Raja Syed Rather
Ganderbal, Dec 6: A vital bridge in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district which connects dozens of villages with the Kangan sub-division here awaits completion for the last 12 years.
The Akhal bridge, with a total length of 84 metres, was sanctioned in 2008; and the construction work was taken up by the JKPCC at an estimated cost of Rs 8.96 crore.
The people of these villages and also from Kangan have only one question for the government: “What is the fun of starting work on the bridge and not completing it?”
The people said that they have moved from pillar to post to get the work on the bridge restarted but to no avail.
According to them, the deadline for completion of the project was September 2014. However, due to inadequate funding, they said, the work on the bridge was stopped many times.
The old bridge was declared unsafe many times by the Roads & Buildings Department; however, it was later opened for light motor vehicles, they said.
“Two years ago, the bridge was taken in ‘Languishing Projects’ and the district administration asked the concerned departments to complete the construction up to December 2020, but the project continues to miss deadlines and is still incomplete,” a local said.
“The bridge has remained a political vote bank for several parties for years,” another local said, adding, “We hope the Lt Governor Sahab will take the matter seriously and order the bridge to be completed at the earliest.”