Srinagar: The controversial ‘skewed bridge’, which has been turned into a pedestrian bridge, on the Jehlum river in Srinagar would be thrown open to the public in January next year, a top official said.
The official, who is with the Jammu and Kashmir Project Construction Corporation (JKPCC), the executing agency of the project, told Kashmir Reader that work on the footbridge is almost complete.
“We are working on its electric wiring, and the other minor work will be completed within a week,” he said
The project created controversies right from the day its construction started in 2012 during the then Omar Abdullah-led government, leading to delays in its completion, the official added. The bridge would connect Poloview with Raj Bagh and was supposed to reduce traffic rush on the Poloview-Residency road.
When in opposition, the PDP had opposed the construction of the bridge, yet after it assumed power work on the project did not stop, barring changes in the original plan.
The PDP-BJP government changed their mind and decided to turn it into a pedestrian over-bridge, despite its piers having been constructed for supporting a vehicular bridge.
In response to the move, Institution of Engineers India (IEI) J&K Chapter had said the conversion of the bridge into a pedestrian one would result in loss to the exchequer and would not help reduce traffic congestion in the city.
Currently, the bridge’s length is 120 metres and it has cost an amount of Rs 12 crore so far. The roofed footbridge has a flight of stairs on both ends and is barricaded on both its sides. A source said the executing agency is waiting for the Chief Minister to throw it open for the public.