Turning a blind eye towards the dilapidated state of the bridge over Buddha Nullah on the Old GT Road, the municipal corporation (MC) seems to be waiting for a disaster to happen before taking remedial measures.
While the rainy season is round-the-corner, the MC has failed to conduct any repair work on the bridge, already declared unsafe by the public works department (PWD), putting several lives on danger.
Any time in a day, one can see bricks cracking and falling from the bridge on the road, with commuters passing underneath it. Besides, heavy traffic can be witnessed on it every day. Unwanted trees have also grown on the bridge even as the MC authorities continue to turn a blind eye.
“The railway authorities stopped the entry of heavy vehicles on the Jagraon Bridge while declaring it unsafe, but, in this case, it seems, the civic body is waiting for a disaster to happen. Every day, we pass through the bridge, cross under it. It’s quit scary, and can turn fatal if a brick falls onto you. While we are dreaming of becoming a smart city, the basic problems that affect the common man are being ignored,” said Jagmohan Singh of Salem Tabri.
Thousands of vehicles pass from over the bridge every day, as it’s is the widely-used way to inner areas of the city.
A member of NGO Sambhav, Rahul Verma said traffic should be routed through a newly-constructed bridge in the nearby area, while the reconstruction work of the unsafe bridge should be started at the earliest. Considering monsoon season in a few days, the authorities concerned should make proper plans to address the issue, he said. In July 2014, ward number 35 councillor Sushma Mehta had complained to then MC commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agarwal about the poor condition of the bridge, while urging him to take immediate steps to start the repair work, but to no avail.
Sources say a report prepared by Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College also states the life of the bridge is almost over.
Superintending engineer Pawan Sharma said the MC is going to float tenders to redesign it, following which, tenders for its reconstruction will be floated. He, however, assured to “conduct repair work if bricks are falling”. Experts say the bridge could be reconstructed at the cost of around `7 crore.
RAILWAYS COULD CLOSE DOWN JAGRAON BRIDGE
The railways authorities have assured the Jagraon bridge — girders of the bridge constructed in 1888 have been badly corroded — could be closed down if they find there’s danger to it in the upcoming rainy season.
The railway authorities had installed a height restriction barrier last month to stop the entry of heavy vehicles on it, while the proposal regarding its reconstruction is still pending with the ministry.