POONCH: The unprecedented incessant rains and consequent flash floods and gigantic landslides in district Poonch have caused immense damages to the road infrastructure.
As revealed by Executive Engineer, PWD (R&B), Kabir Hussain Shah, in a series of meetings convened, to review the progress of restoration work on daily basis, by the District Development Commissioner, Mohammad Hussain Malik, as many as 193 roads have been affected out of which 121 are major roads, 34 in Surankote, 33 in Mandi, 31 in Poonch and 23 in Mendhar, connecting several villages to the tehsil and district headquarter whereas 72 are minor roads connecting small hamlets with the major rural links. Several foot bridges and approach road to three major bridges i.e. Sher-e-Kashmir, Dhundak and Pamrote were breached at various locations putting the vehicular traffic and pedestrian movement to a grinding halt.
107 out of 121 major roads which were extensively damaged and blocked at various locations due to landslides, rock falls, slips and washed away stretches have been opened for traffic and restoration work on the remaining 14 roads has got delayed due to major stretches and take off points of PMGSY roads being washed/slid away. For restoration of three major bridges in the district, bailey bridges have been arranged. The restoration work of fully and partially damaged foot bridges has also been set into motion and the DDC has set fixed timeline for their completion. Malik has directed the PWD (R&B) authorities to ensure permanent restoration of the strategic Sher-e-Kashmir Bridge, whose approach has been breached at different locations, only after proper design and study of hydraulic data to ensure its safety.
As directed by the DDC, the PWD(R&B) authorities have installed steel grinder stairs at Sher-e-Kashmir bridge site and temporary crossing on the local Nallahs over various breached bridge sites as an emergent measure to connect the cut off areas with the district and tehsil headquarters. Malik has directed the concerned officers of R&B to mobilize their men and machinery to restore remaining road links so that people do not face any inconvenience.