Anandpur Sahib, November 20
A kilometre-long bridge on the Sutlej providing connectivity to Anandpur Sahib with Doaba is on the verge of collapse, courtesy the mining mafia.
Even though a team of experts found its 14 piers exposed by erosion last year and PWD officials sought over Rs 44 crore for the restoration work, nothing has been done till now.
- Editorial: Sand mining
The 7.5-metre-wide bridge near Agampur village was constructed at a cost of Rs 70 crore in 1986. Over the past decade, the rampant illegal mining downstream near the bridge has lowered the riverbed, leading to increased flow of river water. As a result, the earth around the piers (the main support of the bridge upon which the structure rests) has eroded.
Rs 44 crore sought for restoration
We have sought Rs 33.52 crore and Rs 10.62 crore to restore the well foundation and the guide bund, respectively. The work will start as soon as the funds are released. Davinder Kumar, Xen, Ropar PWD
The bridge got further damaged after a guide bund near it was washed away in floods in August. A guide bund guides the flow of water in a given cross section and in particular alignment and also prevents the river cutting into the bridge approaches.
Experts, who inspected the bridge in August last year, found that the well foundation of 14 piers was exposed to 14 metres from 6 metres earlier due to scouring (lowering of top bed soil). The foundation of the bridge has now become so weak that vehicles crossing it produce vibrations.
“We have sought Rs 33.52 crore and Rs 10.62 crore to restore the well foundation and the guide bund, respectively. The work will start as soon as the funds are released,” said Davinder Kumar, Xen, Ropar Public Works Department.
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