The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) inaugurated the suspension bridge on June 7th built to provide smooth transportation to the jade mining area for civilians in Hpakant Jade Mining Township, in Burma’s northern Kachin State.
The suspension bridge known as Ginsi Mahkrai, on the Uru Hka River, was constructed by the KIO and it connects the jade mining fields in the controlled area of the Ginsi-based Kachin Independence Army’s Battalion 6, the armed wing of the KIO, and the Burmese government-controlled Lawng Hkang (Lonkhin) village-tract.
The newly-built suspension bridge is welcomed and appreciated by local people, jade businessmen, jade miners and merchants because they can travel to the jade mines smoothly without difficulties, travelers said.
Residents used boats and bamboo rafts to make the difficult crossing of the Uru Hka River before the Ginsi Suspension Bridge was completed, said the local people.
“All people feel happy on this bridge and it helps residents of the Ginsi area. Jade dealers and jade miners now have an easy way to get around, especially during rainy season,” a resident of Hpakant said.
The bridge was constructed by Major Yawngba Brang Shawng, Commander of KIA Battalion 6. It took eight months.
The cornerstone states the 293 foot suspension bridge is able to stand passing motorcycles and heavy vehicles up to two tons. It is 875 feet above sea level and the total cost of construction is 140,200,000 kyat (est. U.S. $174,161 on 1$=805 kyat).
Residents say they are happy and appreciate the hard work of the KIO, especially during the recent military tension with the Burmese government.
There are four bridges in Hpakant Township on the Uru Hka River. The Ginsi Bridge and the Lawng Hkang (Lonkhin) bridges which connect Hpakant and Mashi Kahtawng, and the Seng Tawng Bridge.