The September floods disturbed not only the road communication but caused severe damage to many bridges in the valley.
The Bagh-e-Mehtab bridge which served as an important connecting link between Rawalpora and Bagh-e-Methab, the two vast areas of the Srinagar district also did not escape from the wrath of the devastating floods. Since then this fallen bridge has become a monument, reminding us of the magnitude of destruction caused by the deluge.
The bridge has never attracted the attention of the R&B authorities for its repairs despite of the fact that the local news papers had high lighted this issue in the couple of news items. It is appreciable that the present government has taken in hand the work of laying down the drainage from Rawalpora to Wanabal and there by fulfilling the long pending demand of the people of this area. In order to speed up the work and make the project successful the concerned agency has resorted to the diversion of traffic on the two sides of the canal road.
The commuters have to either adopt Peer Bagh or the Bagh-e-Methab route for reaching Santnagar and Rambagh. Before issuing notice for the diversion of the traffic, it was obligatory on the part of the PWD and traffic department to get the bridge in question repaired without out any wastage of time.
The concerned authorities have either failed to fulfill their obligations or are deliberately over looking this issue with regard to the repairs of bridge, which is endangering human lives.
The bridge which can hardly withstand the load of light vehicles has been thrown open for the heavy vehicles including the trucks and tippers. Actually the bridge was constructed by the Railway department to ferry their material for construction of the railway line in this area.
But thanks to the Railway authorities, this bridge later on served as an important road link between the areas of Rawalpora and Bagh-e-Methab. The embankment of the bridge on the Bagh-e-Methab side has given way and floor of half of the span of the bridge is touching the waters of DoodGanga river. The present position of the bridge is posing a great threat to the lives of the commuters and the conerned agency will not wake up till some human tragedy takes place.
It will be also worthwhile if the agency carrying out the work of drainage system could engage one more additional machine and start operating on the other side of the Rawalpora bridge to expedite the pace of work lest it would take months together like Jehengir Fly over to accomplish this task for just one and half KM'S length. In view of the short duration of the working season in valley, it would be also appreciable if the work is carried out in double shift and on holidays/ sundays and shut downs too, to complete the project in stipulated time. The slow work on this project is also proving hazardous for the health of the people residing in this area.
It will be advisable if the traffic authorities could divert the heavy traffic including the trucks and tippers coming from Rangret via Gogo road and Kralapora bridge at Wanabal chowk to avoid plying of such traffic on the fallen bridge connecting Rawalpora and Bagh-e-Methab, as it does not carry the strength of taking the load of heavy vehicles.
Since the work on drainage system from Rawalpora bridge to Sanatnagar bye-pass chowk is near completion, it would have been desirable if the process of macadamization of road starts forthwith in this sector.
(Abdul Rashid Khan is IGP (rtd)