Sopore: After being constructed at a snail’s space over more than two decades, the Sopore Bypass Bridge, which opened to traffic in 2015, is in an alarmingly terrible state.
While the entire stretch of the bridge is riddled with potholes, iron rods apparently used in the construction have been exposed at some places. At some places, it appears that even cracks have developed.
Adding to the worries of the people is that the fact that bridge has been closed briefly six months after it was opened in 2015, for some “road test”. At that time, Beacon had noted that the bridge had been opened without mandatory tests because of political pressure.
“This bridge is a lifeline for Kupwara, Handwara and other rural areas, as well as fruit growers, as trucks laden with apple use it during peak season. However the state it is in makes us worry that the authorities do not care for the well-being of the population,” Riyaz Ahmed, a fruit grower told Kashmir Reader.
The bridge was maintained by Beacon authorities, but due to lack of upkeep and maintenance, the structure has reached an alarming state. Though the bridge is vital for business in Sopore.
Kashmir Reader tried to contact Beacon authorities but the agency didn’t respond to repeated calls.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Sopore, Ashiq Hussain, said that I will personally look into the issue and talk to the concerned authorities so that the action is taken as soon as possible.
After missing several deadlines, The bridge was opened in 2015 by then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed but barely six months after its inauguration, the bridge was closed for a “road test”, which raised doubts among people.
At the time civil officials had told Kashmir Reader that some tests needed to be done, but the Beacon, responsible for maintenance of the bridge, noted that the bridge was opened without conducting mandatory tests because it had already missed many deadlines and there was political pressure to open it quickly.
“We want the government to give attention to the maintenance of this vital link. Appropriate authorities must be directed to do the needful and ensure that the bridge is operational at all times and all the cracks and other damage in the structure is fixed before some tragedy takes place,” Ali Mohammad Najar, a Sopore resident stressed.