Namtola-Tizit Bridge Gives Way Again - Eastern Mirror
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Namtola-Tizit bridge gives way again

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Dec 15, 2023 11:19 pm
Namtola-Tizit bridge
The ill-fated truck which was crossing the Namtola-Tizit bridge when the wooden deck gave way on Friday.

DIMAPUR — A portion of the single-lane bridge connecting Tizit in Mon district to Namtola in Assam collapsed Friday morning. The bridge is located along the Mon-Namtola Road (NH 702) which is the lifeline for the district, connecting it to other parts of the state including Dimapur and Kohima, via Assam.

According to Mon deputy commissioner Ajit Kumar Verma, the bridge deck collapsed between 3am and 4 am as a loaded truck was crossing it.  A portion of the wooden deck caved in along with the truck. Fortunately, the occupants of the truck were unharmed.

DC Verma informed that the collapsed section of the bridge comprised a cluster of wooden planks while the main steel frame structure remained unaffected. The concerned department is assessing the bridge’s condition and working diligently to expedite its restoration, he said.

Not the first time

Notably, this is not an isolated occurrence as a similar incident transpired on Aug. 6, 2019, where a portion of the bridge deck collapsed under similar circumstances.

At the time, an official from the PWD (NH) in charge of Mon Division mentioned the state government’s plan to expand the Mon-Namtola Road, including a new RCC 2-lane bridge. However, the new bridge has not materialised yet.

Over the years, civil society organisations including the Konyak Union (KU), the Tizit Area Students’ Union (TASU) and the Konyak Students Union (KSU) had also voiced concerns over the safety and stability of the bridge on multiple occasions.

On Friday, some residents of Tizit town shared videos of the damaged bridge on the YouTube video sharing platform, several of them pointing out the perpetual poor condition of the bridge.

Among them, a YouTube channel with the name ‘Tinglem Konyak’ claimed that the several accidents have taken place on the same bridge and the decks have been replaced several times. However, major repairs to strengthen the bridge have never been undertaken. Simply replacing the wooden deck, like it was done in the past, would only mean more of such accidents in the future, he said.

Cautioning travellers from other parts of the district about the damaged bridge, he also raised questions as to who is responsible for the bridge’s upkeep.

Alternate routes notified

In this connection, the DC has issued a travel advisory, suspending all kinds of heavy vehicle movement from Namtola and Charaideo in Assam to Mon district and vice-versa due to the ‘major damage’ of Mon-Namtola bridge, till further orders are issued.

Light, medium and all kinds of passenger vehicles have also been advised to take alternative route via Namtola, Charali (Assam) – Lahdoigarh-Jaboka-Pentom Junction (Tizit/Mon) and vice-versa till the bridge is restored.

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By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Dec 15, 2023 11:19:21 pm
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