Baramulla: The construction work of the bridge located at Jetty Khawajabagh here in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district awaits completion causing extreme hardships to the people.
The work on the bridge was initiated by Mohammad Shafi Uri, the then education minister, 16 years back but was suspended frequently due to paucity of funds.
The construction agency–J&K Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC) has missed various deadlines. In response to q query by legislator Ghulam Nabi Monga in the legislative council last year, the government had replied that the work at Jetty Bridge will be completed by March 2018. “It looks like a dream,” says a local resident Ghulam Ahmad Dar.
The bridge if constructed will connect Khawajabagh and Janbazpora and will lead a way between Kupwara and Srinagar via Handwara route reducing the distance by around 30 kilometers.
The construction of Jahama Bridge was completed in due time whereas 16 years have passed but construction of jetty bridge still awaits completion, another resident Ghulam Rasool said.
Deputy General Manager JKPCC Feroz Ahmad admitted the construction of bridge was going on a snail’s pace because of lack of funds. “The construction of bridge was initiated with an estimated cost of Rs 15.65 crore and later the cost was revised to Rs 21.37 cr from which only 6.22 cr have been released,” he said adding the last installment of Rs 102.50 lakh was released to JKPCC in the year of 2016-2017.
Feroz said the foundation of the bridge was the main work to be executed.
He said the work on bridge was stopped in 2014 but resumed in 2017 due to government pressure. However, the work was stopped again due to non-availability of funds. He further added that the best time period for the construction of bridges was in winters due to low water level. “How can we start work without funds,” he said.
He said the government has asked the JKPCC to file the report to National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for the release of funds.