Barak bridge set to open to traffic
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 01: Repairing work of the Barak bridge on NH-53 is nearing the final stage and the bridge is most likely to be thrown open to traffic tomorrow.

Freight vehicles not exceeding the tonnage of 10 tons each will be allowed to pass across the bridge.

Speaking to The Sangai Express minutes before he left for the bridge site where he would supervise the final stage of the repairing work, Commandant of 36 BRTF, Mahesh Prasad Singh said that at least two building generators, one brought from Silchar and another from Imphal were used in the final stage to strengthen the bridge.

The Commandant said that 8.30 pm today is the expected time to finalise the repairing work of the bridge.

Besides supervising the repair work, the Commandant said, "I also met the State PWD Minister Debendra Singh at Jiri to discuss conditions of the road and bridges along NH-53 which fall under my jurisdiction, between Silchar and Barak".

The Minister will inspect Makru bridge and the development work being taken up along this route tomorrow, said the Commandant further.

At the moment the 36 BRTF has identified three weak bridges along its jurisdiction including the Makru bridge (bailey) and another Hamilton bridge near Keimai besides the Barak bridge, said the Commandant.

"Makru and the Hamilton bridge have already been repaired and after this we took up the task of repairing the Barak bridge," further said Prasad Singh.Responding to a query on the regulations of tonnage of the vehicles passing through NH-53, the Commandant said, "At the moment we will allow trucks with the maximum of 10 tonnage each to cross the three weak bridges.

We cannot afford to take any risk at this stage".

However the maximum weight of each vehicle may be extended upto 15 tons each after the bridges are adequately strengthened, said Prasad Singh.

Other than the long years of neglect, the sudden subjection of the weakened bridges to the heavily loaded trucks led to its weakening, added the Commandant.

The bridges along NH-53 have not been repaired or maintained for the last 7/8 years due to the law and order situation, said the Commandant and added that the long years have taken its toll leading to the weakening of the bridges.

On the immediate plans for developing the highway, the Commandant said that the Chief Engineer of the 36 BRTF, KYK Mahindra Kar will be landing at Jiribam by a chopper to over see the repairing and development work on August 3.On future plans to develop the highway and make it fit for goods laden trucks all through year, the Commandant said that efforts to upgrade the route to a two lane highway have been taken up.

Towards this end, work has been taken up on a war footing from Jirighat, said the Commandant and added, "We have covered 2 kilometres and the whole task will be completed within 3 years, if the law and order situation permits".