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UT administration should own responsibility for not constructing bridge

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Locals demand that heads should roll; don’t blame pol govts as they have not been in the office past half a decade

As the mother wails, the question arises, who is responsible for this tragedy – rain, rising water level or administrative apathy of not completing the footbridge? PHOTO: Farooq Javed

Srinagar: As the locals continue to mourn the death of those who were in the ferry boat that capsized in the river Jhelum, most of the people in the area squarely blamed the UT administration for the tragedy.

The locals blasted the government for failing to complete the construction of the footbridge connecting Gandbal with Batwara, claiming that had the bridge been completed on time, the major tragedy would not have occurred.

“The construction of the footbridge was sanctioned several years ago, but the project is still incomplete. The government is to be blamed for the tragedy that unfolded in our area, claiming the lives of many people including minors. This administration can’t blame local governments as from past more than five years it has been in the office and has done nothing,” they added.

PDP youth leader, Zuhaib Yousuf Mir, who hails from the area, told Kashmir Images that he has been requesting the completion of the footbridge constantly but nobody listened to him.

Locals alleged that when the construction of the footbridge was sanctioned, and the work was started, it was left halfway when the contractor refused to pay the bribe to the engineers.

“From Commissioner Secretary to the peon, responsibility should be fixed. Those who died were killed by the apathy of the LG administration. We have had no local government for the past several years so the completion of the bridge was the responsibility of LG administration. Let them answer,” stressed locals.

“Officers and politicians responsible for the inordinate delay in the completion of the bridge on the river Jhelum at Gandbal in Ganderbal … have no right to extend sympathies and condolences to the bereaved families. Had they completed the bridge in the last many years, today’s tragedy wouldn’t have happened. Secretary PWD (R&B) must give out a timeline of this bridge’s construction, identify the officers and politicians, if any responsible, and book them in a criminal case of delay and negligence,” a local journalist, Ahmed Ali Fayyaz posted on X.

However, locals say that Secretary PWD himself is as responsible as anyone from his office so there should be a judicial enquiry.

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