Sopore: In a hurry to showcase its development credentials, the PDP-BJP government had last year risked the lives of thousands of commuters by inaugurating the Sopore Bypass Bridge without having it checked for crucial ‘Weight Test’.
Beacon had last month announced that the bridge will be closed for traffic for 15 days from February 27 for the Weight Test, which is part of the general Road Test, in which Black Topping and other aspects are evaluated.
These tests are required to be carried out before inaugurating a bridge.
However, former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had inaugurated in August last year.
Asked why the tests were conducted seven months later, Beacon chief engineer Brigadier AK Das told this reporter, “Generally we do road test before inaugurating the bridge but in this case the bridge had already missed so many deadlines and we were under a lot of pressure from our higher authorities. This is why we opened the bridge before its road test.”
“We have closed it at this time of the year because we assumed we will not face hardships as we had faced before,” he added.
Also, although Das admits that road tests take only a couple of days, Beacon had announced it will be closed for a fortnight.
The local population has been angry over massive traffic jams caused by the closure of the bridge. However, after Beacon put up the ‘tests’ notice, they accuse the previous government of risking people’s lives.
“What if a truck had met with an accident? What if lives were lost? If the PDP was so desperate to showcase development in north Kashmir, they should have ensured the safety of the people first,” said Sopore resident Ghulam Nabi.
The construction of the bridge took 23 years.