SHOPIAN: A vital bridge on Rambiara rivulet in Trenz village has been left incomplete for years while the people in the area face problems due to it since the diversion put by the authorities in 2014 is prone to accidents and unable to bear the weight of heavy vehicles.
The foundation stone of the project was laid by the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, in end-2016. However there were no signs that the bridge could be completed this year as most of the work on it is still pending.
Authorities from Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC) said that the estimate cost of the bridge is Rs 31.5 crore which is being furnshed by the World Bank. They said that this bridge is 300 metres long connecting hundreds of villages with district Pulwama and vice versa. They added that this road is being considered the shortest connectivity between the three South Kashmir districts of Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam.
This bridge is also said to be the largest and mostly costly bridge in district Shopian. Officials from JKPCC said that work on the bridge was started in 2018, before the release of any funds. They said that the World Bank and concerned agencies related to the bridge delayed the construction by nine months.
“There was a cab service from Kulgam to Pulwama that used to run for some time but it was stopped due to the lack of a bridge on Rambiara at Trenz. Similarly, another cab service from Votterpora and Trenz was stopped for the same reason. This not only resulted in problems for the inhabitants, but cab drivers too face problems in earning their livelihood,” said a cab driver from Trenz.
Locals from the area said that this connectivity was costing them less as compared to routes through the main town of Shopian or via Lassipora. This connectivity also covers most of the area, they said.
Inhabitants and students from the area demand the speedy completion of the bridge so that the area locals should not face problems. “This bridge was a dream project of the area, and fortunately its foundation was laid by the government in 2016. But the pace of work on it doesn’t seem to be going to give any relaxation for people for a long period,” Zubair Ahmad Dar, another local, said adding that the two diversion bridges which were set up there after the 2014 floods are prone to accidents and have no capability for heavy vehicles to pass. Heavy vehicles, in fact, have fallen from the bridge several times or have damaged it.
The Deputy General Manager JKPCC, Masood Ahmad Wangoo, told Kashmir Reader that work on the bridge had been stopped due to the minus temperature but will be resumed soon.
“Earlier there were various hurdles which were not sorted out, the World Bank earlier didn’t release funds and there were other complications as well. So we sorted all of them with the World Bank and concerned agencies,” he said adding that the authorities didn’t allowed work in minus temperature.
“By the end of this year, the work on the bridge would be completed, and soon after that the project will be handed over to the public, “he said.
He added that only eight crore out of Rs 31.5 had been released by the World Bank so far, and the work on same amount has been done by JKPCC.