repairing of the sunken road portion is likely to take some days, as per reports received. All the vehicles coming from Dimapur are now stranded due to the sinking.

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