Home » Bridge built in one night during WW2 in Manipur remain unnoticed by government

Bridge built in one night during WW2 in Manipur remain unnoticed by government

by IT Web Admin
2 comments 3 minutes read

Laishram Ranbir
Imphal, April 21: Over the past few decades many priceless heritage sites and monuments have been destroyed, vandalised or desecrated in countries across the world while more than 100 heritage sites could be damaged beyond repair if urgent action isn’t taken up to protect them.
In Manipur too, many of the sites which has been declared world heritage and many which are yet to be declared are at the verged of extinction as no state authority has taken up any measures for its protection.
World Heritage sites are designated by the UN as places of outstanding universal value which should be protected for future generations but according to a study from the experts, urbanisation, farming, industry and deforestation are having an increasing impact on them.
During the Second World War, various roads and bridges were constructed in Manipur as a passed route by the Allied forces and among these roads and bridges is the “The Hamilton bridge” built between Heingang and Achanbengei.
Recently, some contractors or government workers tried to tear down this aged old bridge built  during the WW2. Almost 80% of the woods laid on the bridge had been removed. Luckily, locals of the area managed to stop the work.
No one knows the reasons why the bridge have to be tear down while a proper modern bridge is already on use next to it.
Visiting the bridge, one can hear the tale from the locals of the bridge built in one night of April 5/6 of 1944 by 56 British Engineers from 58 Company Royal Engineers under the command of Lieutenant D G Jones. They were in Lion Box and were sent to a camp near where the bridge was built. The Hamilton Bridge built between Heingang and Achanbengei also connects the Airfield at Koirengei with the IV Corps HQ at Keep or Mongjam/Heingang area.
The story of how the Bridge was build in one night is a lullaby to many children of the area. 
In our state Manipur, now-a-days it is becoming hard to find a heritage site or site where WW2 have occurred apart for few like known places like Nambol Maibam Lokpa CHing, Imphal War Cemetry, Kanglatongbi War Cemetry, INA at Moirang and Kangla.
But we should not forget that there are many other places in the state which have been left isolated or destroyed due to the construction of houses illegally and legally.
The Hamilton Bridge which is built in one night is the very example for Manipur state to be proud of having such bridge show the world how technology was so advance during the WW2 compare to today’s generation and who know hundreds of such kind might be out there.
It’s been more than 73 years the Hamilton Bridge was built and still stands strong and intact which is brilliant work of British Engineering.
 Rather than dismantle the bridge, the concern and state government should take up steps to keep it as a World War Heritage property for the generations to come.
It is worth considering national and world heritage conservation policies and legislation. All heritages are valuable and should be protected for posterity.
Heritage resources are as much a reflection of our humanity as is our very human existence.

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Joseph W Reynolds Jr April 22, 2017 - 9:05 am

May I have permission to copy this article. My hobby is reading about WWII and collecting articles and photos about WWII, whether in Europe, Asia, Pacific, etc and regardless of country…. just anything about WWII. It is a shame that a lot of things from WWII are being destroyed. Hopefully you be able to save the bridge. Use to be there were many covered bridges In Kentucky (USA), but now there are only 13 left (and I have been to each one) and there is a statewide program to repair and preserve Kentucky’s covered bridges which finally begun in 1996. All of Kentucky’s remaining covered bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I appreciate the article. I had a great uncle that served in the CBI with his pack mule.
Thank you for your consideration.

Tony Sarao April 23, 2017 - 5:06 am

Some how we as Indians neglect history and heritage. Priceless buildings, forts, monuments — you name it , all being pulled down or slowly decaying. The problem is that the people responsible for identifying and maintaining such gems are neither aware, nor educated enough : and have no sense of history or historical values.
Enlightened citizens and communities have to do what the Government cannot or will not do.


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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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