TODAY -

K Molnom bridge work continues despite Govt restriction
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, May 24 2024: A video and photos of construction of an RCC bridge over Manipur river at Kuki inhabited K Molnom village located around 16km west of Serou village in Kakching district but falling under Chandel district went viral on social media.

The viral video and photos showed ongoing construction of the bridge despite restriction imposed by the government of Manipur.

When queried about the construction, chief minister N Biren said the state government had already imposed restriction on construction of the bridge and necessary action will be initiated to halt the same.

Serou village is a strategic area bordering Chuchandpur, Chandel and Bishnupur districts with Kuki villages surrounding from three sides (East, South and West).

During the height of the ethnic violence, which broke on May 3, 2023, heavily armed Kukis attacked Serou and Sugnu from three sides, torching and destroying hundreds of Meetei houses while some people were killed.

As security forces face operational difficulties due to hilly terrain on East, South and West of Serou, armed Kukis from the nearby hills frequently attack Meetei villagers at Serou and Sugnu using sophisticated weapons and bombs.

Amidst the attacks by the armed Kukis, a report of construction of a large RCC bridge over Manipur river at K Molnom not far from Serou surfaced in the public domain earlier this year.

Officials are yet to declare as to who authorised construction of the bridge and from which fund the bridge is being built.

Nevertheless, Chandel deputy commissioner M Rajkumar had on March 21 issued a directive to those involved to immediately stop the construction work while citing severe security threat the bridge would pose to sensitive Serou and Sugnu area.

The directive also mentioned that law enforcing agencies particularly the Assam Rifles should halt construction of the bridge in coordination with civil authority and those found violating the directive will be punished as per law.

Emergence of video and photos on social media about the construction of the bridge at K Molnom despite restriction from the DC citing security reasons and the possibility of enhancing the violence compelled certain section of people to enquire if the bridge is being constructed without approval from the government.

They also raised posers on estimated cost of the bridge, which authority sanctioned the huge fund and the construction agency involved in the construction.

They further wonder if the state government is unable to identify people orchestrating or funding the bridge work and enforce the restriction apart from expressing their suspicion that the bridge at K Molnom when completed will facilitate movement of armed Kukis from across the border and aid those scheming to balkanise Manipur.

If the bridge happens to be constructed, movement of heavy vehicle is imminent from Chakpikarong in Chandel to Churachandpur.

It is learnt that construction of the bridge at K Molnom stopped for some time when a team of Kakching district police inspected the spot based on DC Chandel's directive.

Though falling under Sugnu police station, state force could not cover security of K Molnom due to the ongoing violence and accordingly 37 Assam Rifles currently man the village.

On closes examination of the viral video and photos, construction of base of the bridge is underway at full swing.

It also shows that there is no one to restrict construction of the bridge despite DC Chandel's directive issued on March 21.When The People's Chronicle informed about illegal construction of an RCC bridge at K Molnom and the developing issue at the state level over the construction, chief minister N Biren said that necessary action have been taken from the side of state government.


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