From Assembly to civil forums, Govt bashed on skewed bridge
People pledge to fight construction tooth-and-nail
Srinagar, Oct 8: The state government's decision to resume work on skewed bridge across Jhelum despite public outcry and Governor NN Vohra’s intervention, Monday drew severe criticism with civil society and legislators accusing the coalition of misusing the “public money for personal interests.”
Work on skewed bridge was recently resumed while the beautified portion of the Jhelum banks between Poloview and Raj Bagh looks in a mess due to ongoing work there.
AT LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
At Legislative Assembly the question hour started with opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) accusing government of not acknowledging the public opinion and Governor NN Vohra’s directive on the “controversial” bridge issue.
“When people are not ready to accept the fanatic project where bridge is not to be straight but skewed and the Governor has sought that work be stopped, what for and why the government is hell bent to continue the work? Or do some in the corridors of power have personal interests at stake in Raj Bagh and adjoining areas?” asked MLA Shangas Pirzada Mansoor while waving a report published in Greater Kashmir Monday that the bridge work has resumed.
The MLA said “it was silly on the part of government to construct sixth bridge within a kilometre that too when it would further the traffic congestion, destroy heritage of The Bund and be disastrous for our daughters studying at Presentation Convent school.”
He said if the government was so interested in constructing bridges then better go for the construction in his south Kashmir Shangus constituency where “there’s not even a single bridge in 12 kilometre stretch then to talk of existing five as are there in Srinagar.”
CIVIL SOCIETY AGHAST
A civil society group lambasted the state government for being “callous and hell bent” on construction of the skewed bridge. Terming the bridge a “disaster”, the group said the coalition was “doing it to fill personal pockets.”
Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) expressed concern over state government’s “adamant approach” in constructing the bridge without fearing about its ramifications.
“It belies the tall claims of state government on beautification of Jhelum. Everyone in Kashmir is opposing the construction but government as usual does not listen to its helpless subjects,” said Hameeda Nayeem, Chairperson, KCSDS at press conference here.
She said that civil society would not act as “mute spectator” to such brazen violations which can put lives of thousands of people at stake.
“It seems that government has some vested interests in construction of bridge that is why it is hell bent to go ahead with their proposed plan thereby putting life of children studying in nearby schools along the proposed bridge at stake,” she alleged.
“Even the engineers have made it clear that the bridge would not be feasible according to engineering standards,” Dr Javid Iqbal, a civil society member and columnist said adding “It is puzzling why government is not listening to people for whom the bridge is to be constructed.”
“But then,” he said, “What better can be expected from this government.” “Tehdi Government to Tedha Bridge He Banaye Gi(A crooked Govt will make but a skewed bridge,” he quipped.
Another prominent civil society member Imdad Saki talking to GK said: “We will not allow City to be taken for a ride in the name of fanatic development.”
THE ‘CONTROVERSY’ TILL NOW
The ruling National Conference is constructing the bridge, in brazen violation of the Srinagar’s Master Plan, at an estimated cost of the around Rs 10 crores.
For not being a straight structure as usually happens, the upcoming bridge has already fetched a hilarious name Tedha Bridge, because of its allegedly risky design.
Experts opine that The Bund, famed world over since the British Residency era, would lose its charm once the bridge is constructed.
Prompted by public concerns Governor NN Vohra sometime back directed the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon to find a “viable solution to the problem.” In response the District Development Commissioner Baseer Ahmed Khan called a delegation of concerned people to his office only to convey that the bridge would be constructed at any cost. Soon after it, the “Tedha Bridge” work resumed.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 8 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 8 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 9 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST
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