Ludhiana admn releases ₹26.17cr for renovation of Jagraon bridge
It has been over a year since the city’s oldest and busiest Jagraon bridge was closed for entry of four wheelers and heavy vehicles from one side but the renovation work is yet to beginpunjab Updated: Jul 18, 2017 16:02 IST
Having faced a huge embarrassment after city residents staged a symbolic protest at Jagraon bridge on Sunday, the Ludhiana administration has woken up from its slumber and sanctioned ₹26.17 crore for the bridge’s renovation.
Ludhiana deputy commissioner (MC) Pardeep Aggarwal informed that an amount of ₹26.17 crore has been sanctioned by the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board for renovation of the bridge and the amount has been handed over to the Ludhiana municipal corporation. The DC assured that work for renovation of the bridge will begin soon.
It has been over a year since the city’s oldest and busiest Jagraon bridge was closed for entry of four wheelers and heavy vehicles from one side but the renovation work is yet to begin.
On Sunday, residents, in a symbolic protest, offered prayers at the bridge in ‘loving memory’ of Jagraon Bridge, which was constructed in 1888 and closed on July 14, 2016. The residents offered prayers for its ‘reincarnation’ and also paid rich ‘tributes’ with wreaths to their ‘beloved’ bridge. The event was aimed at waking up authorities and start the reconstruction of the bridge at the earliest.
Residents and members of various NGOs, including Sambhav Foundation, Humlog, Transformation of City (TOC), Pehal and Sangarsh, and residents had gathered at the bridge, appealing ‘Let’s all pray for its reincarnation’. To mark its first ‘closure anniversary’ and ‘Barsi’, they held prayers as per traditions of different religions.
On the occasion, tea and snacks were also served to the gathering and policemen on duty at Jagraon Bridge.
The railways had banned the entry of heavy vehicles in May 2016 after finding that the girders of 129-year-old bridge were badly corroded. Later, on July 14, 2016, it was closed for all vehicles except two-wheelers but the authorities concerned have failed to start reconstruction of the bridge till date.
The Jagraon Bridge comprises two parallel bridges for traffic between Bharat Nagar Chowk and Old City areas. While the side connecting oncoming traffic from Old City to Bharat Nagar was built in 1888, the other side was built in the 1990s. A graffiti highlighting the first closure anniversary and ‘Barsi’ was drawn on the wall that was constructed to stop entry of vehicles on dilapidated old side of the bridge.
Rahul Verma of Sambhav Foundation said, “We held prayers for our beloved Jagraon Bridge as we want to see its reconstruction at the earliest. The government, MC and railways should ensure its early reconstruction.”
“If MC fails to arrange funds for its reconstruction within a month, we will keep a tin at the bridge for collection of money so that the bridge can be reconstructed,” he added.
In January 2017, the railways had written to the MC for ₹24.3 crore, following which MC’s finance and contract committee (F&CC) in June approved a proposal of ₹26.18 crore for the repair of the bridge and its approaches.
First Published: Jul 18, 2017 16:00 IST