Incomplete bridges need due attention

Authorities concerned must from time to time take stock of incomplete bridges which otherwise are vital for the mobility of traffic and more so for commuters so that problems and hiccups could be addressed. In Srinagar particularly, special significance is there for the bridges which connects people on and from the two sides of the River Jehlum. Residents around Sampora and Somerbug areas in the outskirts of the summer capital city face tremendous problems due to two bridges which are incomplete for quite some time due to host of problems but curiously including of political nature. One of the two bridges is a foot bridge and the other, a 140 meter motor(able) bridge in Sampora, is meant to connect several areas with the old National Highway and bestow upon the commuters and vehicle owners plying through the said bridge, benefits of saving of considerable time and distance. Construction work on this bridge was started in the year 2017 while its estimated cost is Rs.13.30 crore but so far, less than half of the bridge only has been built.
While in most of the cases, work gets interrupted and even suspended on account of erratic, delayed or no payments or funds, in the instant case ”politics” has reportedly played the spoilsport. It is reported that only after the visit of a political leader to the area, work on this bridge was stopped and curiously, the authorities when contacted by the local residents in this connection, refused to say anything or assuage their feelings by trying to arrange restarting of the work on the bridge. Whether this could be the main basis of this bridge left ”suffering ”is really astonishing. Was there some political meddling in the work on the bridge and what type of ”interference” was it, must be clarified by the concerned officials. Whatever the case, sufferers are the people who are compelled to take longer routes to reach their respective destinations mainly the District Headquarters and the Srinagar Jammu National Highway. People have, as a result, to resort to using boats to cross the river or have to take longer routes through Lasjasn to reach the National Highway. The possibilities of this bridge being put under “languishing projects” is the only option now left so that under that scheme, it could be completed but again, taking that decision is delayed for unknown reasons.
The foot bridge, on the other hand which is constructed in Pantha Chowk area is also marred by several disruptions. Last two years saw work on it going just at snail’s pace while many a time it is stopped for days and weeks together. On the insistence of the people to make it motor(able) too has put extra burden on its funding which is delaying the work on it, is what is the official version. Again, the residents of this area too have to cross the river using boats. Under these circumstances, we urge the authorities to take a proper call on the subject and understanding the utility of bridges in the city outskirts, ensure that these two bridges are completed at an early date.