Chathe bridge works on track to meet deadline — Official
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Oct. 5: The reconstruction of the collapsed bridge over Chathe River at 4th Mile began exactly two years ago but there seems to be no visible signs of completion, even though the stipulated time to finish the work is April 2020.
An official from the Public Works Department (PWD) informed Eastern Mirror that staging for the decks is underway at the moment, and even though it appears to be going at a slow pace, the official assured that it was not the case.
“The construction of bridges at Chathe and Nagarjan were started at the same time by the same contractor,” the official said and admitted that the Nagarjan bridge construction was moving at a much quicker pace. Hence he said, the one in Chathe appears to be going slow.
The estimated time, according to the official, is said to be three years for the completion. The official said that the construction was taking longer here, as compared to cities, because the engineers and contractors use precast concrete which can be fitted at one go, unlike here in Nagaland. “We don’t have the resources for precast concrete and fittings so it takes a much longer time as compared to other places,” the official said.
Many other factors such as the monsoon or acquiring raw materials and labourers also played spoilsport in continuing the work at the 4th Mile bridge, the official said adding that labourers were mostly non-Naga and many would go back to their villages for their religious festivals.
Cause of concern
The temporary Bailey bridge that was constructed for vehicular movement over Chathe River at 4th Mile has been a cause of concern for many, and mostly for the schools and educational institutions in the area.
The chairman of Naga United village council told Eastern Mirror that initially there were bars set up at both ends of the Bailey bridge so that big trucks and buses would not be able to cross.
“Some schools and institutes appealed to raise the bar from eight-and-a-half feet to more than nine-and-a-half feet so that their school buses can ply on the temporary bridge,” the chairman informed.
He said that the PWD then raised it to the required height for the school buses to pass.
This, he said, allowed the bigger trucks and dumpers to cross it at night, which is prohibited.
Deputy Commissioner of Dimapur, Kevin Kevekha Zehol also spoke to Eastern Mirror. After he was apprised of the matter, he assured that he would speak with the authority concerned, including the traffic police so that any unfortunate incidents can be averted in future.