After two decades of wait, Sopore Bypass Bridge to be commissioned this year

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SRINAGAR, MAY 04: Having failed to meet innumerable deadlines during the past almost two decades, the crucial bridge on Sopore bypass is finally set to be completed this year, courtesy personal intervention of the Minister for Public Works, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari.

The State Government is going to throw open the 226-meter long bridge by August this year.

“The bridge will be thrown open by August this year and there will be no more delay in the work as I am personally monitoring its progress,” Bukhari said.

According to officials, the bridge was initially approved in 1980’s, it then got stalled for some years and work was again started in 1992-93.

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However, the work was stalled again and the construction of the bridge was resumed in 2004 by M/S Mir Constructions after they got the contract from Border Road Organization (BRO). The construction work was supposed to be completed within four years and bridge was to be thrown open in 2008. However, it could not meet the deadline forcing the present Government to take up the matter with the concerned authorities in the Government of India.

“We are committed to complete the bridge before the fruit season as it not only provides alternate connectivity to Kupwara and Baramulla, but also connects country’s second largest Fruit Mandi through the shortest link,” the Minister said adding the fruit growers have been anxiously waiting for decades for its completion.

He said Border Road Organization (BRO) will be handing it over to R&B Department by July end and it would be commissioned in August. The completion of bridge will also help ease frequent traffic jams in the Sopore town.

Pertinently, after assuming charge as Minister for Public Works, Bukhari on the directions of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed rushed to New Delhi to sort-out the issues hampering work on the roads and bridges being constructed and maintained by the BRO. He held threadbare discussions with the BRO officials and Union Minister for Transport and Highways to expedite work on these projects including Srinagar-Jammu highway.

Bukhari said the government has constituted a high-level committee to monitor progress of some crucial projects in R&B sector including Sopore Bypass Bridge, Parimpora-Narbal road, Srinagar-Qazigund stretch of the highway, Mughal Road and some important roads in Srinagar city.

Regarding the dilapidated condition of Srinagar-Jammu highway, the Minister said the clear instructions have been passed on to the executing agency to expedite work on the project and he will be tomorrow personally visiting the worst affected stretch of the highway from Panthachowk to Qazigund for on-the-spot review of the work.

Regarding, maintenance of roads in Srinagar city, the Minister said that a multipronged strategy is being used to regulate traffic movement in the summer capital. He said on one hand all the bottlenecks will be removed from crucial road links while on the other upgradation and black-topping would be carried out simultaneously to ensure hassle-free movement of traffic. He said the upgradation work has already been kick-started in several parts of the city, which saw massive devastation of public infrastructure in September 2014 floods.