10 years on, construction work on Uri bridge still incomplete

10 years on, construction work on Uri bridge still incomplete
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By Idrees Bukhtiyar
Uri: With delay in completion of Nand Singh (NS) historical bridge in north Kashmir’s Uri town has triggered a widespread resentment among the residents.
The work on the bridge is incomplete since last 10 years after it was damaged in 2005’s devastating earthquake.
The bridge is located on Haji Peer nallah and connects more than thirty five villages to the Tehsil headquarter in Uri. It is the vital link through which Karawan-e-Aman (Peace bus) and the vehicles of trade for across Line of Control (LoC) pass through.
After the bridge was damaged in 2005, its construction work was taken up by Beacon, but the contractor who was allotted the work abandoned the work abruptly.
“Though this bridge is a historical one but the residents of the town are facing a number of difficulties. The work on the bridge continued for only one year after earthquake. Later we came to know that the contractor has left the work,” said Touseef Zuffer, a trader of the town.
As its construction work was put on halt, the beacon department afterwards constructed a temporary bridge on the Srinagar-Muzaffrabad highway for the smooth vehicular movement which was however damaged in the September 2014 floods.
Though the bridge was constructed after the floods but according to the locals the temporary bridge is not less than the death trap.
“Whenever our vehicles pass though the bridge, we always are worried that this temporary bridge will collapse. It is very weak and has no proper support to get stand. It can collapse anytime,” said Zaffer Iqbal, a local of Garkote village.
Though the Beacon department is yet to take-off the construction work of the bridge, the traffic continues to ply on the risky bridge and the residents continue to suffer.
When contacted Chief Engineer (CE) Beacon, Brigadier Aashish Kumar Das assured that they are going start the reconstruction work of this bridge in April this year.
“The construction work on the bridge was stopped by the contractor whom the work was assigned. He wanted to change in the drawing of the bridge but we didn’t allow that to happen and he went to the court,” the CE said.
“Now we are fighting the case legally in the court against the contractor and hopefully we will we restart the reconstruction work in the month of April this year,” the CE assured.