‘Historic’ old Chankhan Bridge in Sopore in ruins - JK REVOLUTION
Friday, June 14, 2024

‘Historic’ old Chankhan Bridge in Sopore in ruins

Locals demand construction of footbridge

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Waris Fayaz

Sopore, Feb 27: The old Chankhan bridge known as Bakhshi bridge built in 1953 over river Jehlum in Sopore town lies in shambles.

The 260-metre bridge as per the locals had the historical and architectural value but the department concerned failed to take measures to protect it from getting damaged.

The bridge was built during the tenure of the then J&K prime minister Ghulam Muhammad Bakhshi and was declared unsafe for traffic in 1999. It was used for pedestrian movement only. However, the movement was halted in2019 when the bridge developed some cracks and its middle pillar collapsed.

Locals told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that since the bridge collapsed in the 2021, the remaining bridge (worth in lakhs) was left in shambles and the material due to the negligence of the concerned authorities continue to flow within Jhelum.

They also alleged that people during evening hours are stealing the material including the wood and iron.

“The historic bridge which earlier was connecting the town with rest parts of the valley was having the Deodar woods which is now seen flowing with the waters of jhelum. We have been demanding it be developed into a foot bridge to no avail,” Syed Fayaz, a local said.

“If there would have been an auction of the remains of the bridge, the amount may have been used for the construction of the small footbridge,” he said.

The locals however, urged the LG Manoj Sinha to direct the Deputy Commissioner Baramulla to do the needful as the ‘officials in the town are taking them for a ride’.

An assistant executive engineer, roads and buildings (R&B) division Sopore, Er Danish told KNO that they have taken up the matter with the concerned including local administration and forest department.

However, he said that the remains of the bridge would go for an auction soon and the call for a footbridge would be taken later—(KNO)

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