Aizawl, June 21 (zoramobserver.com): Mizoram’s main opposition the Mizo National Front (MNF) on Thursday accused PWD minister Lal Thanzara of being responsible for the collapse of the bailey bridge over river Tuirini near Sesawng village and demanded his resignation on the ground that he is not competent enough to occupy his office.
The bailey bridge over river Tuirini about 40 km from Aizawl collapsed on 13 February, killing one person and injuring another.
MNF vigilance committee co-chairman K. Vanlalauva said that when activists of MNF inspected the bridge when it collapsed on 13 February just a few days ahead of its commissioning, they found that already used or old materials were used in the bridge.
He alleged the collapse was caused by human-made and that the minister was hand in glove with the supplier to make a profit out of it.
According to Vanlalauva, the Mizoram government on 24 March, 2017 issued a supply order to a Kharagpur based M/s Essen Fabricators Pvt. Ltd to supply raw materials for construction of the 200 feet long bridge at the cost of Rs 2.50 crore inclusive of excise duty, CST and transportation.
As per RTI, the government also made a provision for construction of subway for diversion besides the main bridge at the cost of Rs 19.93 lakh to ease off communities, which not executed, Vanlalauva also said.
“We demand the minister to give us an explanation, whether the old raw materials were supplied by the supplier or were collected from elsewhere by the PWD department,” he said.
The leader also slammed Lal Thanzara for eluding the cause of the collapse and his remarks that neither he nor the engineers tasked with the construction work were responsible for the collapse.
He asked the minister to make it public the enquiry report on the collapsed bridge, which was submitted to the state government on 25 May.
About 25 villages in northeastern part of the state have been facing connectivity problem since the collapse of the bridge. The problem became worse with the onset of monsoon as a makeshift culvert bridge constructed by villagers and used as diversion bridge was drained away by the flood.
Calling mass social work recently, villagers have built another temporary bridge made of bamboos which enable them to cross the river. The state government is yet to construct the bridge.