4th Tawi Bridge in muddle

The fourth Tawi Bridge should have become functional in July last if the word of the JKPCC seniors meant anything. Five months have gone by and the commitment that the authorities had made to the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister who had visited it in June last could not be maintained. It explains the irresponsibility of the concerned in the JKPCC Department. In one of our editorials, we had raised the question why the JKPCC started work on the embankment/protection wall in June last when it knew that the monsoons were round the corner and heavy rains during the rainy season would hamper work on the project. Nobody took any serious view of the department taking a decision at the wrong time. Common sense says that they should have waited until the monsoon season was over so that work could be undertaken without any fear of being washed away. No sooner had the work on the project begun and filling of the pillars started, than heavy monsoon rains caused havoc. The rivers were in spate especially the Nikki Tawi and the flood water overflowed the protection walls which were not of sufficient height and washed away the concrete materials. The gushing waters also caused a breach in the link road and thus besides damaging one pillar of the bridge, the flood water left a yawning gap between the bridge and the link road. Even after more than three months of opening of  single tube of 4th bridge over river Tawi  connecting  Ware House,  Chatha and Satwari Cantonment area with the Jammu-Akhnoor-Rajouri  road   and the completion  of concrete protection wall/embankments upstream the bridge on Ware House side, the JKPCC authorities have failed to complete the protection work of this vital bridge.
The bridge was approved initially to ease the huge rush of traffic and congestion at the Ware House and adjoining areas. However, inordinate delay in completing the 17-crore work of raising the protection wall has cast a pall of disappointment over the people who have been waiting impatiently for the opening of the second tube of the bridge to make their work smooth.
The authorities have revived the old story of slow or halted flow of funds as the main reason for delay in its completion. But they have also held the floods and rains responsible for delayed work. Both are untenable in a sense. The starting of the work on the bridge immediately before the rainy season is a fault for which none else but the JKPCC Department has to be held responsible. As far as the flow of funds is concerned, the authorities have affirmed that the work will be completed within one month from now. This was the precise commitment they had made in June last when the Chief Minister made an inspection visit. Why did not they raise the issue of regular flow of funds at that time and on spot? This matter would have been resolved there and then. Since no such issue was raised in presence of the CM and the DyCM, obviously this was not an issue at all. How did it crop us so suddenly now is the question. The fact is that the JKPCC authorities are oblivious of the difficulties encountered by the public. If they would go deep into it, they will realize that a great responsibility devolves on their shoulders to ensure completion of these vital works in proper time. The departmental functionaries are required to shed culture of irresponsibility and insensitivity towards the difficulties and problems of the masses of people. When our correspondent visited the site, he was told that the kacha portion of the approach road connecting the bridge has not been made concrete. Some officials at the site indicated that it may take at least two to three and half months to complete this work. They told that the work on this side was started in real sense hardly 8-10 days earlier.
In final analysis, we are become used to the irresponsible commitments of the functionaries of the JKPCC not only in the case of the 4th Tawi Bridge, but in most of the developmental and infrastructural related works. Perhaps the JKPCC Department needs to be educated on the subject of reforming the old mindset and adopted new and futuristic vision of development of the State.


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