Repairing of the damaged Barak Bridge,which has disrupted vehicular movementalong theimportant Imphal-Jiribam Highway,is underway, Works Minister ShriThongamBiswajit Singh said this afternoon.

The Minister was speaking to a team of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union led by their president WangkhemchaShyamjai who called on the Minister at his New Secretariat office to discuss welfare measures of the journalists’ community of the State.

The Minister also appealed to the people to bear for a few days before the bridge is fully repaired and movement is restored, since the other major lifeline of the State, the Imphal-Dimapur Road, is also cut off due to major landslides in neighbouring Nagaland.

Minister Biswajitalso said that the present government under Chief Minister N Biren takes the issue with all seriousness. He said that he is in constant touch with the Chief Minister on the issue.

The highway is under the National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited, however, since the road is a major lifeline of the State, the State PWD has initiated and offered all possible help in repairing the bridge, ShriBiswajit continued.

Stating that reports have suggested that overloaded trucks passing over the bridge and a few lapses on the part of some officials manning the bridge in checking weights of vehicles had resulted in the damage, the Minister continued that authorities concerned have been instructed to look into the lapses of the officials, seize the vehicles as well as interrogate the drivers.

Meanwhile, addressing the AMWJU team, the Minister who also holds the IPR portfolio called on the journalist community to come together and work unitedly for a better Manipur. He also expressed the need to refurbish the Manipur Press Club and provide rooms for all the journalists’ community including those coming from the interior parts of the State to the State capital.

The AMWJU team highlighted several issues including increase in journalists’ pension scheme amount, Press Akademi, Press Colony, allotment of plot with building for the union’s branch office at Moreh (Chandel), Jiribam sub-division (Imphal-East), Ukhrul HQ, Tamenglong HQ and at Mao, Senapati district, increased of ex-gratia to deceased journalists, Journalists’ Family Benefit Scheme, Increase budgetary support for maintaining the Manipur Press Club to Rs. 3 lakh, Accredited Journalists’ Assistance (Operational Subsidy Scheme).

The Minister assured to look into all the charter of demands with due consultation with Chief Minister Shri N Biren.

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