16 years on, Tumina-Chowkibal bridge incomplete; residents suffer

There has been inordinate delay in completion of a bridge in Chowkibal area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, making the local residents suffer badly.
16 years on, Tumina-Chowkibal bridge incomplete; residents suffer
GK Photo

There has been inordinate delay in completion of a bridge in Chowkibal area of north Kashmir's Kupwara district, making the local residents suffer badly.

The work on Tumina-Chowkibal Bridge was started in 2001 by J&K Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC) under state sector to provide communication link at Nallah Kehmil between several villages of Chowkibal and Ramhal area, including Ridi, Tumina, Marsari, Harfada, Hachamargi, and Fullmargi. The project cost was estimated as Rs 8.50 crore. However, due to lack of funding, the bridge could not be completed in 16 years, officials said.

In the initial days, the pace of the work remained very slow and it was instantly stopped by the concerned contractor. "It took 14 years to construct six spans out of its total seven spans but later work was completely stopped," said Reyaz Ahmad, a local resident.

Material of the bridge, dumped by JKPCC in 2002, is rusting. "The delay in completion of this vital bridge is causing immense problems to the inhabitants, including elderly men, women and children of the area living on either side of the Kehmil Nallah. The residents have to walk miles to cross over from another bridge," the locals said.

When contacted, Deputy General Manager of JKPCC told Greater Kashmir that the delay in 7-span bridge construction was caused due to shortage of funds. "We have reflected this bridge inn CRF (central road fund) and prepared its revised estimate of Rs 13 crore. After the approval of this project, we are expecting funds for its completion," he said.

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