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The unkept promises and disappointments

The Irang Bailey Bridge collapsed on May 12, 2022 after the swift current of the river washed away its foundation. And Works Minister Govindas Konthoujam had assured to make the bridge ready for public use by July 15. But in vain.

ByGuihiamliu Riamei

Updated 23 Jul 2022, 6:10 am

Collapsed Irang Bridge (FILE PHOTO: IFP)
Collapsed Irang Bridge (FILE PHOTO: IFP)

Broken promises, though not always done intentionally, are always disappointing. Many a times, denizens are left only to hold on to the promises their leaders make. No doubt, the leaders must mean what they say and keep their word, as the promises and assurances given by a leader make the people hope. 

There have been several times, when the state leaders failed to keep their promises and assurances, for reasons best known to them. The most recent examples are - the Chief Minister's assurance to declare the results of the IRB recruitment in June and Works Minister Govindas Konthoujam's assurance to complete the repair works of the Irang Bridge and be ready for the public by July 15.

The assurances have passed the datelines. As the government failed to keep their commitments, the ‘All Manipur 10th and 11th IRB viva voce completed candidates’ on Thursday stormed the residence of Chief Minister N Biren Singh at Luwangsangbam under Heingang police station in Imphal East.

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They demanded that the results of 10th and 11th Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) recruitment be declared immediately. 

ALSO READ: Biren’s FB nemesis
 
What bothers one is the repeated failure of the government or concerned department to fulfil their assurances. 

Coming to the issue of Irang Bailey Bridge, the people of Noney and Tamenglong districts have been looking forward to July 15, as Minister Govindas Konthoujam had given his word to have it fixed soon. But when July 15 came, no substantial change was visible.

And, now the National Highways Infrastructure and Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), which is responsible for the repairing and restoration works of the Irang Bailey Bridge, said the bridge will be repaired and ready for public use by August first week. 

The Irang bridge at Taobam village in Noney district plays an important role as NH-37 is considered as Manipur’s second lifeline. The bridge has been vital for ferrying in food and all other goods, including essential items for the local populace.

The NHIDCL has been alleged of not maintaining the bridge. Some voices term it as criminal negligence on the part of NHIDCL. They say, Irang Bridge was constructed in 2005. Even after 15 years, instead of replacing the defective parts, NHIDCL has been repairing it by only welding. 

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ALSO READ: Potholes mar NH-37, repairing of Irang Bailey Bridge unlikely soon

The Irang bailey Bridge connecting Imphal-Jiribam road on National Highway-37 collapsed on November 1, 2020 causing the death of one person. Then it collapsed again on November 11, 2020 before the bridge reinstallation works were completed.  

On May 12, 2022, the Irang Bailey Bridge collapsed yet again after the swift current of the river washed away its foundation. And the Works minister had assured to make the bridge ready for public use by July 15. But in vain. The minister must remember when he fails to deliver his promise to the people, he is breaking the trust and hope of the people. A small update from the minister on the delay of the repair works would have been welcomed than to shatter the hopes of the people.  

Repairing work of Irang Bridge started after uninstalling a similar bailey bridge constructed at Tengnoupal along the Imphal-Moreh road. Reinstallation of the bridge was carried out by a 52-engineer regiment of the Indian Army of Leimakhong and NHIDCL. Now, despite the repeated collapse of the Irang bridge, why was the repair materials of another similar bridge used? 

ALSO READ: Still no solution in sight

What is taking so long to repair one small bridge? What hinders development projects along the National Highway? One may blame land compensation issues, inaction of the state government or the incessant rains. Whatever the reason be, it is high time the concerned authority works sincerely for the safety and security of the people.  Let's hope we get to hear no more news of bridge collapse in the state.

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First published:22 Jul 2022, 7:08 pm

Tags:

NH 37irang bridgegovindas konthoujamirang bailey bridgeIRB Recruitmentmanipur cop aspirants

Guihiamliu Riamei

Guihiamliu Riamei

IFP Bureau, New Delhi

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