Fund crunch delays bridge in Rajouri

Our Correspondent

Rajouri, October 18

The construction of much-needed 32-metre double-lane motorable Hamilton Bridge, situated in the heart of Rajouri town, has been delayed due to paucity of funds.

The bridge is under construction at the spot of old Hamilton Bridge.

The old single-lane Hamilton Bridge, connecting the Jammu-Poonch highway and many important towns with Rajouri district headquarters, is in a dilapidated condition and unfit for meeting the present traffic load.

The new bridge was sanctioned at a cost of Rs 540 lakh, including approaches and 1-km road up to Tariq Bridge.

Traders in old Rajouri town and old bus stand mostly depend on the Hamilton Bridge. They wanted the construction work to be completed within six months.

“The PWD (R&B) and the contractor have taken about a year time to complete only the bridge and due to their lackadaisical approach the bridge couldn’t be made operational till date,” said Sanjay Sharma, councillor of Ward 9.

He along with shopkeepers and local residents had held a protest against the officials concerned and the contractor on Wednesday after a minibus met with an accident on temporary culvert near the bridge site.

Sources said the contractor had recently stopped the work as the department has failed to clear more than Rs 1-crore payment to the contractor.

After people’s protest, MA Asad, Deputy Commissioner, today visited the Hamilton Bridge site and instructed the officials to complete the work within specified time limit.

“The delay in the release of the funds under the Central Road Fund (CRF) has delayed the construction of the bridge, approaches and 1-km road up to Tariq Bridge. The Hamilton Bridge with old approaches will be thrown open to public on Monday,” said Mohammad Zubair, Executive Engineer, PWD (R&B).

The issue regarding the payment of the contractor had also been solved, he added.

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