A decade is not considered “sufficient” enough for construction of a small bridge in Dogripora, area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. In other words, a bridge whose construction over river Jehlum started in 2007 with an aim to connect several villages of Pulwama with Srinagar – Anantnag Highway, is still incomplete as the work on it is moving with the proverbial snail’s pace. It was planned to mitigate the sufferings of the people of various villages like Dogripura, Reshipora, Panzgam, Shal- Taken and Naiyna who would stand benefited with this bridge as the villagers are facing several hardships like traveling up to Awantipora to cross the river in boats to touch the National Highway.
Similarly for healthcare and health related emergencies, they have to travel up to Pulwama town. The delay, reliable sources reveal, has been caused because of stoppage of work over it for unknown reasons several times. In the absence of the availability of funds, how can such projects be undertaken is hard to comprehend. The paucity of funds are often in such cases creating havoc and even bills due to many contractors are pending for clearance for payments for months together which again affects the construction works, like the one under reference.
The construction of the bridge, under state sector was initiated in 2007 but without fixing any timeline and due to cash crunch, the project was transferred to Central Road Fund (CRF) scheme and then, again, to National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). Change in funding schemes for the bridge has played the villain’s role. Even after the transfer of the project to CRF, the authorities reportedly did not approve of the decision. Only 40 percent of work is completed and the rest would be completed by the year 2019 once funds were released. Out of the project cost of Rs. 17 crores, only Rs. 3 crores have been spent which speaks of complete disarray of planning and financial aspects.