Shopian: With the passage of nine years, the administration has utterly failed to reconstruct the damaged Watchi bridge in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.
The locals accused the administration of ignoring their plights, saying that from last nine years, the people here are being forced to take long and alternate routes to reach the other side of river Ranbiara.
The Wachi Bridge, which connects Pulwama and Shopian villages as per the locals got partially damaged some nine years ago and is since then not fit for vehicular movement.
However, the authorities started the reconstruction work on the Bridge over two years ago but unfortunately, the work got hampered for some unknown reasons, the locals informed.
Residents of Ganiepora, Fukipora, Dabalpora, Wachi and its adjoining villages demanded authorities to reconstruction the bridge at the earliest so that the villagers could heave a sigh of relief.
With the absence of the bridge, the people residing here are facing immense hardships to reach the other side of the river.
“We are being forced to cover a long distance through alternative road to reach the other side of the river,” Farooq Ahmad, a local mini bus driver said.
Mohammad Sultan Mir, a villager said that government seem reluctant to reconstruct the bridge.
He said that in the year 2015, the then Parliament Member and incumbent Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti visited the area and promised the reconstruction of the bridge on priority basis but unfortunately, the promises turned to be a hoax as the work started was hampered soon for unknown reasons.
The locals said that they approached to the higher ups several times in this regard but unfortunately, nothing has been done so far.
Executive Engineer of Roads and Building department in Shopian, Abdul Aziz Bhat told that the lack of funds has hampered the reconstruction work.
“It is project worth Rs 3 crore and 80 lakh. The work worth Rs 80 lakhs has been completed while Rs 20 lakhs have been provided to the contractor, who later stopped the work on it,” he said.
He further stated that the work over the bridge will be started soon.