3 years on, Pulwama locals await revival of flood-damaged bridges

Mir Farhat. Updated: 2/19/2018 1:17:16 AM Front Page


PULWAMA: Despite getting funds from the Government of India for reconstruction of flood-affected structures, the PDP-BJP government has not completed the construction of 10 important bridges in Pulwama district, even after lapse of more than three years.
Ten major bridges connecting lakhs of people of scores of villages in Pulwama, Rajpora and Tral assembly segments were washed away by devastating floods in September 2014. These bridges were built over Romshi stream, Lar and other big water channels.
The bridges include Newa-Gudoora which falls in Pulwama constituency represented by Muhammad Khalil Bandh; Rohmoo-Pakherpora, Payer, Trichal, Chatripora, Maspuna, Mughalpora, Arihal which fall in Rajpora constituency of Finance minister Haseeb Drabu and Chandrigam in Tral assembly segment represented by Mushtaq Ahmad Shah.
Notwithstanding the fact that these three legislators belong to ruling PDP, and even after three years have passed, the bridges are yet to be completed even as officials said that their completion will take more than a year.
"The speed with which the bridges are being constructed will take years," officials in the Roads and Buildings department in Pulwama told The News Now.
Superintending Engineer, Pulwama-Shopian, Showkat Ahmad told The News Now that the construction of bridges will be completed this year.
"Major part of the work on these bridges has been done. All the bridges will be completed by this year," he said.
The incomplete bridges tell a sorry tale of governance despite the government having received significant funds from the Central government under the Prime Minister's Development Package.
Residents in these areas told The News Now that they are facing immense troubles due to lack of proper connectivity.
Residents who commute and travel over these diversions and temporary bridges say that these diversions are backbreaking and consume much of their travelling time.
The R&B department has built temporary diversions and bailey bridges over the streams at these places till the bridges are completed.
"The diversions and temporary bridges will not last in the summer when the water level rises in the streams," the residents told The News Now.
These bridges interconnect villages in Pulwama district and also with Srinagar and Budgam districts.
Rohmoo bridge over Romshi stream connects the area with Pakherpora village in Budgam and other dozen villages of Pulwama. Newa-Gudoora bridge over Romshi stream at Gudoora connects Pulwama district to Srinagar via Nowgam.
Two years ago, the Roads & Buildings Department through contractors had started work on these bridges. But till now only parts of abetment and foundation have been done.
In winter due to dry spell, the residents said that they could easily move on the temporary bridges and diversions.
"In Summer when these streams are filled with water, it is dangerous to cross over these temporary arrangements," Ghulam Rasool, a resident in Newa, told The News Now.
The residents are aghast with their representatives for not taking up the completion of these vital bridges with the R&B Department.
Former MLA from Rajpora and NC leader in Pulwama, Mohiudin Mir censured the ruling PDP legislators for not completing the vital bridges in the district.
"The incomplete bridges are a testimony to the state of development and governance in our district," Mir told The News Now.
"What else can people expect from PDP-led government than the lack of development? During elections, PDP had promised sky to the people in the district. The incomplete bridges are a part of those hollow promises and the lack the development story," he said.

Comment on this Story