Palampur, May 24
Even after six months, the Public Works Department (PWD) has failed to throw open a bridge built over the Narad khud near Dhalaria. The bridge has not been opened as approach roads to it are yet to be constructed. The bridge links 20 villages of three panchayats, Bara Gopipur, Neharan Pukhar and Dhalaria, with Dehra Gopipur town.
Sources say the bridge was constructed under a Central Government-funded project by a private company last year. The company had handed over the bridge to the PWD. However, approach roads to connect the bridge with the existing roads on both sides is yet to begin, rendering it useless.
Villagers say if approach roads are not constructed before the monsoon, the bridge will not be opened to traffic, making it difficult for them and schoolchildren to cross the flooded stream. They say if the bridge is made operational, the distance to Dehra Gopipur and other towns will reduce by 20 km. They said the affected panchayats have written to Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, requesting him to ensure early completion of approach roads so that the bridge can be made functional.
A senior PWD officer said the contractor had left the job midway and that efforts were being made to start the construction of approach roads before the monsoon.
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