15 years on, Kupwara bridge incomplete
Fifteen years is a long time, but for a bridge in Kupwara whose construction was begun in 2003 that time might not be enough to build it and no one knows yet how long it would take for the construction to be completed. The Sunnarpora-Holi wooden bridge spans the Nalie Hudh stream in Kupwara and the new bridge was to replace the old one and make life of commuters easier.
Over the years, scores of men and women have sustained injuries and fractures while crossing over the stream on a wooden bridge.
"Few years ago an old age men was drowned in this stream, there are so many incidents of injuries to mostly children and women. Such accidents could have been avoided, if this bridge had been completed on time," the locals said.
Once completed, the bridge would connect dozens of villages with district headquarters Kupwara. "The villages of Kralpora namely Daresun, Meelyal, Guzriyal, Reshigund etc, will get connected to Holi on the Kralpora- Keran highway once this bridge is completed," the locals added.
When it rains and the level of water goes up in the stream it makes life tougher for the people using the bridge. "We have to pass our vehicles through this Nallah. But whenever there is a rise in the water level we have to keep the cars at the main road and walk through this stream, the water level does not allow us to pass vehicles through this stream," Javaid Ahmad of Lone Hari said.
The construction was started in 2003 by Rural Development department against approval of 6 lakh 40 thousand rupees but was left incomplete, "the contractor got his money and left the bridge incomplete," said the villagers.
"We are not able to understand why the authorities are not passing any tender to complete this bridge, even the village is the home town of ex-minister Sajjad Gani Lone," locals added.
We don't attend the school in rainy days as the water level goes up," a local student said.
Meanwhile, the locals appealed to Governor J&K and the chief engineer R&B department to ensure completion of the work at the earliest.
The block development officer said that he will check and then comment, but didn't take a call when this reporter wanted to know what he had found on checking about the progress of the construction.