Decade on, work on Athwajan-Vethporabridge yet to resume

Decade on, work on Athwajan-Vethporabridge yet to resume
Representational Pic

Srinagar, Oct 6: Despite getting administrative approval, the work on languishing project Athwajan-Vethporabridge over river Jhelum is still to resume.

Earlier, after getting administrative approval, the authorities had claimed that work on the project would resume shortly and would be completed by the end of current year.

“We are facing hardships and have been taking up the matter with concerned authorities, seeking resumption and completion of this project,” said Ghulam Hassan Bhat, a local.

He added that languishing projects are evident as how inadequate resources is compounded with the cost overrun of the projects which leads delay in project completion.

“Now, this languishing project got administrative approval but work is yet to resume. We demand immediate resumption of work on this much awaited project,” Bhat said.

An official said that there were large numbers of projects which were at different stage of development and left half way due to inadequate funding or due to other reasons. He said that Athwajan-Vethpora Bridge was also among languishing projects for the want to funds. Another official said that the inordinate delay in construction of Soiteng-Vethparabridge over Jhelum has escalated cost of the project from Rs 13.59 crore to Rs 16 crore.

Official documents reveal that the original cost for the project in 2010, when it was started, was 7.20 crore. However, inordinate delay in construction of Soiteng-Vethparabridge over Jhelum has escalated cost of the project from Rs 7.20 crore to Rs 13.59 crore.

With much further delay, the escalation cost of the project as of now is 16 crore. The construction of this double lane bridge was sanctioned under NAMBARD RIDF XV at a cost of Rs 7.20 crore and its execution was entrusted to JKPCC in 2010.

Locals of various areas including Lasjan, Athwajan, Syed Abad Soiteng, Padshahibagh and other adjacent areas have been taking up the matter of its completion with concerned authorities from time to time. The project is almost complete but was left as the authorities failed to join expansion joints and construct approach roads to make it functional for public use.

A JKPCC official said that tender was issued but there was zero response to it. "Now the competent authorities have issued fresh tender which will be opened on 12 October, this year," the official added.

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