Tarnah Bridge rectification for damaged portion to be completed by Feb 24: NHAI

Repair work to commence after monsoon period

Nishikant Khajuria

JAMMU, Sept 20: There seems no soon respite to commuters as rectification of damaged portion of Tarnah bridge on National Highway between Jammu to Lakhanpur would take more than five months to complete while no repair work has commenced so far.
This has been stated by none but the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in response to an application under Right to Information Act.
Virtually admitting that no repair work on the vital bridge has been started even after two months since the damage, the NHAI has said the bridge rehabilitation can be commenced only after completion of the ongoing monsoon period.
Tarnah Bridge at Dayalachak on Jammu-Pathankot National Highway was damaged in July 2023 due to heavy flood in river Tarnah after continuous rain. Since then, vehicular traffic on the bridge remains suspended and has been diverted to alternate route.
In response to the online RTI application regarding completion time to be taken for repair works of damaged Tarnah Bridge, Project Director, NHAI, Project Implementation Unit Jammu, has replied that “Tarnah Bridge Rectification for damaged portion is likely to be completed by Feb-2024.”
Project Director, Y P S Jadon has also apprised in the reply that causeway has been made operational for Light Motor Vehicles(LMV) Traffic.
Regarding the query related to estimated cost for the repair work of the damaged bridge, the NHAI reveals that cost of estimation for rectification was under preparation.
Further, the NHAI did not provide clear information regarding the total percent of repair work that has been completed on this damaged and said that that “Bridge rehabilitation can be commenced only after completion of monsoon period “.
These replies of the NHAI in response to the application of Jammu based RTI activist Raman Sharma make it clear that even after two months since the damage to Tarnah Bridge and subsequent suspension of vehicular movement on it, no efforts have been made for the required repair work to make this significant bridge on Jammu-Pathankot National Highway at Dayalachak operational again.
Two-member high level technical team of NHAI had inspected the Tarnah bridge site on August 29 to take stock of the situation. The visiting team had claimed that the Centre and the Ministry of Surface Road Transport were alive to the problems being faced by people here and the executing agencies of NHAI were sincerely engaged in their job of constructing the alternate road and trying to make it available to people for use as early as possible.
Pertinent to mention that Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts witnessed protests for the past two months with the people seeking suspension of Sarore Toll Plaza in Samba district till the damaged bridge is repaired and smooth traffic is restored on it. Yuva Rajput Sabha was in forefront of the agitation on the issue, supported by Jammu Chamber of Commerce, Bar Association Jammu, transporters and all political parties of J&K, except BJP. In this connection, successful Jammu bandh was also observed on August 26.