Five years on, Handwara bridge incomplete; people suffer

Residents of Ahgam and Warpora in Rajwar, Handwara accused the Roads and Buildings (R&B) department of failing to complete the under-construction bridge in their area, resulting in severe hardships to the inhabitants.

The residents said that the bridge sanctioned several years ago connects 35 villages and, once completed, would boost the trade in the area.

An official said the project was approved under the NABARD at an estimated cost of Rs 2 crore of which most of the funds had been released.

The residents said though most of the work had been completed only filling on both sides of the bridge was pending.

“We are unable to figure out that if 90 percent of the work has been done, why is the concerned department not serious to do the remaining work,” said Ghulam Muhammad Bhat, a local.

The absence of the bridge is compelling people to take longer routes, which add to their miseries.

A local said, once the bridge is completed, it would significantly shorten the distance between several villages and connect them to the Bangus Valley via the shortest route.

“It will help commuters reach their destinations in the shortest-possible time,” said Bashir Ahmad, another local.

Executive Engineer Roads and Buildings (R&B), Division Handwara, Muzaffer Ahmad Khuroo said the work had been halted due to lack of funds.

“We have approached the higher officials for the remaining funds and hope the funds are released soon,” he said.