Bridge in Kupwara incomplete 19 years after work started

Villagers from Tumna area must tread through forest and army camp to reach district headquarters
Bridge in Kupwara incomplete 19 years after work started

Nearly two decades after its construction was started, a bridge connecting Tumna area of Kupwara with the district headquarters is still lying incomplete.

The villagers in the area say its construction began in2001, but the inhabitants of Tumna still crave to see it completed and makecommuting possible.

The bridge is meant to connect dozens of villages likeTumna, Hachmargy, Bulinard, Fahmargi, Manzhard and many others in the area withChowkibal and the Kupwara district headquarters.

But 19 years since work on it began the villagers mustcontinue to tread through a forest area and the army camp at Chowkibal for workand purchases from markets.

"The alternate route is life threatening for us as it passesthrough a forest where there is always threat of wild animals," said TadbeerKhatana of Tumna.

"In our life this bridge is a dream," Arif Ahmad, a villagertold Greater Kashmir, adding authorities were least bothered about the safetyof schoolchildren in the area.

"Our children face life threatening conditions having to goto school walking through the forest where wild animals are always on theprowl."

The Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation hasleft the bridge costing nearly Rs 7 crore incomplete for shortage of funds,villagers say.

The villagers say many other bridges in the Kupwara districtwere completed only years after construction was started, but theTumna-Chowkibal bridge has been forgotten.

"We are not able to understand why the authorities are notpassing any tender to complete this bridge," a villager said.

The villagers have appealed the government to completeconstruction of the bridge crucial for their lives at the earliest possible.

Deputy General Manager JKPCC Kupwara unit Mufti Islah hesaid that the bridge is more than half complete but due to shortage of fundsthe work is pending.

"Once we get the pending amount from the higher ups, Iassure you that the bridge will be completed within stipulated time," Islahsaid.

Greater Kashmir