New Delhi, Oct 16 (UNI) Rising yet again to the occasion, the Army Engineers built in record time a vital bridge on the National Highway 31 in the country's north-east to restore communication links snapped by floods last month.
Exceptionally high floods on September 11 washed away an RCC bridge near village Pathshala in Barpeta District of Assam resulting in disruption of traffic on NH31 -- a life-line not only for Assam but also the entire North-East Region -- and severe hardship to the local population.
The 107 Engineer Regiment (Shatrujeet) of the Red Horns Division under Gajraj Corps was tasked to undertake the construction of the bridge after the National Highways Authority of India had provided firm and stable abutments.
The Army engineers planned to install a 140-feet load-class-30 Bailey Bridge on the spot.
NHAI commenced the assigned work on September 14 and finally handed over the site to the Army on October 8 after testing of the abutments. The Army engineers mobilised 50 vehicle loads of bridging stores and more than 150 troops to the construction site by the same day.
Commencing construction of the Bailey Bridge the next day -- despite incessant rains, the spirited Jawans of the Engineer Regiment worked relentlessly to complete the task in three days only -- by October 11.
The newly-constructed Bailey Bridge was inaugurated by Assam Revenue Minister Bhumidhar Barman on Saturday last in the presence of Major General Gyan Bhushan, General Officer Commanding of the Red Horns Division.
Bailey Bridges were first used by the Royal Engineers during the Second World War in Italy in 1943. The bridge -- considered as one of the marvels of military engineering -- is a portable, prefabricated truss bridge designed for use by engineer units to bridge gaps up to 200 feet (60m). The bridge can be constructed with varying load classifications and is strong enough to carry tanks.