Damaged in 2014 floods, Rohmoo bridge awaits completion

Irfan Tramboo

SRINAGAR, June 3: With work having started back in 2017 after it was washed away in floods, the critical Rohmoo bridge over Romshi nallah in Pulwama district is yet to be completed.
The locals said that for some time now, work on the bridge has been halted, with the concerned contractor also winding up the machinery that was present at the construction site.
“I guess nearly 70 percent of the work has been completed on the bridge; however, for some time now, the work has been halted. The contractor has also taken his machinery back, citing non-payment of bills,” said Qayoom Ahmad Khan, a local in Rohmoo.
The construction of the bridge started in May 2017, with an expected completion time of three years. However, over seven years have passed, and the project is still unfinished. The project is funded by the World Bank.
It is worth noting that the under-construction Rohmoo bridge, with initial estimations of over Rs 21 crores, not only serves as an important link in the Pulwama district but also as a key connector for inter-district connectivity between Pulwama and Budgam.
However, in the absence of proper connectivity, people are not only forced to take longer routes to reach their destinations, but also endure added hardship during their daily commute, with the transportation of horticulture produce also taking a hit.
Earlier, the project-which was scheduled to be completed in December last year-was executed by the JKPCC. However, after its merger, the execution is now being carried out by the R&B Department.

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Another local, Waseem Ahmad, said that 2 out of 3 portions of the bridge have been completed and for unknown reasons, work on the third portion has not yet started.
“The construction of this bridge has been going on for a long time. However, in the last year, the pace of work increased, completing 70-80 percent of the work. We urge the authorities to expedite the process without any further delay,” he said.
On the other hand, the concerned department appears to be caught in operational issues, resulting in further delays in the completion of the bridge.
According to officials, nearly 80 percent of the work on the bridge has been completed. They note that it might take some more time before the bridge is finished.
“After we took over the bridge, there were certain shortfalls that needed to be corrected. There is a variation that needs to be approved first; we operate using an online system, so we have to ensure proper approval in this regard,” said Executive Engineer R&B Division Pulwama, Javaid Ahmad.
He highlighted that once the approval for the variation is granted, the bridge will be completed within two months after that.

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