Imphal: Chief Minister N. Biren Singh today laid the foundation stone for the long-awaited four-lane Irang RCC bridge apart from launching the Irang bailey bridge constructed by the Indian Army at Toubam village in Noney district. Irang RCC bridge will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 49.31 crore by NHIDCL while the bailey bridge was assembled by the 52nd Engineering Regiment of the Indian Army in co-ordination with NHIDCL and the State Government.
Forest and Environment Minister Awangbow Newmai, Tamenglong ADC Chairman Namsinrei Panmei, Chief Secretary Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary (Works) P. Vaiphei, 57 Mountain Division GOC Maj. Gen VT Mathew and Executive Director of National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL), Rajeev Sood also attended the function as dignitaries at the function.
Speaking at the occasion as the chief guest, N. Biren said, earlier the State mainly relied on NH-2 (Imphal-Dimapur road) for shipping in of essential items as NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam road) was not in a good shape. However, NH-37 has also improved a lot in the past few years thereby truly serving as the second lifeline of the State, he added.
Regarding the unfortunate collapse of Irang Bailey Bridge on the highway on November 1 this year, he informed that the State Government worked day and night in finding ways to restore it as soon as possible. The State Government worked in co-ordination with 57 Mountain of the Indian Army led by Col. Shashikumar and NHIDCL to reconstruct the bridge as soon as possible. During the reconstruction process, the bridge slipped down again. However, owing to the tireless efforts of the 52nd Engineer Regiment of the Indian Army and NHIDCL, the bridge was successfully reinstalled within a short span of only one month, he added.
Lauding the efforts of the Indian Army in this regard, the Chief Minister announced a reward of Rs. 5 lakh with commendation certificate to the 52nd Engineering Regiment for the good work done for the people of Manipur. He also assured to personally write to the Union Ministry of Defence to appreciate the Regiment.
The Chief Minister stated that he had also requested the NHIDCL to complete Makru and Barak RCC bridges by mid-January next year and Irang bridge by December next year. Once these three RCC bridges are completed, there would not be any further problem of bridge collapse, he said while adding that the economic condition of the people residing on the highway would also automatically improve.
The Chief Minister also expressed his gratefulness to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his concern about Manipur and the Northeast. Informing about the Rs. 3000-crore Manipur Water Supply Project under the Jal Jeevan Mission – Har Ghar Jal Scheme, he assured that the Government is taking up concerted steps to provide tap water to every household of the State.
He also expressed his thankfulness to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Ghadkari for giving approval to construction of the four-lane Irang RCC bridge. He further said that after the completion of the tender process, the work had been awarded to an agency. He appealed to the people to extend support during the construction of the bridge and come up if there is any grievance and problem.
He also assured that grievances brought up by the villagers regarding land compensation will be looked into and will try to redress soon.
Stating that good communication and transportation is key to development, as such the State Government has been giving prime focus to revamping of NH-37, the Chief Minister said. N. Biren Singh said that Noney will become a tourist spot, which can even attract foreign tourists, because the Indian Railways is currently developing the highest railway bridge of the world there.
He informed that after the formation of the new Government in the State, footfall of foreign tourists had increased to over 10,000 per year as compared to around 400-500 per year earlier.
Informing that the Government will start convening Cabinet Meetings in different hill districts soon, the Chief Minister said that development works would be reviewed in these meetings. He also requested the people to air their grievances in advance before Cabinet meetings are held in their district headquarters.
In his speech, Awangbow Newmai said that the Chief Minister had a strong determination to build concrete bridges on Imphal-Jiribam road. He also urged the public not to disturb the national projects in their pursuit to fulfill a demand. The Minister also urged the public to extend cooperation in taking up developmental works.