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Dimapur

Rio inaugurates Dhansiri River bridge in Dimapur; it took 11 years to complete

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By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Apr 13, 2021 9:32 pm
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Neiphiu Rio inaugurates the RCC T-Beam Bridge in Dimapur on Tuesday. (EM Images)

Our Reporter
Dimapur, April 13 (EMN): Chief Minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio finally inaugurated the much-delayed RCC T-beam Bridge over Dhansiri River, which connects Purana Bazaar and Super Market area in Dimapur, on Monday.

Speaking at the inaugural function of the bridge situated near Urban Haat in Dimapur, Rio said that the project, which was sanctioned in 2009, took 11 years to complete.

While appreciating the department, the engineer wing and the contractor for completing the project, he advised the concerned department, especially the engineering wing to be responsive when taking up important road connectivity ventures as the public faces undue hardships.

The chief minister also questioned the department and the engineering wing for wasting six years and pointed out that it was due to ‘rush and not following the formalities’; the work charter was issued hastily, resulting in cost escalation.

[Related story: Old Dhansiri Bridge to be functional by March 2020]

He advised the engineers to be sincere and dedicated in their work and follow the rules and procedures as well as maintain transparency so that implementation would not be affected.

Rio touched upon the newly constructed bridges over Dhansiri River at Kuda village, and Chathe River at Diphupar-A, 4th Mile, stating that it was done on an ‘emergency basis’ as it was the bottleneck for movement of people. He said that the payments for the projects were not fully made but the contractors had agreed to inaugurate the bridge for public use.

He went on to inform that funds from the Central government took time but the portion of state government funding was completed.

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton, and a host of other dignitaries at the inauguration of the Dhansiri bridge on Tuesday. (EM Images)

Land encroachment issue

Rio underscored the issue of land encroachment, stating that whatever has been acquired should be done in a rightful manner in order to maintain harmony in the community and society.

Citing land encroachment at Agri Expo site and Dimapur Airport, he said the government had been able to take over the land at Agri Expo again; however he pointed out that the airport runway was only 2.3 km, which was too short for big aircrafts to land and extension was not possible due to encroachment issues.

Rio asserted that the community had to come forward along with the government and protect property as it belongs to the people.

While delivering the technical report of the project, Chief Engineer of PWD  and in-charge of Urban Engineering wing, Yanbemo Lotha stated that the project was sanctioned in March 2009 under lump sum scheme for an amount of INR 981.36 lakh (approximately INR 9.81 crore) under the ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, government of India, but was stalled for almost five years due to objection raised by the Border Roads Organisation on non-issuance of no objection certificate.

He further stated that due to delay of the work, the contractor requested to relook into the original estimate cost, stating its inability to carry out the work as per original agreed amount, for which the department revised it from INR 981.36 lakh to INR 1374.85 lakh (approximately INR 13.75 crore).

Lotha informed that the work started in January 2018 and was completed within two years, which the engineer termed as one of the ‘most economical’ bridges of similar kind built in Nagaland.

Old piers to be dismantled

The piers of the old bridge, which was built during the British colonial era, still stood strong beneath the newly constructed bridge on the day of inauguration but an official from Urban department told Eastern Mirror that the ruined structures will be dismantled.

It may be mentioned that this newspaper has been unceasingly following the progress of various developmental projects in the state, including the bridges in Dimapur. In one of the interactions, an official had said earlier in 2019 that the Old Dhansiri Bridge would be completed soon but works were said to be halted by incessant rains.

[Related story: Old Dhansiri Bridge likely to be completed by December]

An official Urban Development department had said in the same year in November that the project would be completed by March 2020 but the pandemic-induced lockdown started. So, the estimated completion time of the bridge was pushed to December 2020 before an official told this newspaper earlier last month that it would be opened to public once the Finance department released INR 3.93 crore, which was expected by the end of the month.

[Related story: Fund crunch delays Old Dhansiri Bridge]

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By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Apr 13, 2021 9:32:00 pm