Reports said the Chathe bridge connecting Dimapur and Niuland near Referral Hospital, officially known as Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research (CISR), at Char Mile (4th Mile) under Diphupar police station collapsed, killing four persons at the spot and injuring five others seriously .
The bridge collapsed while vehicles were passing the bridge, the reports said.
The victims seemed to be occupants of the vehicles.
One Eeco van, three Tata Mobile (mini trucks) and an Auto-rickshaw were found damaged badly at the spot.
The injured are now being treated at Referral Hospital .
The deceased have been identified as Jaheda Ali (23 years), w/o (L) Bakset Ali from Tripura, Rohita Devi, w/o Abdul Malik also from Tripura, Sahil Ali, s/o Bakset Ali from Tripura and Bakset Ali (32 years), s/o Tayub Ali from Tripura .
Though the police report does not mention it, three of the killed appeared to be from a family, with Bakset Ali the father, his wife Jaheda Ali and their son Sahil Ali .
Meanwhile, corruption watch dog of Nagaland, Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) said that today’s tragic and “civic disaster” was because of the sheer negligence and corruption on the part of the PWD or Road and Bridge Department, the Government of Nagaland and the failure of the district administration to supervise the river beds .
“It is pertinent to mention here that the bridge has been declared a public hazard for a long time and the authorities concerned have been alerted on numerous occasions and were aware about the precarious condition of the bridge but did nothing about it,” ACAUT pointed out, adding, “This grave and tragic accident was one that was not supposed to happen had the concerned authorities taken serious note and had taken corrective measures” .
ACAUT further said that this should serve as a wake-up call for the department and the Government of Nagaland and PWD or Road and Bridge Department to take serious notes of public safety hazards in order to avoid such tragic and unfortunate incidents in future .
Considering the seriousness of the matter, ACAUT demanded that the Government adequately pays compensation to the victims’ families in this most unfortunate and tragic accident.
ACAUT also demanded that the police immediately arrest the Minister in-charge Roads and Bridges, the Executive Engineer (PWD), Dimapur division, the sand and gravel “mafia” including the contractors, and the village council authorities concerned for allowing the extraction of stones in the river beds as per an FIR filed in this regard at the Diphupar police station today .
ACAUT also demanded that the Chief Minister immediately sack the Minister, Roads and Bridges, Vikheho Swu.
ACAUT then demanded the immediate setting up of a “high powered independent inquiry committee” comprising of members of the public to probe the collapse of the bridge.
Source: The Sangai Express