Highway woes: Work on Bailey bridge begins at Kela Morh
Srinagar: Border Roads Organization (BRO) has started work to launch a Bailey bridge on the Srinagar-Jammu highway to facilitate vehicles carrying essentials supplies in the days ahead as the only surface link connecting Kashmir with rest of the world remains closed for vehicular traffic in the wake of damage to a bridge at Kela Morh in Ramban district.
ADGP Traffic, T. Namgyal said that the repair work on the damaged portion is in full swing and that there has to be concrete filling on the side of the bridge, which will take some time to settle down fully.
“In the meantime BRO has initiated the process of launching a Bailey bridge, which will provide interim relief to facilitate movement of essential supplies including petroleum, gas and other essential supplies towards the valley,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a fresh communiqué, the Traffic Police Headquarters, said that the Jammu-Srinagar NHW shall remain closed for next few days due to sudden collapse of retaining wall of a bridge near Kela Morh, Ramban.
“Repairing work is going on. However, Jammu-Doda-Kishtwar, Jammu-Ramban, Gool Sangaldan, Magerkot- Banihal and Banihal-Qazigund stretches are through for local traffic,” it said.
Meanwhile, National Conference (NC) expressed concern over the continuous closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and subsequent failure of the administration in handling the crisis, leaving thousands of people stranded on either side of the highway.
Failing to come up with an alternative to ensure availability of all essential items to people in Kashmir, the Party MPs Muhammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi said the Government has left people to fend for themselves.
“The inordinate delay in the restoration of traffic on national highway has added to the woes of people, who were already suffering due to the heavy snowfall and administration’s poor response. The closure of the highway has triggered a crisis like situation in Kashmir and on the highway with stranded people finding it difficult to withstand bone chilling cold. Government on its part has been incoherent with its statements on the resumption of the traffic adding to the confusion and chaos,” they said in a joint statement issued here.
“The unforeseen problems suffered by the stranded people on the national highway are immense. The winter chill and the unavailability of essentials have also aggravated their woes. The patients, elderly and kids are in particular undergoing predicament due to the unavailability of any mechanism to airlift them to nearby hospitals. The entire lot has been left to their own fate. Various vehicles carrying ailing and even deceased have also been left unattended. The SDRF teams, and local district administration is nowhere visible on ground throughout the entire stretch,” they said.
“As a normal during such eventualities, the government used to have alternate air lift mechanism in place. This year, it seems that the administration had no contingency plan in its response to deal with such an eventuality. Let alone coming to the rescue of stranded messengers, the government has failed to ensure basic items to people in Kashmir including essential life saving drugs to Kashmir division by other alternate means. Traditionally the administration airlifted such essentials to the valley in wake of hindrances on the Jammu –Srinagar highway. There is still time for punitive measures; the administration should gear up its men and machinery and expedite the traffic restoration on highway, utilizing other means and ways,” they said. (with inputs from KNO)