2 years not sufficient period for Govt to reconstruct pedestrian bridge

A view of damaged pedestrian bridge.
A view of damaged pedestrian bridge.

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Feb 9: It has been more than two years since the devastating floods washed away a pedestrian bridge at Ammad village on the outskirts of Kashmir’s famed tourist destination Pahalgam in southern Anantnag district but authorities failure to restore the bridge is forcing people to risk their lives by walking over a makeshift wooden bridge.
The 28-year old bridge over the trout stream was washed away in the devastating floods of 2014. The bridge connects nearly eight villages including Ammad, Bagwan, Salar and Amad Zoo to the main Ashmuqam. It is also the only connecting link between Dashnipora and Khovrepora hamlets.
The locals alleged that the failure of authorities to restore the bridge has cut off their area from the main town which has forced them to construct a makeshift wooden bridge over the stream. “Every day we have to help our children to cross the bridge as the wooden planks are very dangerous to walk over. Almost all the basic facilities which an individual needs are on the other side of the stream,” Mohammad Yousuf, local village head, said.
He also said that the villagers have donated wooden planks and logs to construct a makeshift bridge to maintain the connectivity but the bridge was temporary and could prove fatal to the pedestrian. “We constructed the bridge hoping that the concerned department would construct the bridge but more than two years have passed and construction work has not picked”, he said.
Block Development Officer Pahalgam, Bashir Ahmad, said: “Initially, we could not take up the construction work under MNEREGA as it includes more labour costs. But, now we have put the work under a new scheme called 14 FC and within next few days construction work will be taken up.”