Tribune News Service
Ropar, February 5
The unabated illegal mining on the Swan riverbed in Ropar has put a bridge at Algran on the Kalwan-Nangal highway in danger.
With the authorities concerned turning a blind eye and the illegal miners digging deep to excavate sand and gravel, the foundation of the bridge’s piers (main support of bridge) lies exposed.
Fearing the bridge may collapse in a year or two if immediate repair wasn’t carried out, local Public Works Department (PWD) officials have written a letter to their higher-ups seeking an assistance of Rs 80 lakh.
Six letters, no response
- Swan riverbed level near the bridge has fallen from 310.500 metres to 306.307 metres over the years
- Two of the bridge’s 13 piers are the worst affected
- PWD officials have written to higher-ups six times, but to no avail
Posted on December 21, the letter was addressed to the PWD Chief Engineer and the Anandpur Sahib Sub-Divisional Magistrate.
In fact, it’s not the first time the district PWD officials have written to the higher-ups. On July 5, 2016, the Ropar Deputy Commissioner was informed that due to illegal mining, the riverbed level had gone down from 310.500 metres to 306.307 metres. It was also pointed out that of the 13 bridge piers, two—P5 and P7—had were the worst affected. They also sought ban on the mining of construction material from the riverbed downstream the bridge.
Sources said six letters had been written to the authorities concerned, but nothing concrete had emerged.
PWD Executive Engineer Vishal Gupta said though there was no immediate threat to the bridge, timely repair would prevent further damage.
District Mining Officer Sukhwinder Singh Kalsi, also the Executive Engineer (Drainage), said he was aware of the situation and those involved in illegal mining were penalised from time to time.
Earlier, a bridge on the Sutlej near Agampur in the district was damaged in a similar manner and its repair is yet to begin.
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