“Cross at your own risk”? And the state Govt. is silent?

“Cross at your own risk”? And the state Govt. is silent?
Traffic on Nagarjan bridge is unstoppable even though there is a risk on travelling on the damaged bridge
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Dimapur, April 16: Incessant political squabbling, shenanigans and rivalries in the state and the recently concluded Assembly elections is set to haunt, nay, cost the lives of people, who are plying to and fro the Kuda Village’s British-era decrepit bridge, the collapse of which is increasingly becoming inevitable with each passing day.
Pictures of the bridge taken on Monday, April 16, 2018, by an alert and concerned citizen, reveal the further deteriorating condition of the bridge to dangerous levels since the first report emerged in July last year, days after the collapse of a bridge in 4th Mile, which took the lives of 4 people and left 5 more injured.
In the latest pictures, there seems to be new cracks appearing in the middle pillar of the bridge and the construction of the new bridge that is underway appears to have affected the foundations of the old bridge.
Er. Talitemsu Jamir, Executive Engineer, PWD (R&B), however dismissed that there are new cracks and instead claimed that these are but old traces while talking to Nagaland Page over phone.
Soon after the first reports of the possibility of collapsing, the bridge was closed down completely for vehicles on paper but in practice, as of today, lines of vehicles could be seen crossing the river using the bridge while hoardings on the side of the bridge reads “Cross at your own risk”. People, meanwhile, have no option but to continue using the bridge despite the immediate dangers.
Even then, it is mystifying that the state Government does not seem to have taken notice of the “Cross at your own risk” hoarding ~ because the safety of the lives and limbs of citizens is the Government’s primary constitutional and moral obligation.
When asked why the bridge is still open despite the enormous risk, Er. Talitemsu said that the bridge is officially closed and barricades had been raised thrice to stop people but each time the barricades were brought down by ‘miscreants’ and if anything tragic happens now it would solely be the responsibility of the public.
Answering to how long the new bridge would take to come up, he said that the contract was given for the new bridge in October 2017 and the bridge is supposed to have come up within 18 months since the signing of contract i.e., by April 2019, but due to the elections, and other factors best known to the contractor, the project is running behind in time already.
When Nagaland Page tried to contact the contractor over phone for further details about the progress, he could not be reached.
A representative of Kuda Village Council, when contacted to know about the Council’s stand on it said that the Council had written to the Roads and Bridges Department several times since July 2017 and the Council is concerned about the situation and the dangers.
The bridge is vital for the people of Kuda Village and the nearby areas and its complete shutdown affects the lives of the people severely there but keeping the bridge open is increasingly no longer an option unless the District Administrations and the concerned Departments is ready to accept causalities regardless.
The only way out of the present dilemma for everyone is getting the new bridge ready as soon as possible but prospects are not very bright for it to be completed soon in view of the tardy progress.
(Page News Service)