Saleem Iqbal Qadri

06 yrs on, Maharajpora-Sopore Bridge construction work makes little headway

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SOPORE, DEC 25: Six long years have already passed since the construction work on Mahrajpora-Sopore Bridge in north Kashmir’s Sopore Town started but little headway has been made since then towards its completion.

The bridge, 205 meter long and to be built on 4 pillars with 9 piles, is being built at the estimated cost of 13.68 crore. The foundation stone of the project was laid by then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on 02 December, 2013.

According to locals, once the bridge is made functional it will connect many villages including Tarzoo, Panjipora, Hygam and other areas and the people from these areas can travel directly to Bandipora and Kupwara.

“I am ferrying people from one side of river Jehlum to other in my Shikara and I charge ten rupees per person for the ride. If Mahrajpora-Sopore Bridge is thrown open for the traffic, it will bring a much-needed respite for the commuters,” Ali Mohammad Laway, a Shikara owner told Kashmir Images.

President Auqaf Committee Sheikh Sahab Mohalla, Haji Abdul Rashid Mir, told Kashmir Images that when former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, laid the foundation of Mahrajpora-Sopore Bridge he had promised to complete the construction work in least possible time but that did not happen.

When ‘Kashmir Images’ contacted Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation Ltd (JKPCC), M.Raju to know the current status of the bridge, he said, “Today is a Christmas holiday, I am at home” and dropped the call.

Meanwhile, Deputy General Manager JKPCC Baramulla, Feroz Ahmad Chat, told Kashmir Images that the project was approved under “Languishing Projects” by Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation in October this year.

“I accept that construction work is going on slowly and the same is because previous funds were released in the tone of lacs which halted its construction. Now, we have requested sanctioning of 25% funds in advance so that the project is completed without further delay,” the DGM JKPCC added.

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