Protests in scores of localities after authorities close Mehjoor Nagar Bridge

Srinagar: Authorities on Tuesday closed the Mehjoor Nagar Bridge for every kind of traffic and pedestrian movement, sparking protests in south city areas.

The bridge was closed for heavy motor vehicles (HMVs) after one of its supporting pillars collapsed yesterday.

The bridge connects Syed Abad Soiteng, Lasjan, Padshahibagh, Gandbal, Vethpora, Bagander and its adjacent areas with the city-centre.

Hundreds of commuters were left stranded after they found bridge closed.

The closure also caused massive traffic jam at Padshahibagh, Rambagh, Jawahar Nagar and other adjacent areas.

Locals at Syed Abad Soiteng, Lasjan and other adjacent areas held peaceful protests, giving authorities ultimatum of 24 hours to re-open the bridge or complete the under-construction bridge within next 48 hours.

Later, various affected localities appeared at Press Enclave here, staged protests, demanding re-opening of the bridge.

“We must have some intelligent officers who are able to know the consequences of their decisions. Scores of patients couldn’t reach to hospitals; students missed their classes,” said Ghulam Hassan Bhat, a local of Syed Abad Soiteng.

“We have elected the government and therefore we hold R&B Minister responsible for our inconvenience,” said Ali Muhammad of Lasjan.

The aggrieved locals questioned the authorities over the delay in constructing an alternative bridge.

“It will take five working months to complete the bridge,” said Vinod Sharma, ERA Chief Executive Officer.

Abdul Hameed, Chief Engineer, R&B said the bridge would not be re-opened.

“Our priority is to save human lives. People have to understand that bridge is unsafe and we have closed it in public interest. I have also informed the concerned minister about its closure. It is not going to re-open, I am telling you,” he added.

However, he said that they would prioritize the completion of under-construction bridge to connect these areas again with the city centre. (KNS)
 

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