IMPHAL, June 9: Even though the construction work of Sanjenthong is going on a war footing, by all appearance meeting the deadline to complete work before the Sangai Festival slated in the month of November as announced by the government would be next to impossible.
A spot inspection conducted by IFP revealed that dismantling work of the old bridge is still in the initial stages, with just about 10 percent completed.
As the construction process was set in motion on April 30, 2014, it has taken 41 days till date to make this much progress.
The construction company has 143 days in hand till end of October before the Sangai festival which is slated to be held in November as every year.
Construction of a stage under the bridge to collect the debris of the bridge from falling in the river remains incomplete, leave alone the process of dismantling the bridge which has technically taken around a month.
When enquired for the reason behind the delay, an official of the PWD who was present at the construction clarified that it was affected due to the recent rain that had increased the volume of the river.
When IFP further tried to extract more information from the concerned officials, one of the liaison officer of the Simplex Project Ltd. left the site on the pretext that he had urgent work at Mantripukhri.
Of the total 44 pillar (22 on each side) that would sustain the platform of the bridge, only eight pillars have been completed. Sadly, the drilling process to install the bridge pole has stopped due to failure of the machine (MAIT).
One of the engineers told IFP that an engineer of the company will soon arrive in Imphal to restore the machine.
In case if the machine, weighing 105 tons, cannot be restored a new machine has to be ordered from Kolkata by truck.
Against this backdrop, a worker engaged in the construction was operated at RIMS today after sustaining serious injury in a mishap at the construction site.
After having inspected the work progress recently a high profile team led by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh accompanied by Works minister, Ratan Kumar Singh, had assured the people to deliver the bridge functional before the Sangai festival.