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Flood-damaged bridge repaired by Indian side

- Dev Narayan Sah, MORANG

Oct 7, 2017-The flood-damaged bridge at Mirjungghat, India is set to resume operation from Saturday after Indian authorities completed repair works. The bridge had seriously affected Nepal-India trade via Biratnagar border point.

It lies five-kilometre south of Biratnagar Customs. Following the damage caused by floods to infrastructure, cargo vehicles have not been able to enter Nepal via Biratnagar-Jogbani customs point, one of the main entry points at Nepal-India border in the eastern region.

Raju Ranjan, an engineer at Indian National Highway, informed that the reconstruction of iron made bridge would be completed by Friday evening. According to him, one of the six pillars of the bridge was damaged by the flooding. The bridge was constructed six decades ago.

Ranjan said they repaired the damaged pillar with three additional structures. “We are now repainting the bridge after completing the reconstruction.”

According to Ranjan, the Indian authority has also been constructing another bridge as an alternative to the existing structure. He said the existing bridge can support the movement of vehicles carrying loads of up to 10 tonnes.

Rajendra Raut, vice-president of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Province No. 1, said the vehicular movement through the route will be resumed from Saturday. A team of Nepali entrepreneurs also visited the construction site on Friday.

Raut said Nepali traders were compelled to divert their trading route through Birpur-Bhimnagar in India after the bridge in Mirjungghat was damaged by the flood. According to him, they have been paying double for transport costs while using the alternative route.

Pawan Kumar Sarda, president of Morang Merchant Association, said the flood damaged bridge and railway track has adversely affected more than 500 factories operating in Sunsari-Morang Industrial Corridor. According to him, an average of over 1,000 trucks loaded with imported and exported goods pass through the route daily.

The railway track in Jogbani that had been damaged by the flood has already resumed operations since September 9.

Published: 07-10-2017 09:00

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