Baramulla, August 09: The years-old bridge that connects old Baramulla with the main market is in shambles with commuters parking their vehicles on it thereby creating inconvinenceto people.
Locals said that the engineering marvel is an abode to cows and cars illegally parked by the commuters. They said that due to official negligence and lackadaisical approach of locals, the bridge is losing its years old charm.
The residents of Baramulla town told Rising Kashmir that the historic cement bridge of Baramulla was built a time when Budshah bridge in Srinagar was constructed and has now become a parking lot for cab drivers who ply on different routes of Rafiabad and private transport.
“The cement bridge that connects the old town of Baramulla with the main market is in shambles. The commuters park their vehicles on both sides of the bridge. The bridge is full of cow dung and usually cows from localities block the sidewalk of the bridge,” said Jahangeer, a local.
The main bridge of Baramulla usually known as “Cement Bridge” is an example of engineering marvel.
“It has tremor resistant technology. During my engineering years, we were taken to the site for our practicals. It took almost 20 plus years to complete the bridge and was the main connection between Rafiabad villages and Baramulla town. It is unfortunate to see the main bridge being used for parking by car people and cows sitting the whole day on it,” said Imtiyaz Ahmad, an engineer by profession.
Tariq Ahmad Mughloo, General Secretary Beopar Mandal Baramulla told Rising Kashmir that the bridge has now lost its glory.
“Few years back, authorities macadamized the bridge and now there are dozens of potholes, the side barricades are broken and there is cow dung everywhere on the bridge which makes it stinky” he added.
He said that the administration must start work for restoration and beautification of the bridge like that of Budshah Bridge.
“Like Srinagar bridges, can’t our administration beautify it by placing flower pots, colorful fountains, color the side barricades besides repairment. It will be a great place to visit in Baramulla, if restored on a full scale,” he added.
Earlier the Municipal Council Baramulla directed the locals not to let their cows roam around in the market and on the bridge.
The Executive Officer Municipal Council Baramulla ImtiyazulHaq in an order said that cows roaming around in the market and on the cement bridge are creating problems for the locals and commuters and are a reason for traffic jams in the municipal area of the town.
The municipal council authorities warned the locals not to let cows roam freely in the market else strict action will be taken against them.
The officials at MC Baramulla said that a paid parking slot was recently launched near Women’s College Baramulla and action will be taken against people parking vehicles on the cement bridge.
Tariq Mughloo said that the members of Beopar Mandal met Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Dr.SehrishAsgar last month and identified six different locations for paid parking in the town.
“Those six places if utilised for car parking can generate revenue in crores and can be utilised for the beautification of the town. That paid parking will solve the long pending issue of parking in Baramulla. Right now people are using cement bridge as parking lot which is completely unethical as this bridge is the main connection to ferry patients from Rafiabad to Baramulla hospital,” he added.
The local residents, especially the trade bodies of Baramulla town, have appealed to the local administration to draft a plan for the revival and beautification of cement bridge.