12 years on, Ramnagar bridge yet to see light of the day
People saw a ray of hope after the Samajwadi Party returned to power in 2012 under Akhilesh Yadav. Construction work resumed but its pace could not be maintained due to lack of funds.lucknow Updated: Mar 06, 2017 13:26 IST
Way back in April 2005, the then chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav laid the foundation of Ramnagar-Samane Ghat bridge but it is yet to see the light of the day.
The state has seen three chief ministers and four elections – general election in 2009 and 2014 and assembly polls in 2007 and 2012 – but the construction of the bridge could not be completed in the last 12 years.
The Mulayam Singh Yadav government had allocated ₹84.70 crore for the project and assigned the task of construction to the UP State Bridge Corporation (UPSBC).
Initially, the construction went on in full swing but after Mayawati took over as chief minister in 2007, construction work continued in fits and starts.
- Length: 922 metres
- Width: 9 metres
- Pillars: 24
- Height above the water: 90 metres
- Estimated cost: ₹97.72 crore
People saw a ray of hope after the Samajwadi Party returned to power in 2012 under Akhilesh Yadav. Construction work resumed but its pace could not be maintained due to lack of funds.
Akhilesh visited the Reserve Police Lines in 2015 where local SP leaders complained of delay in construction of bridge. He directed the UPSBC authorities to complete the construction by June 2016.
Though UPSBC missed the deadline, it managed to complete concrete work of the bridge. UPSBC assigned the task of erection and elevation of steel truss to a Kolkata-based company which stopped work after a girder fell in the river damaging the bridge in August 2016.
The company was replaced by JCL which is presently carrying out steel work.
Project manager, UPSBC, Ayub Khan said, “Concrete construction work has already been completed. Elevation and erection of steel truss is in progress. Construction work is likely to be completed in next two weeks.”
Ramnagar is part of two assembly constituencies, Cant and Rohania, which are represented by the BJP and the SP respectively. The residents of Ramnagar have to travel around seven kilometres via Rajghat or Vishwasundari bridge to reach Varanasi.
After the bridge opens for the public, people will have to cover a distance of only one kilometre to reach Varanasi from Ramnagar.
Sanjay Kumar Upadhyay, a resident of Ramnagar, said, “Mulayam Singh Yadav laid the foundation of the bridge about 12 years ago. After his son Akhilesh Yadav took over as chief minister, we hoped the construction of the bridge will be completed soon. Ironically, it is still under construction.”
Aishwarya Singh, a BHU student, said the unfinished work exposed the tall claims of the SP government. “If the bridge is completed, it would ease the problems of the locals and would attract more tourists to the historic Ramnagar Fort. It will facilitate students who have to travel 6 kilometres extra to reach Varanasi,” he said.
Ramnagar is the birth place of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. According to residents, Shastri used to swim to Varanasi during his childhood days.