Collapsed Bakhshi Bridge in ruins

Collapsed Bakhshi Bridge in ruins
In 2020, two pillars of the bridge collapsed and later wood and iron fell into the river.Special arrangement

Sopore: A 260-metre bridge across River Jhelum built over seven decades ago in north Kashmir’s Sopore may soon disappear as most of it has fallen after it collapse last year.

“Though there were demands to preserve the remaining bridge that had historical and architectural value, no steps were taken by the authorities to protect it from ruins,” said an industrialist Javid Ahmad Bhat.

He said over a year had passed since the bridge collapsed but its remains still lied on the riverbed and the concerned department instead of preserving the remaining bridge let the material to flow in the river.

In 2020, two pillars of the bridge collapsed and later wood and iron fell into the river.

The bridge was built in 1953 over River Jhelum at Chankhan area of Sopore which connects Sopore town to Srinagar and Baramulla districts.

The bridge was built during the tenure of the then prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Muhammad Bakhshi and was known as Bakhshi Bridge.

Executive Engineer R&B department, Sopore, Muzaffar Ahmad said that the bridge was declared unsafe for traffic in 1999.

“After that the bridge was used only by pedestrians but even pedestrian movement was halted in 2019 after the bridge developed some cracks and its middle pillar collapsed in July 2020,” he said.

Ahmad said that the R&B department had already sent a letter to the Forest department for giving assessment of material like the remaining timber on the collapsed bridge.

He said that after getting the assessment, they would go for the auction of the bridge.

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