Kupwara, Baramulla to get alternate link

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Two decades on, Sopore Bypass Bridge being commissioned

Srinagar: Having failed to meet innumerable deadlines over the past two decades, the crucial bridge on Sopore bypass is finally set to be completed this year. The State Government is going to throw open the 226-meter long bridge by August this year.

“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 1980s. It then got stalled for some years and work was again started in 1992-93.

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 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, 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.

Mufti to BRO DG: Make NH1A roadworthy

New Delhi:  J&K Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed today asked the Director General, Border Roads Organization (BRO) Lt. Gen. R. M. Mittal tp prioritize the maintenance of the Jammu-Srinagar highway, keeping in view that it is the only all-weather surface link between J&K and the rest of the country.

Last week, Mufti Sayeed had met the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, in which, among other things, he had highlighted the need for urgent repairs of NH I-A. 

The Chief Minister asked BRO to carry out urgent repairs on NH 1-A to make it roadworthy, in view of the coming tourist season.

Mufti said that since four-lanning of the National Highway is going to take some time, BRO should maintain the Highway till its widening from Jammu to Srinagar is completed.      

The Chief Minister said due to dilapidated condition of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, it frequently breaks down even during minor spells of rains, leaving people stranded. He specifically referred to the stretch from Ramban to Banihal which leads to closure for several days together, affecting movement of people and essential supplies to the Kashmir valley.

Appreciating the role of BRO in maintaining the roads in the State in extremely hostile weather conditions, Mufti made specific mention of repair of Thanamandi-Buffliaz stretch, which connects Poonch district of Jammu with Shopian in Kashmir Valley through the Mughal Road. He said the improvement of this stretch will provide a viable alternate road link between Jammu and Kashmir divisions.

Mufti also raised the issue of prioritizing regular maintenance of Kishtwar-Sinthan-Anantnag, Bandipore-Gurez, Sopore Bypass, Jammu-Poonch, Basohli-Bani-Bhaderwah, Doda-Bhaderwah, Reasi-Mahore, Rajouri-Kandi-Budhal, Pouni-Kalakote-Rajouri, Surankote-Buffliaz, Loran-Basam Gali-Tangmarg, Dhar-Mahanpur and Old Samba-Kathua roads, which fall within the domain of BRO.

While assuring the Chief Minister about the proper maintenance of National Highways and other important roads under their control, DG BRO said he will personally visit the state this month to prioritize the issues flagged in the meeting. He said manpower for maintenance of roads has been supplemented by 40 percent in J&K so that frequent closure at treacherous spots along the National Highway is avoided in future.

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