12 years on, Uri bridge awaits restoration

Despite number of assurances by the authorities to complete the historic Nand Singh Bridge in border town of Uri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, people here in the border town await the restoration of the all important bridge.

The work on the bridge is incomplete since last 12 years. The bridge was damaged in devastating earthquake of October 8, 2005.

Located on Haji Peer nallah, the bridge connects more than 35 villages with the tehsil headquarter in Uri.

According to locals, the construction work on the damaged bridge was taken up by the Project Beacon of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) but the contractor who was allotted the work abandoned it abruptly.

“The construction work on the bridge continued for only one year after the earthquake. Later we came to know that the contractor has left the work halfway,” said Touseef Zaffer, a trader from the town.

As the construction was put on halt, the Beacon constructed a temporary bride along Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Highway for smooth vehicular movement which however also got damaged in September 2014 floods.

“The temporary bridge was constructed again but it is weak and has no proper support. We fear it can collapse again,” Touseef said.

Though the Beacon is yet to take over the construction work of the bridge again but the traffic continues to ply on the bridge.

Meanwhile, in the past the Beacon officials have been setting a number of deadlines for the completion of the bridge but on ground no development has taken place so far.

Earlier, the officials had said that the reconstruction on the bridge will be started in May this year.

Chief Engineer (CE) Beacon, Brigadier A K Das told Kashmir Vision over phone that he was out of station.

“I am in Mumbai. Once I am back, will look into the matter,” he said.

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