Uri bridge awaits restoration for last 12 yrs

Abandoned bridge in Uri.
Abandoned bridge in Uri.

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Feb 9: More than a decade has passed but historic Nand Singh Bridge in border town of Uri in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district still awaits restoration.
The work on the bridge is incomplete since last 12 years. The bridge was damaged in devastating earthquake of October 8, 2005. It is located on Haji Peer Nallah and connects more than 35 villages with Uri Town.
According to locals, the construction work on the damaged bridge was taken up by the Project Beacon of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) but the contractor who was allotted the work abandoned it abruptly.
“The construction work on the bridge continued for only one year after the earthquake. Later we came to know that the contractor has left the work halfway,” said Touseef Zaffer, a trader from the town. As the construction was put on halt, the Beacon constructed a temporary bride nearby along Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Highway for smooth vehicular movement which however also got damaged in September 2014 floods.
“The temporary bridge was constructed again but it is weak and has no proper support. We fear it can collapse again,” Touseef said. Though the Beacon is yet to take over the construction work of the bridge again but the traffic continues to ply through the risky bridge.
Chief Engineer (CE) Beacon, Brigadier A K Das told Excelsior that construction work on the bridge will start in May this year. “The contractor who was allotted the work went to court against us as he wants change in the drawing of the bridge. Now we have appointed a new contractor for the work,” the CE said, adding “we expect the work to restart by the month of May this year.”