‘Work on Qamarwari-Noorbagh bridge goes on at snail’s pace’

Bridge likely to be completed in current year: Authorities

Srinagar, Mar 21: Despite passing of seven years, the Jammu and Kashmir Roads and Building (R&B) department has failed to complete Noorbagh Qamarwari Bridge here.
Strong resentment is brewing among locals against inordinate delay in completion of the project.
Habibullah, a local resident said that the work on the project was started in 2011. “The government had assured us that the bridge would be completed in four years. In view of importance of the bridge, people living on two sides of Jhelum in the area extended cooperation to the authorities. Ironically, they have failed to complete the project within stipulated time,” he said.
Locals fear that due to snail’s pace of work on the project, the construction of the bridge will be delayed. The project has already missed several deadlines. After public pressure, authorities had re-fixed the deadline as December 2017 “We feel disappointed to find that work on the bridge has been most often stalled and now is going on at snail’s pace. This bridge is under construction from past eight years,” said Mohammad Yousf, a local of Qamarwari.
The locals urged government to direct concerned authorities to ensure completion of the bridge before the deadline.
“It has become a routine for some authorities to initiate a project, construct some pillars or plinth and then leave it halfway,” said, another local.
“It is because of non-seriousness of officials that Kashmir is losing race on various projects. It is unfortunate that government always extends deadlines rather than making officials accountable for their failure to complete projects on time,” said one of the shopkeepers of Noorbagh.
The construction of 127 metre long bridge was started in 2011. It missed its first deadline in 2014. Later Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti promised that the bridge would be thrown open by March 2017. The deadline was later extended to December 2017, which was missed again.
Officials in the R&B, department said that due to non-availability of site and encroachments in the area, the construction process was delayed. “Now the construction process is going on in full swing and we are hopeful that the Bridge will be completed in the current year,” one of the officials of the R&B department said. (KNS)