By RAASHID HASSAN
Shopian: A vital bridge damaged by devastating 2014 floods at Zainpora in south Kashmir’s Shopian district is craving for repairs. The diversion of the road is dangerous and difficult to maneouver resulting to immense difficulties to the local population. The diversion of vehicles causes heavy traffic jams on alternative road connecting Shopian and Anantnag districts.
The road is a vital link for around fifty villages including two tehsil headquarters connecting them with Anantnag. Inhabitants of Zainpora, Reshipora, Chitagam Bapora and Derpora are demanding speedy construction of a bridge on Tongri-Nalla stream which was damaged in September 2014 floods.
“The construction of bridge was started in the beginning of 2015 but due to the apathetic attitude of the concerned authorities, its construction craves completion,” the residents said and demanded immediate construction of the bridge over the stream.
The damaged bridge is diverting whole traffic out of Zainpora market via alternative road. “This situation has left the Zainpora market almost deserted. We face economic losses due to dearth of customers,” local shopkeeper Shabir Ahmad said.
“I was carrying my ailing grandmother to hospital but my vehicle got stuck in traffic jam for an hour,” Javaid Yaqub, a local resident said.
Executive Engineer Roads and buildings (R&B) Shopian told Kashmir Reader that the work contract on Zainpora Bridge has been given to J&K Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Limited (SICOP) but despite many notices and reminders issued to the agency, the work is not being completed.
“We will issue a fresh notice to SCIOP. The funds for the construction are available but the agency is not proactive in working,” he said.
SICOP’s unit holder Mushtaq Ahmed said that the design directorate has not approved the design for the bridge causing delay in the construction work.
“We will restart working only after the design is approved,” he said.