Tlawng river in Mizoram

Aizawl: The Union ministry of road transport & highways (MoRTH) has sanctioned over Rs 109.64 crore for construction of roads and three bridges in Mizoram, an official in the state PWD said on Monday.

Mizoram PWD Chief Engineer (Highways) Lalmuankima Henry told EastMojo that the ministry has recently sanctioned Rs 42.44 crore for construction of steel arch bridge with concrete deck over Tlawng river on the National Highway- 44A, which link the state capital with the lone Lengpui Airport.

The sanction order was issued to the state PWD secretary on February 21 and the project is scheduled to be completed within two years from the date of issue of order, he said. The bridge (currently Bailey bridge) over Tlawng river had collapsed three times in 2014 and 2015, killing one person.

Lalmuankima said that the Centre also issued sanctioned order amounting to Rs 8.16 crore for re-construction of Bailey bridge over Tuivai river along the National Highway-150 on the Mizoram-Manipur border.

He said that tender has been already floated in February last week before the sanction order being issued on March 8 and is awaiting response from contractors or bidders.

The Tuivai bridge, which will link northeastern part of Mizoram with Tipaimuk in Manipur is scheduled to be completed within one year from the date of issue of sanction order, another official in the state PWD told this correspondent.

Tuivai is located about 13 km from New Vervek, the nearest village in Mizoram’s Aizawl district. The official said that sanction order for repairing of road between New Vervek and Tuivai river is yet to be issued.

According to Lalmuankima, the MoRTH has in February sanctioned Rs 287.90 lakh for construction of 180 feet span 40R loading class TDR Bailey bridge over collapsed road at Hnathial in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district on NH-54.

Apart from this, the ministry also in first week of March sanctioned Rs 26.60 crore for repairing and rehabilitation of existing pavement between Khawzawl and Champhai on NH-6 bordering Myanmar, which is 40 km long and also 45 km long existing pavement between Keifang in Aizawl district and Kawlkulh in south Mizoram’s Champhai district.

The two projects are scheduled to be completed within 18 months from the date of issue of order, he said.

PWD officials, however, said that works would be delayed as Election Commission’s model code of conduct has come into effect from Sunday evening after the poll panel announced dates for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The coming Lok Sabha election will be held in the state in a single phase and the date of polling to the lone seat is scheduled on April 11, state Chief Electoral Officer Ashish Kundra told a press conference on Sunday.

The by-election to Aizawl West-I will be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections and official information to this regard is yet to be received, he said.

He said that the state has been gearing up for the Lok Sabha polls, wherein 7,84,405 electorates, including 4,02,408 female voters will exercise their franchise in 1,175 polling stations across the state.

The last date for filing nominations is fixed for March 25, while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is fixed for March 28. Scrutiny of nomination papers will be held on March 26 and counting of votes would be undertaken on May 23.

The model code of conduct has been in placed from Sunday evening, Kundra said.

Out the total 7,84,405 voters there are 52,556 first time voters and 4,428 service voters. This time, 10% of the total polling stations will be manned by women.

According to the CEO, at least 20 counting halls have been set up for the general election and 20 strong rooms for keeping EVMs. Special security arrangement has been made for the upcoming polls, he added.

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