State

City’s overbridge in disrepair

City’s overbridge in disrepair
Railway overbridge: (L) MS rods in the beam exposed and (R) cracks caused by autorickshaws/bikers on the sidewalks. (NP)
Staff Reporter Dimapur, Aug 19 (NPN) | Publish Date: 8/19/2018 12:52:18 PM IST

Dimapur’s landmark railway overbridge near Hotel Sente appears to be showing signs of gradual deterioration due to lack of maintenance and if the neglect continued, it could even lead to a major catastrophe.

Authorities such as state PWD, CPWD or central agencies washed their hands off on any responsibility for maintenance of the overbridge.

According to some reports, the construction of the overbridge was completed in the early 70s and officially inaugurated in 1973 thereby at least making as old as 45 years.

During all these years, the overbridge has been bearing the load of thousands of vehicles each day including huge trucks hauling tons of cargo as it remains the only link for the NH 29 between Numaligarh- Dimapur-Kohima-Imphal. 

Nagaland Post had carried a special report in 2012 showing how several cracks had appeared in a portion of one of the beams. The columns are still in good shape. Although the bridge’s columns look stable enough, a fire that broke out in a colony a few months back near the bridge has destabilised the bridge slabs as several cracks have appeared over the area burnt area. 

 Iron rods supporting the main beams of the bridge slabs have been exposed after the fire burned off parts cement plasters on the beams. 

 The 45-year-old bridge serves as a flyover for the railway track and regarded as one of the oldest over-bridges in Northeast India.

The sidewalks along the bridge on both the sides have all caved in due to weight of two wheelers which have turned it into a thoroughfare.

Potholes on the bridge are also taking their toll as they cause sudden vibrations by bumps from vehicle tyres. Most of the side railings along the bridge on both the ends have been decimated and heavy cables on the sides were also left dangling.

So long as the overbridge remains as the only link for normal traffic between East and West Dimapur and also the vital link for the NH 29, the present condition of the bridge is a cause for serious concern.

On an average the bridge could be serving as a transit for tens of thousands of vehicles daily.

 Several hutments have encroached the areas around the base of the bridge which can also be a cause for serious problem if not removed.

 The cause to the fire that broke out last year below the over bridge was blamed on electrical short circuit ; but the illegal hutments that have mushroomed will pose another danger in future and which also bears mute testimony to the criminal neglect by authorities. 

 

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