M A I N   N E W S

Road to Aman Setu damaged
Ehsan Fazili
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, October 13
A 10-km stretch of road between Uri and Kaman bridge (Aman Setu) that forms a vital link on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, has been badly damaged during the recent quake. Its restoration work may take about two months to enable bus service between the two sides.

Briefing newspersons about the damage and relief work here today, Lieut-Gen S.S. Dhillon, Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps of the Army, said the road to Kaman bridge that is divided by the LoC was badly damaged. He said it was difficult to start its repair because machinery could not be put on the far end of the damaged stretch. He said the bridge had also been damaged due to massive landslides.

“There is no dearth of machinery, but when the road gets blocked it cannot be shifted to the required site”, Brig S.S. Dasaka, Chief Engineer of the Beacon Project of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), told this correspondent. Beacon Project looks after the maintenance of the roads in Kashmir. Brig Dasaka said its men and machinery were working on the restoration work of roads, most of which have been cleared so far.

Giving details of the road condition, Brig Dasaka said of the about 18 km stretch between Uri and the Kaman bridge, the first 8.5 km from Uri had been cleared. But of the remaining over 9 km stretch about 4.5 km had been badly damaged, of which 2.5 km was blocked due to landslides. Damage had also been caused to the abutment of Red Bridge, 13.5 km from Uri, and to a road along Uroosa, the last village close to the LoC, he added.

The Beacon Project has put its men and machinery for the restoration work on the road, which has begun on the Uri side, but it could not be started on the other end for lack of machinery, which could not be taken to that side as there was no alternative road. The Uri-Kaman portion of the road stretch, which had been under disuse since Partition had been made traffic-worthy earlier this year prior to the beginning of the bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad.

When the restoration work on the road would be complete after about two months, there would be no problem on the movement of traffic during the winter, Lieut-Gen Dhillon said.

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