Aizawl, Dec 11: Considering magisterial inquiry as inadequate, main opposition the Mizo National Front (MNF) today demanded that a judicial inquiry commission comprising of veteran judicial officers under Gauhati High Court be constituted to probe into the collapse of the bailey bridge over river Tlawng that occurred on 2 December.
The meeting of MNF office bearers held today at Mizo Hnam Run passed a resolution demanding the setting up of an independent judicial inquiry commission which would not be dictated by the government and dare not spare even government top officials, to probe into the repeated collapse of the bailey bridge between Sihhmui and Lengpui on NH 44 –A. The 200 ft long bailey bridge over Tlawng river had collapse again on 2 December when a dumper truck loaded with stone chips was plying on it killing the handy of the truck and injuring the driver. The bailey bridge which linked Aizawl to Mizoram’s lone Lengpui Airport had collapsed three times in 14 months. It had first collapsed on October 31 last year and again on December 8.
On December 4, one M.Lalmanzuala had also filed PIL at Guahati High Court, Aizawl bench demanding magisterial inquiry into the collapse following which a judicial bench headed by judge Michael Zothankhuma served a show cause notice to the state government to justify the matter within one week.
Chief Secretary, PWD secretary, Home Secretary, DGP, PWD Engineer-in-Chief, PWD Chief Engineer (Highway) and Aizawl SP were made respondent to justify the cause on behalf of the Mizoram government.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla on Thursday told reporter that the state government has responded to the show cause notice.
Lal Thanhawla alleged that the recent collapse occurred when the bailey bridge was crossed by a dumper truck that carry loads beyond the bridge’s normal load capacity.
He added that taking cognizance of the fragility of the bridge, the government has displayed signboards on each side of the bridge that warns about the load capacity.
On finding that the government held little responsibility over the collapse and the it was allegedly occurred due to failure on the part of the truck driver to give attention to the warning, FIR had been lodged at Sairang police station and the law enforcing agency has been asked to probe into it, Lal Thanhawla told media during a press conference held on Thursday at Chief Minister Conference Hall.
The MNF office bearers which met today set 16 December as the day for closure of MNF office which will be re-opened on 12 January next year.
The meeting slammed the Election Commission of India (ECI) for paying indifference to its demand regarding the re-scheduling of the declaration of Aizawl North -III assembly seat bypolls results and general election to Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC) and Lai Autonomous District Council (LADC). It also alleged that the holding of AMC and LADC polls right after the announcement of bypolls result was perhaps a ploy to divert the attention of voters.