WB funded bridges await completion

“Moderately unsatisfactory” is what the
World Bank in its report on June 27 termed
the progress of implementation of the projects,
it has funded in Kashmir. To attenuate the
losses the valley suffered in the devastating
floods of 2014, World Bank funded Rs. 1500
crore for the State to reconstruct damaged and
ravaged infrastructure. These included two
bridges financed by it in South Kashmir where
the work on them was going in fits and starts and
fragmentary manner, putting to difficulties
dozens of villages in the districts of Shopian and
Pulwama in Kashmir.
The “tale” of Trenz Bridge and Rohmoo Bridge
in Shopian and Pulwama districts respectively
depict delays, slow pace of work, mere release
of 10% of funds, inordinate delay in completing
paper work and the like. Both the bridges hold
importance in them so far as connectivity of
many villages to several areas is concerned. The
areas affected by floods virtually remained cut
off for around three years as the Government did
not take steps to reconstruct the damaged
bridges and only in May 2017, World Bank
agreed to fund the projects. Both the bridges
were to be constructed at a total estimated cost
of Rs. 56 crore.
Since slow funding has been the main reason
behind the twin bridges not picking up in
their reconstruction work, it is hoped that the
State Government would address and resolve
the stalemate and ensure smooth and uninterrupted
flow of need based funds to the projects
so that using of risky makeshift foot bridges and
other alternative methods of connectivity by the
affected residents of the areas was over sooner
than later.