M A I N   N E W S

Kathlore bridge to be a reality soon
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, October 20
An island of about 100 villages located between India and Pakistan might finally be connected with Gurdaspur district. The PWD has invited tenders for construction of Kathlore bridge on Ravi to connect the Narot Jaimal Singh and Bamiayal blocks with rest of the district.

The construction of the bridge has been a major demand of about 1 lakh people of these blocks since Independence as they still have to depend on boats to reach their homes. Every basic necessity reaches this area on boats especially during the monsoon season. In this season the boat service is terminated after 9 p.m. and the people have to depend on nature in case of medical or any other kind of emergency.

The bridge always has been at the centre of politics. During every Lok Sabha or Assembly elections, leaders promise the bridge to people. Then External Affairs Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, first laid the foundation stone of the bridge on March 16, 1996. However, that foundation stone, instead of helping in the construction of the bridge, was now giving shelter to the policemen deputed on the duty at the spot. The policemen have used the foundation stone to construct a hut to save them from scorching heat and rain while on duty.

Another stone for the bridge was laid by former Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal on June 10, 2001.

However, the project has been cleared by NABARD and the state government recently. Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa, Minister for PWD, while talking to The Tribune said the tenders for the construction of the bridge would be opened on October 27. The construction work on the bridge would begin by the start of next year. The bridge will be completed in 18 months.

He said the bridge would boost the economy of the area and create a shorter route for approaching Jammu and Kashmir from Gurdaspur. 

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