A vital bridge in Wachi village of South Kashmir’s Shopian district on rivulet Ranbiara that got damaged before ten years awaits for reconstruction.
Locals accuse the government of step motherly attitude towards the area in southern Shopian district.
Commonly known as Wachi Bridge, the link lost the capacity to ferry heavy vehicles after it was partially damaged 10 years back.
Before 4 years authorities started work on a new bridge, but after some time they stopped the construction for unknown reasons, Zahid Najar a resident of Wachi told The Kashmiriyat.
Residents of Ganiepora, Fukipora, Dabalpora, Wachi and adjoining villages demand speedy reconstruction of the bridge. They say they face huge problems as the old bridge has no capacity to support heavy vehicles.
We have to go a long distance through alternative road which not only costs us more but also consumes our time, said Farooq Ahmad, a local mini bus driver.
Mohammad sultan Mir a villager while speaking to The Kashmiriyat said that government did not seem serious about the construction of the bridge. He feared that the old bridge could cost lives if flow of traffic on the bridge was not stopped and speedy construction not undertaken. The old bridge, villagers said, had major damages in its pillars.
Locals said that in beginning of 2015 the then Parliament member and Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti visited the area and promised that new bridge would be constructed on priority basis as this is connecting many parts of Pulwama and shopian district, however all these promises on ground proved only hoax.
They added that work was soon started soon after her visit but due to unknown reasons it was stopped after a month only and We then contacted government incumbenters in this regard so many times but to no avail.
On Contacting Executive Engineer of the Roads and Building department in Shopian, Zahoor Ahmed told The Kashmiriyat that lack of funds is the basic cause due to which work on this vital bridge has been stopped.
He added that it is project of 3 crore and 80 lakh, so far work on 80 lakhs has been completed and we have provided only 20 lakhs to the contractor that is why contractor refuses to continue work on it.
He assured that work on this vital bridge will resumed soon after funds will become available for us.
Author: Jahangeer Ganie
Jahangeer Ganie is the chief correspondent of The Kashmiriyat for District Pulwama in South Kashmir