Tragic bridge collapse to delay inauguration of Mizoram railway project

Aizawl: The eagerly anticipated inauguration of the railway project in Mizoram, initially slated for December 2023, faces a significant delay due to a tragic bridge collapse incident. On August 23, the collapse of Bridge No. 196 near Sairang Zero Point resulted in the unfortunate deaths of 23 workers. Officials informed a local vernacular, Zalen that the completion of the project will be delayed by an additional 6 to 7 months.

The collapse of Bridge No. 196 prompted an immediate investigation into the cause of the incident, however, the findings of the investigation have not been finalised. The Ministry of Railways had constituted a four-member committee to probe the incident. The committee was expected to submit its report within one month from the date of formation, as stipulated by an order issued by the ministry on August 24.

The 51.38 kilometres long broad gauge BG railway line from Bairabi to Sairang was approved by the Union Government in 2008-2009 at an initial cost of Rs. 2384.34 crores as a national project of importance. Work on the project commenced in 2015 and the revised timeline for completion is November 2023. The latest revised estimate pegs the cost of the project at about Rs. 6547 crores. 

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The BG Line will start from Bairabi and end at Sairang, about 20 kilometres from the capital city Aizawl. Bairabi is already on the BG map of the railway network. The new BG Line will have four stations – Hortoki, Kawnpui, Mualkang and the terminal station at Sairang. Along the 51.38 length of the railway line, there will be 55 major bridges and 87 small bridges traversing many deep gorges. The total length of the railway tracks on the 55 major bridges itself is about 11.61 kilometres. There are 32 tunnels with the longest tunnel being about 1.88 kilometres in length.

Also Read | Mizoram bridge collapse to be probed by 4-member expert committee

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