Raja Syed Rather
Ganderbal, Nov 4: For the past 13 years, a vital bridge in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, which links numerous villages with the Kangan sub-division, has remained incomplete.
The 84-metre-long bridge at Akhal was sanctioned in 2008 to improve connectivity in the area and the construction work, undertaken by JKPCC with an estimated cost of Rs 8.96 crore, is still unfinished, the locals said.
They said the prolonged delay in completing this bridge has left them disheartened. “We have made several representations to various government offices, but to no avail,” they said.
Locals said the anticipated completion date was set for September 2014; however, due to insufficient funding, the bridge remained unfinished.
“The old bridge had been declared unsafe multiple times by the R&B department. Still, it was temporarily reopened for light motor vehicles after a protest by locals in the area.
Three years ago, the bridge was included in the list of languishing projects, and the Ganderbal administration had set a deadline for completion by December 2020. Unfortunately, this deadline, like previous ones, was also missed.
Meanwhile, several villages like Akhal, Kunmullah, Najwan, Check Akhal, Nillah Najwan, Tangchatter, Hayan, Palpora, and others lack essential healthcare centres and fire and emergency services, according to residents.
Local residents allege that this bridge has remained a political vote bank for several parties over the years. They have appealed to the Lieutenant Governor to intervene in this matter.