Umaisar Gull Ganie
Qazigund, Oct 25: Residents of several villages in the Qazigund area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district are facing a daunting challenge due to the absence of a bridge over the Viethvethru river at Sailyaloo.
Locals expressed their frustration and said the unavailability of the bridge has brought immense hardships to their daily lives.
Despite the existence of a well-paved macadamised road, the lack of a robust bridge over the Viethvethru river has resulted in disconnect between the residents of villages like Sailyaloo, Khushipora and Baghpora, and the town of Qazigund.
The villagers said that year after year, they take it upon themselves to assemble a makeshift bridge to navigate the river. However, when the monsoon season arrives, the waters sweep away their fragile structure, leaving them with no option but to cross the river.
“The grim reality is that, over the years, lives have been lost as people attempted to cross the river during heavy rains,” said Bashir Ahmad Khan, a local resident, adding, “We are demanding the construction of a permanent bridge that would prevent such tragic incidents.”
He said that a constructed bridge would not only provide safe passage but also significantly reduce the distance between several villages. “This will help commuters reach their destinations more swiftly,” he added.
A local student mentioned the daily struggles caused by the absence of the bridge. “In the absence of a footbridge in our area, we are compelled to cross the river. We have been suffering due to the lack of proper connectivity in the area,” he said.
Ishtiaq Hussain, Executive Engineer of the Roads & Building Department in Division Qazigund, said that the bridge project has been submitted to higher authorities for approval. “Once the approval is granted, we will immediately start the construction,” he said.