People risking lives as vehicles crossing Birma Nallah

A bus stuck in Birma nallah in District Udhampur. —Excelsior/K Kumar
A bus stuck in Birma nallah in District Udhampur. —Excelsior/K Kumar

Excelsior Correspondent

UDHAMPUR, Aug 1: As damaged Birma Bridge near Udhampur town remains closed for all kinds of traffic, vehicles and pedestrians are crossing the Nallah having flowing water thus risking their lives.
Traffic is running via Birma Nallah as people are risking their lives to avoid 15-20 kms distance to reach their destinations. In absence of policemen to stop people travelling through the Nallah, there are apprehensions of mishap as was witnessed three days back when a labourer had drowned while crossing the water.
A bus carrying passengers from Udhampur to Panchari got stuck into Birwan nallah as water level rises suddenly due to flash flood. The bus was later removed from the nallah with the help of JCB.
It may be recalled that Old National Highway to Udhampur was completely closed after a portion of approach road to Birma Bridge, which was damaged on July 24 and temporarily repaired by filling up soil and stones, once again caved in on July 28.
Locals alleged that portion of this approach road was sinking for the last few months but the concerned authorities did not initiate any repair work thus causing major damage to the bridge. This old National Highway to Udhampur town from Army’s Northern Headquarters has been constructed by GREF and serves as vital link between the Army Headquarters and Udhampur town, which is five kilometer from there.
Meanwhile, District Administration Udhampur is learnt to have approached the Army’s 54 Engineer Regiment for creating a temporary Bridge on damaged Birma bridge. As the work in this regard was started this morning, the temporary bridge is likely to be ready in next 36 hours.