Parts of Baramulla town observe shutdown to press for completion of SRTC bridge

Various parts of old town Baramulla observed shutdown on Tuesday against the delay in the completion of SRTC bridge here.

The aggrieved people also demanded action against the department of PMGSY for using “substandard” material on Azad Gunj – Drangbal road, which soon after its completion developed cracks and potholes.

The SRTC bridge connecting the old town with the civil line area, according to locals, was damaged during the 2014 floods. The authorities later decided to construct a new bridge keeping in view its importance, the locals said.

However, the “inadequate” funding by the government for the bridge often led to the delay in its construction, the locals said.

“Though the major portion of the bridge has been completed, due to non availability of funds the construction work has again got affected,” they said.

“The authorities have not released funds for the last one year,” complained Sheikh Imran, contractor.

The protesting business community of old town Baramulla said that in the absence of the bridge they have suffered economically.

“The local population are using boats to cross over the river Jhelum which poses serious threat. We appeal to the authorities that the funds should not become hurdle in its completion,” said Ishfaq Nabi, general secretary, traders’ union Iqbal Market old town Baramulla.

The locals also complained about the “dilapidated” condition of the 4-kilometre Azad Gunj- Drangbal road, “which soon after being macadamised in 2018, developed cracks and potholes after season’s first snowfall hit the area.”

“Just three months after the macadamisation of the road, its condition started to worsen. It is now again in a shambles. It seems there is no accountability for the engineers and the contractors,” said Ghulam Hassan, a local resident.