Govt failure: Kaloosa bridge completion misses 5th deadline

Now, ERA Makes ‘Commitment’ To Finish Construction By December End


Bandipora, Nov 11: Thousands of people in this north Kashmir district are suffering in the wake of J&K Government’s failure to complete the Kaloosa bridge construction for the past five years. The bridge is being constructed over river Madhumati to connect Sopore with Bandipora.
 The state government, which so far set five deadlines for completion of the bridge, has missed all of them. The locals are now contemplating a protest demonstration before the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who is scheduled to address a gathering at Sumbal here on November 14.
 Thousands of people including transporters, traders, students and employees have to cross a narrow makeshift bridge to reach the district headquarters. “It takes hours to cross the bridge due to huge traffic jam every day,” said a teacher from Kaloosa.
 “We have decided to demonstrate in front of Chief Minster Omer Abdullah on 14 November when he is scheduled to address people on Children’s Day in Sumbal. The delay in the construction of the bridge is causing inconvenience to people and has affected business as well,” said a group of members from local Welfare Committee. “The district administration seems to be defunct and we have no option than to protest in front of Chief Minster Omer Abdullah to apprise him about the official apathy.”
 Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) had begun the work on the bridge in July 2008 at an estimated cost of Rs 4.40 corore. The bridge was to be completed by July 2010. The then government had set December 2010 as the first deadline which was extended to another deadline of July 2011. Later, December 2011 was set as the third deadline which was again extended to July 2012. As if it was not enough, the July 2012 deadline was also not met, putting a new deadline of September 2012. This deadline too has expired.
 Now the ERA has made a “commitment” to Chief Minster Omer Abdullah that bridge will be completed by ending December, an official source told Greater Kashmir.
 Earlier in 2010, the ERA blamed street unrest for the delay and in year 2011 the agency said that the delay in construction was due “change in the design”.
 “The bridge construction was delayed in 2011 due to change in design from 2x25 span to 25x4 span after the interference of local MLA and deputy commissioner,” a source said. “However in 2012, the ERA has failed to explain the delay and has now made a commitment before the Chief Minister that the bridge will be completed by December ending.”
 Confirming the commitment, Project Manager ERA Muhammad Rafi Khan said the bridge will be completed by ending December.
 “The 1st and 2nd span of the bridge is complete and the deck slab of third span is done,” he claimed.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 11 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 11 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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