A bridge too far…

Srinagar, Oct 22: It happens only in Kashmir!  For the last 10 years, the 20 meter steel girder bridge on Hazerpora-Khandhama road at Khag in central Kashmir’s Budgam district is awaiting completion.

The construction of 20 meter bridge was started in 2010 at an estimated cost of Rs 165.88 lakh. However, only Rs 84.957 lakh were released and the bridge is yet to be completed.

 

Official documents accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that in the last nine years only 69% of work has been completed causing lot of inconvenience to local people.

Majeed Wani, a resident of Khag area of Budgam district said that the construction of bridge has been stopped for the last few years.

“The bridge if completed will be an important link and connect two villages in Khag area. Patients have to walk a long distance to visit the health center at Khag,” he said. 

Under fire from locals, the government has now fixed February 2020 deadline to complete the construction.

Document of Roads and Building Department accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveals that there are around 23 major projects in district Budgam that are stuck at various stages for the want of funds.

Sample this: Construction of 27 meter span steel trussed girder bridge over Nallah Shaliganga at Drugger Hill Kachwari road in district Budgam was started in 2012 at an estimated cost of Rs 513.86 lakh.  However, till now only Rs 368.497 lakh have been released and 41.50% of the work has been completed. The government has now set July 2020 deadline for competition of the bridge. 

Another languishing project in district Budgam includes 31 meter steel bridge over Nallah Shaliganga on Narigund Gohi Drugger road in district Budgam. Work started in 2012 at an estimated cost of Rs 338 lakh. So far Rs 181.61 lakh were released and 70% of the work has been completed.

Superintendent Engineer, Roads and Building department, Javaid Iqbal Bukhari said these projects were languishing because of the lack of funds.

“We have identified all the languishing projects in district Srinagar and Budgam. All projects have been approved under JKIDFC. The 2020 is the new deadline to complete the work on the projects,” he said.

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