Pangin: Weeks after a major portion of the Pangin-Pasighat highway got washed away in the monsoon fury, locals of Pangin and Kebang circles in Arunachal Pradesh’s Siang district have managed to successfully build a rope-suspension bridge to restore connectivity in the area.
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The said portion of the highway had collapsed at Lelek near Rottung village on June 27 following incessant rainfall, severely hampering the surface connectivity for Siang, West Siang, Shi-Yomi and Upper Siang districts. The only way to cross the blockade was to climb the hill above the block point, which took almost an hour.
Having witnessed the agony of commuters and government help not arriving in time, the leaders and locals of the Pangin and Kebang circles took it upon themselves to address the crisis and subsequently formed the Lelek Bridge Construction Committee.
Using age-old traditional techniques and methods, locals began the tedious construction work on Wednesday and managed to finish the suspension bridge on Sunday.
The bridge has been built using bamboo and rope wires.
The 30 metre-long (approx) bridge will now ease the woes of the people of Siang, West Siang, Shi-Yomi and Upper Siang districts till the highway is restored properly. It will also shorten the travel time for commuters as they no longer have to climb the hill to reach the other side, said Tagum Sitang, Bridge Construction Committee Chairman.
Sitang said initially the authority including district administration and the highway department had objected to the construction of any structure near the block point. However, the senior citizens and public leaders decided to construct the bridge after seeing the agony of the commuters.
Pasighat (East) MLA Kaling Moyong, who visited the block point on Sunday, appreciated the efforts of the villagers for voluntarily turning up to construct the said bridge.
He also assured to take up the matter with the chief minister and union ministry along with the legislators of the Siang belt.
Moyong, who was recently appointed as the government spokesperson, said discussions will also be held for an alternative solution and appealed to the public not to claim any compensation in case the decision to construct a new route is taken.
BJP Siang district unit president Tapang Tamut also expressed serious concern over the delay in restoration works.
Tamut said the district has been reeling under a serious crisis due to other road blockades at Sanggam and Lelek point.
Adi Bane Kebang Rotgong block secretary John Jamoh said the highway department is neglecting the area as it has not even given a single effort to carry out the restoration works in the block point to date.
Kebang Zilla Parishad member Topi Jerang, who submitted a memorandum to Moyong on behalf of the other three ZPMs, said the area has been cut off from the rest of the world and people are facing untold miseries in terms of shortage of essential commodities, medical emergencies and livelihood. She appealed to the state government to immediately restore the highway besides constructing a road through Rottung.
Pangin ZPM Oyar Muang has called for a helicopter service to be introduced in the area for medical emergencies.
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