23 years on, Tumina-Chowkibal bridge incomplete, people suffer

23 years on, Tumina-Chowkibal bridge incomplete, people suffer
The residents said that the bridge was to be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 8.50 crore. However, the slow pace of work can be gauged from the fact that only a few pillars have been constructed till date.Special arrangement

Kupwara: The residents of Tumina, Chowkibal and other adjacent villages in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district Sunday expressed strong resentment against authorities for inordinate delay in completion of bridge in their locality. They said they are facing lot of inconvenience because of it.

The residents said that the construction of this bridge was started in 1999 but after the passage of over two decades, the bridge was yet to be completed.

The residents said that the bridge was to be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 8.50 crore. However, the slow pace of work can be gauged from the fact that only a few pillars have been constructed till date.

“The delay in the completion of this important project is causing immense problems to the inhabitants, including women and school going children living on the either side of the Kehmil Nallah as they have to walk for miles to cross the Nallah at another bridge and only then they reach Chowkibal,” the locals said.

The residents said that the bridge once completed would connect several villages together including Chowkibal, Reddi, Zuna Rishi, Tumina, Marsari, Rangwar, Harfada, Ramhal, Hachamarg, Fullmarg and Karnah .

“With the completion of this bridge, it will significantly shorten the distance between several villages and help commuters reach their respective destinations in the shortest possible time. It can also serve as a by-pass for Karnah bound traffic,” said a local.

“The people from Handwara sub district can also take this route to reach Chowkibal and then travel to Karnah,” he added.

“We are fed up with the slow pace of work and our hopes of seeing this bridge completed have died down now. Do not know how much more time it will take authorities to complete this vital bridge,” Block Development Council (BDC) Chairman Reddi-Chwokibal Firdous Ahmad told Greater Kashmir.

“We went from pillar to post for redressal of this issue even though the previous regime had promised to complete this bridge but that also proved to be a hoax,” he added.

The residents have sought immediate intervention of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in this regard so that the hardships being faced by people may end.

When contacted the concerned Assistance Executive Engineer (AEE) Farooq Ahmad Shah of Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC), said the delay in construction of the bridge was due to shortage of funds.

He said that this bridge was now approved under languishing and has been re-tendered eight times in the recent past but not a single contractor has come forward to take up the work.

"We have once again floated tender for the said project, let some one among contractors come forward and take up the construction work," he added.

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