Aizawl (www.zoramobserver.com): Two days after the bailey bridge over river Tuirini along National Highway-150 collapsed near Sesawng village, about 45 km north of Aizawl, the Mizoram government on Thursday drew flak from Hmar students in Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC) area in northern Mizoram adjoining Manipur, who demanded reconstruction of the bridge before rainy season starts.
A press statement issued by Hmar Students’ Association (HSA), Sinlung Hills joint headquarters said the NH-150 is the life line for about 25 villages in the Hmar dominated SHDC area and the collapse of bridge would apparently cause disruption to supply of goods and other essential commodities especially food grains.
“We strong urged the state government to immediately reconstruct or repair the bailey bridge before rainy season and arrange alternative road for transportation of goods to the area as the collapse of Tuirini bridge, which totally cut-off connectivity between the entire area and city and towns, would surely cause inconvenience to the rural populace, who largely depend on city-fed or imported commodities,” the statement said.
While expressing regret for the incident, the student body in the release said it is crystal clear that their area would certainly face food grains crisis unless the government take alternative measures.
The student body condoled the untimely demise of HC Lalfakzuala, who was killed in the bridge collapse on Tuesday and wished the injured Laltleipuia Hmar for his fast recovery.
The student body further appealed to the state government to expedite the construction of National Highway-306 A, which will not only link Vairengte via Phainuam with New Vervek in northern Mizoram, but also economically benefit the entire SHDC area.
Meanwhile, three opposition parties- Mizo National Front (MNF), People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM), and Mizoram People’s Party (MPP) demanded the resignation of PWD minister Lal Thanzara on ground of negligence of duty.
A joint meeting of the three political parties on Thursday asked the state government to stock food grains and other essential commodities in the affected area before rainy season.
The meeting also asked the government to immediately re-construct the bridge out Rs 750 crore allocated for implementation of Congress’s New Economic Development Policy (NEDP) and also give at least Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia to the victim families and meet all the medical expenses of the injured person.
A 46-year-old farmer HC Lalfakzuala, a resident of Sesawng village in Aizawl district was killed and his nephew Laltleipuia Hmar, 26, critically injured when a bailey bridge over river Tuirini between Sesawng and Khawruhlian collapsed on Tuesday.
The incident occurred when the two victims were crossing the bridge on foots to cut timber from nearby forest. Lalfakzuala was laid to rest on Wednesday, while Laltleipuia, who suffered back injury is taking medical treatment at Aizawl Civil Hospital.