Locals, patients suffer due to lack of Sumbal footbridge

Locals, patients suffer due to lack of Sumbal footbridge
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Kaiser Majeed

Sumbal: The inhabitants of Sumbal and adjoining villages resented the snail pace construction of a footbridge over river Jehlum.
The locals said that the completion of footbridges missed many deadlines since the work was started in 2013 and was to be completed within six months, however, four years have passed and the department is yet to complete the 99-metre long footbridge.
“It has been more than four years since the foundation stone of the footbridge was laid by then Minister for R&B, Abdul Majid Wani and Minister for Higher Education, Mohammad Akbar Lone but indifferent approach from concerned authorities has put the construction process in limbo,” they said.
The footbridge that is being constructed at the cost of Rs 4.14 crore would have connected about a dozen villages with the Sumbal town, however, the locals say the government has put them in trouble by not constructing the footbridge and by demolishing the old bridge.
They say they have to travel extra miles to reach to the Sumbal town and the Sub-District Hospital which is only 100 metres away on the other side of river Jhelum. “In case of emergency, the people risk their lives and carry patients in boats to reach the hospital,” said Shulam Ahmad, a shopkeeper.
When Contacted AEE, R&B, Sumbal Division, Gulzar Ahmed acknowledged that the completion of works missed many deadlines due to the paucity of funds. He said only Rs 70 lakh has been spent so far and that owing to unavailability of funds, the department couldn’t release funds to the contractors.
He said the project has now been approved under Government of India’s
Central Road Fund (CRF) scheme and the tenders will be issued shortly after which construction will be started.