Traffic crawls as construction of vital bridge on Shopian highway awaits completion

Traffic crawls as construction of vital bridge on Shopian highway awaits completion

Shopian: A bridge on highway 444 at Shirmal village of Shopian is in limbo for almost a year resulting in immense problems to commuters particularly during the peak harvesting season.

According to locals, the work on the bridge was started at the beginning of this year. But 10 months later, the bridge is still incomplete.

Nasir Ahmad, a resident of Shirmal village said that the diversion made for vehicular traffic is too narrow to allow two vehicles to ply simultaneously. As a result, it leads to traffic jams which last for hours, he adds.

He said that almost a year has passed but nothing has been constructed so far.

“Is work on highways carried out this way?” asks Muhammad Nafie, a fruit trader.

He said that earlier authorities took more than a year to complete a similar width bridge some 100 meters away from the spot and now they spent another year to build a small bridge which is still incomplete.

Locals in the area accuse authorities of lackadaisical attitude towards the road connectivity.

Hundreds of passenger vehicles arrive from Rajouri, Poonch and Jammu bringing huge traffic load on the road. Despite this, the bridge at Shirmal is being neglected by the highway authorities.

Executive engineer roads and buildings department Shopian, Farooq Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that work on the bridge does not fall under his department’s domain.

“Highway authorities can talk on this issue,” he said.

Senior project manager national highways authority of India said that he does not know why the project has got delayed saying, “he will talk to the authorities and the agency working there,” he said.

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