For years, Wachi residents await key bridge completion

For years, Wachi residents await key bridge completion
  • 1

With an estimated cost of Rs 3.5 crore, only Rs 20 lakh released by govt

Wachi (shopian): An important bridge on the river Jehlum at Dalipora village of Wachi belt in South Kashmir’s Shopian district has been craving completion since a decade after an old bridge developed damages and was declared unsafe for heavy motor vehicles.
Residents from the area said the place has been intentionally neglected by the government despite being a constituency headquarter. Inhabitants also added that the bridge has developed several holes which according to them would lead to any tragedy.
“We have to go a long distance through an alternative road which not only costs us money more but also consumes our time,” said a Wachi resident.
“Three years back, work on the bridge was started but was stopped within a period of some months due to unknown reasons,” Jahangir Ahmad Ganie, a resident of Darbag area of Wachi said.
Residents of Ganiepora, Fukipora, Dabalpora, Wachi and adjoining villages demand speedy reconstruction of the bridge. They say that they face huge problems as the old bridge has no capacity to support heavy vehicles.
Another villager, Aijaz Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader that the government did not seem serious about the construction of the bridge. He feared the old bridge could cost lives if flow of traffic on the bridge was not stopped soon and speedy construction not undertaken. He said that only two pillars on the river banks have so far been constructed.
Executive Engineer, Roads and Buildings (R&B), Shopian, Abdul Aziz Bhat told Kashmir Reader that the construction of the bridge had been undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs 3.5 crore, but so far only Rs 20 lakh had been released by the government. “We can’t go with Rs 20 lakh for a project of Rs 3.5 crore. I have written several times to the higher authorities, yet no funds for this bridge have been released,” he said.
Bhat added that they have completed work worth a crore, despite only Rs 20 lakh having been released.