Over 3 years on, Gangbugh foot bridge awaits reconstruction

Waseem Ahmad
SRINAGAR, May 13: More than three years have passed since floods washed away a foot bridge at Gangbugh area on the outskirts of Srinagar but authorities are yet to rebuild it.
The bridge over Srinagar flood spill channel was washed away in the devastating floods of 2014 leading to problems of commuting for locals. The locals, however, alleged that the use of substandard material in the construction led to the collapse of bridge that was built by the Department of Irrigational and Flood Control in 2013.
The locals said they had made repeated requests to the authorities for its restoration but to no avail. “We have been running from pillar to post for the restoration of the vital bridge but our pleas are unheard,” Bashir Ahmad, a local said
Ghulam Mohiddin Dar, a local resident, said that despite spending huge amount on the bridge, it could not stand during the floods.
Dar said after the bridge was washed away, the residents of the area contributed money and made a makeshift road so that they will be able to cross the flood channel. “The makeshift road often remains submerged during rains or when the water level in the flood channel rises. It becomes difficult for the vehicles to cross the uneven, muddy road and several vehicles have broken while plying on it,” he said.
Another local Ghulam Mohiddin Wani, alleged that the authorities also used the makeshift road for de-silting the flood channel and sold the material worth crores of rupees but turned blind eye towards the damaged bridge.
Siraj-u-din, Executive Engineer I&FC department, Narbal Division, said that they had forwarded the estimate of funds required for the
construction of the bridge to the authorities and hoped that the bridge will be reconstructed this year. “Due to funds scarcity, the reconstruction work was not started yet. We have made an estimate for the bridge and hopefully the work will be started this year,” he said.


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