15 years on , Baramulla Bridge Awaits completion

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  • Ubair ul Hameed

Baramulla : Construction of the Jetty bridge in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district has remained incomplete for the last 15 years causing great inconvenience to people. The work on the bridge was started in 2001 but remained suspended for quite some time due to which the Roads and Buildings (R&B) department has failed to meet the deadlines.

Residents of Khawaja Bagh Baramulla and its adjoining areas have complained that they face difficulties in commuting due to the slow
pace of construction work on the jetty bridge. Residents say the bridge will not only streamline the heavy traffic movement in Baramulla but the vital bridge at Jetty will also connect Kupwara district to Srinagar via Handwara.

In 2001 The J&K Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC) had started the work on the bridge near Jetty but the construction agency suspended it soon. The state government in 2003 asked the authorities to complete the construction of bridge at Jetty but the latter did not respond which delayed the construction again, JKPCC sources said.

“Construction of the bridge near Khawaja Bagh is going on at snail’s pace. If the construction authorities do not work on the bridge, it will take yet another decade to make the bridge motorable. The construction work on the bridge was suspended in 2001 and it has not been resumed till date,” said Mohammed Ashraf, a local resident. “Cost of the construction material and the cost of labor has doubled since 2001, this had made the government to propose new plans for construction which is more time consuming, this leads to further delay and at the end in creating trouble for thepopulation” he added.

The local residents demanded that that the construction of the bridge should be resumed as soon as possible.
“This bridge will shorten the distance by at least 20 km between Srinagar and Kupwara. It will also give relief to the commuters in Baramulla who are victims of frequent traffic jams daily. In view of an increasing strategic importance of the bridge, we appeal to the concerned authorities to resume the construction soon,” said Showket Ahmad, JKPCC Deputy General Manager. JKPCC has submitted a report to the government in this regard, he added.

The work on the vital bridge was suspended due to the paucity of funds. We have already written to the government to provide funds,” Showket said.

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