Post Mortem

The old overbridge; on the verge of collapse

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 3/25/2019 12:59:04 PM IST

 The Old Overbridge of Dimapur connecting the Burma Camp to Purana Bazaar to Khathkhati- Golaghat, which serves not only as a vital link between the different parts of the town but also interconnects   the states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur as highway is in a very risky state due to the utter neglect and may give away anytime costing some precious lives .There are now visible holes widening on both sides in the middle of the bridge. This bridge is also wearing out day by day due to the manifold increase in the volume of traffic and growing population of this commercial hub, but no visible repair or restoration is being done or witnessed. This old landmark which has become a synonymous part of Dimapur town has over the years not been given any attention and its condition seems to be getting only worse. A major fire sometime back has said to have damaged some of the pillars on a side, which was also reported by a section of local media, have affected the support and reduced the strength of this town’s old prominent landmark. It is very surprising that despite the collapse of bridges of 4th mile bridge near Referral Hospital and the half sunken Nagarjan bridge, no precautionary measures of this old bridge has been taken so far which is about to fall away anytime. This old bridge, popularly also known as the Dimapur overbridge by many, seems now to be just standing on its last legs and falling away.

There is a rising decibel on the question of ‘So who is responsible for the maintenance of the bridge’? Regarded as one of the oldest bridges in the state and north-east which was built in the 1960s and inaugurated in the year 1973, this old bridge is now in its 46 years nearing half a century and much older than half of the number of town’s young  population. It may give away anytime and result in loss of precious lives. In the recent past, there has been some media coverage on it by concerned denizens about this decaying unstable bridge but till date nothing concrete has been taken up by the authorities. Crumbling railings and broken slabs in the middle of the bridge depicts the precarious condition of it. Everybody crossing it is putting their own lives at high risk. The sight of it depicts negligence and infrastructural breakdown at its worst. The road leading up to the bridge from the Hotel Tragopan side witnesses an appalling road condition which is very risky for two wheelers. It is bemusing to notice that from time to  time at regular intervals, the paintings and renovations of those crumbling and dilapidated railings takes place but the widening gaps and holes on both the sides of the corners at the middle of the bridge are increasing steadily. Heavy laden trucks with goods, buses with full of passengers, countless private vehicles of all hues and sizes, auto rickshaws and two wheelers ferrying hundreds of people including school children plying daily  is a regular sight on this perilous bridge. It doesn’t need a soothsayer to predict that the bridge is about to fall any moment. Anyone can see it. If immediate attention is not given to this old ailing and falling bridge, then we can witness some devastation of a major scale very soon. We hope our NGOs and civil societies be aware and rise up on issues such as this. It will be better to restore it early than to regret later with tears. It may be mentioned that way back in the year 2016, an eucalyptus tree of around 50 feet in height which was planted along the sides of the old flyover fell down due to the ravage of the heavy monsoon rains and thunderstorms, none came to displace the fallen tree and there was a utter chaos of traffic until authorities took stock of the situation.

Many people feel their spine chilling while crossing over it but don’t have any other option. With the old Dhansiri bridge taking much time than it should, the only other link is the Nagarjan bridge which is also on the verge of collapse and commuters are driving over it at their own risk. This old overbridge, wedged between old buildings on both side and the railway tracks below, may just shear off any minute. The problem lies with Dimapur which seems to have many masters without any sense of real ownership. State agencies have been issuing warnings over many bridges over the state after the disaster of Chathe bridge. Silent majority and public insensitivity further aggravates such callous attitude of powers that be. Our Nagaland state sees the best and latest expensive number of vehicles on the roads immediately after their launch but quality of the roads and the bridges over the state is truly humiliating. Though some improvements have been witnessed lately, many roads such as the one from DDSC stadium to Nagaland gate cannot be fit even to be called a road .Happy travelling is not always about arriving or reaching one’s destination but it is about the way and condition of the way we travel too. Nagas, generally speaking, should realize that it is not only in the materialistic progress of our lifestyles that will  shows us as an advanced people but rather it is the sense of responsibility and the duty of each one of us and to rise up and spread awareness on such sensitive happenings. As Sylvia Day said ´If we don’t open up, we’re going to lose each other down the road’. The bridge over the Chathe river near the Referral Hospital collapsed as a result of uncontrolled riverbed mining which many warnings given by this writer went unheeded. That time he had said it doesn’t take a soothsayer to say that bridge was falling and it did. This time too, let’s pray this old overbridge don’t meet the same fate.

Hope appropriate measures be taken by the concerned authorities immediately on the falling bridge lest we all regret later.

Jonah Achumi

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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