Irang bridge to be opened tomorrow
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 23: With the Government setting its eyes on completing the restoration work of Irang bridge at Tamenglong district by July 24, work at the bridge has been taken up on a war footing and it is likely to be opened to traffic by July 25.With a combined team at the Assam Rifles, IRB and Manipur Rifles providing round the clock security cover and with the PWD authority extending their co-operation, the BRTF has taken up the work to open the bridge to traffic by Monday on a war footing.

The bridge was torn apart by ANSAM volunteers in the wee hours of July 20 as part of their intensified economic blockade agitation and came just a day after the State Government escorted over 200 trucks across NH-53 in its bid to have a second lifeline for the State.

The length of the bridge is 140 feet and it is a single lane bridge.

From early morning today, BRTF engineers and workers started the restoration work over the Irang river.

The needed material for putting across the Bailey bridge were put on either side of the river, one at the Imphal side and the other at the Jiribam side.

Army engineers were pressed into service to transport the material from either side using boats.

The boats also ferried stranded people on either side.

BRTF engineers were especially recalled from Myanmar where they were on duty to help build the bridge.

Major HS Bhiling who is supervising the restoration work informed a group of newsmen from Imphal that the restoration work will be completed by tomorrow and the bridge will be opened to traffic by Monday.

The Major further said that all-the necessary material to open the bridge are at hand and added that they will be able to meet to deadline of completing the restoration work of the bridge by tomorrow.

Assam Rifles personnel and MR men have been put on round the clock duty to cover the bridges on NH-53 and the security arrangements will continue till the blockade is lifted.

An Assam Rifles officer said that the AR is providing all the necessary security cover.

Secretary of Taobam village, situated near the bridge, Dimthaorei Golmei said that opening the highway is a boon to the people of the area.

He said that the act of dismantling the bridge had cast a cloud of gloom on the villagers.

If the Government had not speeded up the restoration work of the bridge, the villagers would have been in dire straits, he said and added that the villagers are presently pitching in with whatever they can to feed themselves.