Embankment supporting crucial bridge in Langate caves in, putting lives at risk

Less than two weeks after a bridge over the stream was damaged due to a rise in water level, a major portion of land supporting one of the abutments of another crucial bridge over Mawer stream in Langate area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara caved in on Tuesday putting human lives at risk.

Locals blamed the unabated mining of sand and gravel in the water stream for the damage while urging the administration to repair the abutment to avert any untoward incident.

The two-decade old bridge had proved an alternative to commuters since March 24 when another bridge at Batgund village on Mawer stream was closed after a rise in water level by a few inches.

However, after the fresh damage, locals feared the bridge might collapse and cut off nearby villages from Tehsil headquarters besides posing a risk to human lives.

“After the Batgund bridge was closed, this bridge has been a helpful link. Now, if this bridge too collapses, the whole Mawer area consisting of more than fifty villages will be cut off,” said Bilal Ahmad, a resident of Tulwari village of Langate.

Locals attributed the damage to the unabated extraction of illegal sand and gravel from Mawer stream.

“We are unable to figure out that if the administration has put a blanket ban on use of JCBs in the stream, how do people manage mining?” a local questioned.

Deputy Commissioner Kupwara Imam Din, when asked for his comments over the matter, told Greater Kashmir that he has directed concerned officials to visit the spot for taking necessary measures.

“I shall myself visit the spot tomorrow to have first hand experience,” he added.