IMPHAL, Dec 2 - Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh today laid the foundation stone of a four-lane RCC bridge and inaugurated a bailey bridge constructed by the Indian Army over the Irang river at Toubam village in Noney district.
The RCC bridge will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 49.31 crore by the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL), while the 150-foot- long bailey bridge which had collapsed on November 1, was reassembled by the 52nd Engineering Regiment of the Indian Army in coordination with the NHIDCL and the State Government.
Forest and Environment Minister Awangbow Newmai, Tamenglong ADC chairman Namsinrei Panmei, Chief Secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary (Works) P Vaiphei, GOC of 57 Mountain Division Major General VT Mathew and NHIDCL Executive Director Rajeev Sood also attended the function held on the occasion.
In his speech, Chief Minister Biren Singh said that the State earlier relied on the NH-2 (the Imphal-Dimapur Road) for shipping in essential items as the NH-37 (the Imphal-Jiribam Road) was not in good shape. However, the NH-37 has improved a lot in the last few years, thereby serving as the second lifeline of Manipur, he added.
Lauding the efforts of the Indian Army in this regard, the Chief Minister announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh with a commendation certificate to the 52nd Engineering Regiment for the good work done for the people of Manipur.
Biren Singh said that he had requested the NHIDCL to complete the Makru and Barak RCC bridges by mid-January next year and the Irang bridge by December next year. Once these three RCC bridges are completed, the problem of bridge collapse is likely to be resolved, he added.
Stating that Noney will become a tourist spot of repute as the Indian Railways is developing the highest railway bridge of the world there, Biren Singh claimed that under the current Government, foreign tourist arrivals have increased to over 10,000 per year.