NHPC fails to reconstruct collapsed Paranpilla Bridge

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Feb 14: Residents of mountainous Paranpilla village in North Kashmir’s Baramulla today alleged that National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) authorities have failed to reconstruct the Uri-Paranpilla Bridge which was collapsed in year 2008.
Locals said that three years ago the NHPC authorities dumped the construction material near the site but till date they have not started work on the damaged bridge. “Recently, the NHPC officials visited the site and assured us that reconstruction work of the bridge will be started by 8th of this month but nothing has happened so far,” the locals told Excelsior.
“This bridge is on the only key route to Uri town from our village. Ever since this bridge was damaged, we are facing connectivity problems,” said a local, Touseef Zaffar, adding “the Bridge would have shortened the distance of 27 kilometers to mere one kilometer.”
Touseef said that their village is prone to landslides during rainy days. “The road to our village usually remains closed as it is often hit by landslides and shooting stones triggered by heavy rains. Reconstruction of this bridge can revive our hopes of connectivity,” he added.
The locals said that Chatti Padshahi Gurduwara is also located in the village which is visited by hundreds of pilgrims every year but now they too are facing problems in reaching there. In April last year, Sikh community was not able to celebrate a function related to Baisakhi because of the ‘connectivity issue’ with the Chatti Padshai Gurudwara thus triggering resentment among them, they added.
The Paranpilla Bridge  was collapsed on November 16, 2008 during the load testing and  resulted into the death of at least 28 labourers. Meanwhile, no NHPC official was available for the comment. However Sub-Divisional Magistrate Uri, D Sagar said the work on the collapsed bridge will start in March this year.