Qamarwari area is known to have the worst traffic snarls in entire Srinagar city
Srinagar: Eleven years after work was first started on it, one of the most vital bridges in Srinagar city, the “cement bridge” in Qamarwari area, still remains far from completion.
This first concrete bridge over Jhelum in Kashmir is a vital link between Srinagar and north Kashmir. apart from connecting parts of the old city to Batamaloo and Bemina areas.
The expansion, in the form of another bridge, was sanctioned in 2010 and the work was started the next year. The 127-meter-long bridge was to be constructed by the Roads and Buildings Department, at an estimated cost of over Rs 9.5 crore.
“The work has however been lingering on and the bridge is still to be completed,” a source in the R&B department told Kashmir Reader. He said that funds were an issue and the demolition of a mosque to make way for the bridge was another hindrance in the smooth conduct of the work.
The source told Kashmir Reader that alternate land was provided for the construction of the mosque, a couple of years back, but that did not pace up the completion of the bridge.
“It still remains incomplete, much to the inconvenience of the general public,” the source said.
The Qamarwari area is known to have the worst traffic snarls in the entire Srinagar city – given the fact that almost all the north Kashmir-bound traffic moves through this area.
Locals that Kashmir Reader talked to said that the completion of this bridge was vital to ease out traffic snarls and smooth the conduct of day-to-day affairs in the area.
“The traffic mess, day in and day out, has continued to affect our daily lives, be it going to work or coming back. Besides, the movement of ambulances is often hindered given the messy traffic jams,” the local residents told Kashmir Reader.
“Why does the government even sanction the projects if there has to a scarcity of funding and other roadblocks? Don’t they think of all these things in the first place?” the locals asked.
Kashmir Reader talked to the Chief Engineer of the Roads and Buildings Department, Rafiq Ahmad, who said that the bridge might be completed by the end of December while maintaining that there has been rapid progress on the project this year.
“In fact, there has been more progress this year than all the previous years accumulated,” Ahmad said. He said that there has been a cost escalation on the project and the contractor is running into losses. “Nevertheless, the work has been going on. It will be completed soon,” he said.