Put to halt in 2018, work on Sempora Bridge over Jhelum yet to resume

Pampore: After work was stopped in early 2018, allegedly due to some political interference, the construction of a bridge over Jhelum River on the outskirts of Pampore is yet to be commenced again.
The work on the bridge in Sempora area, meant to connect dozens of villages to the old National Highway, was started in 2017 by the Roads and Buildings (R&B) Department.
“The work continued for a few months smoothly until an opposition leader, during the PDP-BJP government, visited the site in early 2018. The work on the bridge was put to a halt days after the leader visited the spot,” a source in the R&B department told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the bridge was supposed to be 140 meters long and estimated to be constructed at a cost of around 13 crore Rupees. “Some money had already been spent on the project when it was put to a halt,” he said.
The locals say that they have been pleading to the authorities to resume work on the important bridge, but to no avail.
“People from dozens of villages on this side of the Jhelum have to either take boat rides or a longer route through Lasjan to reach the old national highway. Had this bridge been constructed it would have been a matter of minutes for us to reach the highway and then Srinagar or other places,” Ghulam Muhammad Bhat, a resident of Seer Bagh area, told Kashmir Reader.
The people living on the national highway side of the Jhelum would have benefited by the bridge as their travel time to district headquarters Pulwama would have been considerably curtailed.
“We have to go all the way to Pampore and then travel to Pulwama where our ‘district headquarter’ is located, even though we are closer to Srinagar. We were waiting for the bridge to be constructed soon, but it now looks like a distant goal,” Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Sempora area, said.
Kashmir Reader contacted Director Planning at R&B, Athar Hussain Qadri, who said that the project is facing funding issues.
“It was a foot bridge to begin with but the people insisted that it be made a motorable one. For that, the design had to be changed and obviously the estimated cost as well,” Qadri said.
He said that a sub-structure is in place and now the department was looking for means of its funding.
“It may need to be put in the “languishing projects” list to get funding for the project,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.