Experts and engineers have sought intervention of Governor to convert the footbridge in Rajbagh near Presentation Convent school into a motorable bridge as they said it was earlier proposed to be a motorable bridge.
Constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 12 crore, the foundation of the footbridge, earlier known as skewed bridge, was laid as per norms fixed for a motorable bridge. Following the fall of PDP-BJP government, Srinagar residents and experts are now demanding that the bridge be converted into a motorable bridge with the intervention of governor.
"This bridge can be used anytime for traffic movement as its foundation and piers were laid according to prescribed parameters that of motorable bridge," said a senior JKPCC official, adding that "if the administration gives us the nod, we have to just remove its upper portion, macadamize it and connect it to Polo View road link."
Another official said it is illogical to continue using it as a footbridge as the government had invested a huge amount of Rs 12 crore on its construction. "Had it been planned as a footbridge earlier, it would not have cost state exchequer more than one or two crore," he said.
According to a survey carried out by consultancy company RITES, the 120-metre-long bridge with three spans will connect the busy Polo View road with Raj Bagh near Presentation Convent Higher Secondary School across the river Jehlum. The bridge will help in reducing the traffic load on Abdullah Bridge where long traffic jams are witnessed during peak hours.
The Institution of Engineers India (IEI) J&K chapter had also pitched for making the bridge motorable, stating that the government's move to convert it into a pedestrian bridge would result in wastage of money spent on its construction. Engineers from various developmental sectors had also recommended that "motorable bridge as per the original proposal should be constructed with a soffit level of 1589 metres instead of 1590.30 metres".
The engineers said that the motorable bridge is needed now to ease the traffic congestion in the city. "We cannot afford to have another footbridge over river Jhelum in close vicinity. This bridge will also act as a rescue platform from the Disaster Management angle and should in any case be constructed as a motorable bridge," they added.
"It would be a good decision on part of the governor if he intervenes and directs the concerned officials to convert the footbridge into a motorable bridge," said Farhan Kitab, chief spokesperson of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation.