Phairuang River is situated in Lungleh district of Mizoram, India. Though the normal water level remains at 2 to 3 feet, it rises to more than 60 feet during heavy rains. Prior to construction of this bridge, all the villages located across this river remained cut-off most of the time during the lengthy monsoon (from April to October). Construction of the semi-permanent bridge started during 1969-70 but without any considerable progress due to so many unfavorable conditions: the main factor being the bridge site is located about 400 kilometers away from Silchar in Assam, the nearest Rail head. In those days only a single lane road through Aizawl and Lungleh connected Phairuang and it took three days to reach the site.
During 1977, I was asked to take over the charge of the Bridge site. The remaining concrete works and protective / river training works were completed by 1978. We planned to launch the superstructure before the monsoon and we got only 5 months for this (from November 1978 to March 1979). Stretching the schedule beyond March would be dangerous as heavy floods would wash away the scaffolding and other supporting structures. More than one thousand people were engaged for the task. A temporary platform with local timber was erected covering the entire span of the bridge and we constructed the superstructure with the help of whatever equipment available to us.
Here is an old photograph of the Bridge taken by me on March 1979, after commissioning for traffic. You can also see my name on the Bridge in the second photograph. We named it as "Ranjit Bridge" in memory of a worker died during construction.
I also came across a recent photograph of the Bridge taken during 2010 by one Mr. Malsawma Chhangte, from the link below: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/45213198 Specifications of the Bridge :
- Total length of the Bridge : 270 feet
- Spans : Three spans of 90 feet each
- Type : Stiffened Girder suspension Bridge
- Designed by : Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd, Kolkata, India
- Total Steel used : About 200 metric ton
Let us start building the Bridge with paper to the scale of 1 inch = 10 feet