Villagers construct wire-rope suspension bridge as delay continues in restoring collapsed highway

PANGIN, 18 Jul: Villagers of Pangin and Kebang circles of Siang district have constructed a wire-rope suspension bridge alongside the recently collapsed portion of the Pangin-Pasighat highway near Rottung.

The approximately 30 metres long bridge is expected to ease the woes of the people of Siang, West Siang, Shi-Yomi and Upper Siang districts till the highway is restored completely.

“The footpath bridge will now shorten the travel time of the commuters as they will not be required to climb the hilly track that takes around one hour to reach the other side,” Lelek bridge construction committee chairman Tagum Sitang said.

Sitang informed that the authorities, including the district administration and the highway department, had initially objected to the construction of any structure near the block point, but witnessing the plight of the commuters, the elderly people of the area initiated the construction of the bridge.

Even after more than 20 days following the disruption of the road, the highway department is yet to start the restoration work on the portion of the road at Lelek point.

The under-construction alternative road from Rottung to Yene camp (20 Mile) via the Damuk WRC area is expected to take two to three months to complete.

Pasighat East MLA Kaling Moyong, who visited the block point, commended the efforts of the villagers for voluntarily constructing the bridge.

He assured to take up the matter of the road blockage with the chief minister and the union ministry, along with the legislators of the Siang belt.

Moyong, who has been recently appointed as a government spokesperson, said discussions will also be held for an alternative solution. He appealed to the public not to claim any compensation “in case a decision for a new road construction is taken up.”

Siang district BJP president Tapang Tamut expressed serious concern over the delay in restoration work. He said that the district has been reeling under serious trouble due to the road blockages at Sanggam and Lelek points.

The ABK’s Rotgong block secretary John Jamoh also said that “the highway department is totally neglecting the area as it has not even initiated an inch for the restoration works till date.”

Kebang ZPM Topi Jerang, who submitted a memorandum to Moyong on behalf of three ZPMs, said that “the area has been cut off from the rest of the world and people are facing untold miseries in terms of shortages of essential commodities and medical emergencies.”

She appealed to the state government to ensure immediate restoration of NH 13 at the Lelek block point, along with construction of a road through Rottung.

Pangin ZPM Oyar Muang appealed for “helicopter service for medical emergency at least thrice in a week.” The ZPM also appealed to the state government to start the restoration work without waiting for official procedures.

Among others, Nugong ZPM Nani Taki, Siang ZPC Osi Mibang, East Siang ZPC Olen Rome and Pangin BJP mandal president Taloko Darang were present during Moyong’s visit.