Awantipora, Sep 6: Even after 15 years, a vital bridge on river Jhelum in Awantipora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district is awaiting completion.
Locals from Dogripora said that the foundation of the bridge was laid in 2007 during PDP-Congress regime, however, since then 15 years have passed and 60 percent hasn’t been completed yet.
Shakeel Ahmad, a resident of Dogripora village said that over the years, many people have drowned while crossing Jhelum through a boat in absence of the bridge.
“Such accidents wouldn’t have happened had this bridge been completed on time,” he said, adding that this bridge would connect dozens of villages with national highway at Pujteng Sethar and over 50 villages with railway station Panzgam Pulwama.
Shahid Hussain another local said that the project is under JKPCC and every year they hardly work for 15 to 20 days and left it, “due to which locals are facing a lot of problems.”
“We have knocked the doors of every authority but on ground nothing happened,” locals said. “We have met the Governor and their advisors as well who assured us that work will start soon, however, their promises like officials also proved a hoax on ground.”
Locals once again requested higher ups to look into the matter and resume work on this bridge so that locals can heave a sigh of relief.
An official of JKPCC said that the work for construction of Dogripora bridge was started in March 2008. As per the DPR the construction of 128 meter span (4 X 32 mtr) steel girder bridge with cost of Rs. 1384.69 Lacs over river Jhelum at Dogripora (District Pulwama) with approaches was proposed to be completed within the period of three working seasons subject to availability of funds.
He said that the R&B Department failed to release the sufficient funds within the stipulated period of time with the result that the construction work could not be completed well in time and is still going on and further under state sector Rs. 608.94 Lacs was released and work for the same amount was executed on site. During various District Board meetings of District Pulwama, the then Hon’ble Chief Minister who chaired one such meeting had directed the R&B department to change the funding pattern of the said bridge as in state sector funding the completion of this bridge will take huge time.
Initially the R&B department prepared the revised cost offer for funding under CRF/ NABARD but later the construction of the bridge was brought under Languishing Projects for a balance cost of Rs. 785.29 Lacs and in September 2020 the R&B Department has accorded Administrative Approval for construction of Dogripora Bridge, he said.
The CC 1 of Rs. 112.56 lacs was already released and CC 2nd claim of Rs 89 lacs on account of work done for construction of Dogripora Bridge has been raised to JKIDFC through R&B Department but the same is returned with observation to deduct Corporation overhead charges @ 15 % (as per the latest circular of finance Department) and the same is being under process and shall be submitted by 1/08/2022, he added.
Regarding Physical status of bridge, both abutments completed up to cap level, pier Pl- well sinking & bottom plugging completed, Pier P2 – 90% completed, Pier P3 – raised up to Cap level, Further Sub-structure work is already allotted and is in progress, he added further.
Regarding Super structure, Material for 2 spans was already procured by JKPCC and fabrication 40 % completed on labour charges through e- tender and tender for pending 2 spans was uploaded on composite basis 5 times, but no response received, he added further.
Currently the tender was uploaded and no response received on last date i.c on 28/07/2022 and date extended by 12 days, he added further.
“As of now the water has decreased and the work is being resumed shortly and the work on the bridge will be expedited very soon and it will be completed as early as possible,” he said.