Ten months after opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, India and Pakistan conducted a joint survey at Dera Baba Nanak to move ahead with completion of an overbridge on the Ravi causeway in the Pakistan territory. The meeting started at 11 am and lasted for about an hour.
India has already constructed its 100-metre long portion of the bridge as part of the Kartarpur Corridor project. Pakistan is yet to build the bridge on its side. Pakistan engineers had to conduct survey on the Indian part of the overbridge so they can construct the remaining part on their side.
“Theirs (Pakistan) was a survey team. They were four persons led by a senior surveyor while three others were assisting him,” said Jatinder Singh, vice president of Ceigall India Limited, which executed the construction work of the corridor in India. From the Indian side, officials of the National Highway Authority of India participated in the meeting.
Singh said that Pakistan has to build 260-metre portion of the bridge over the low-lying area in its territory. “They will take this data and get part of the bridge designed and thereafter, the work will start,” he added.
Pakistan had initially declined to construct the overbridge on their side.
“Pakistan officials were keen on building the bridge. Initially, they were not ready for constructing the bridge. But now it seems not a big issue. They would need measurement of the bridge constructed by us so that their bridge can meet ours. These measurements should have been decided before first brick was laid for construction of corridor. But in case of Kartarpur Corridor, construction came first and negotiations later,” said an official of the National Highway Authority of India.
The Kartarpur Corridor had become operational in November 2019. However, it has been closed since the outbreak of Covid-19.
Why is the overbridge needed?
India has a flood control dam (dhusi band) to stop the overflowing Ravi water from entering into Dera Baba Nanak town. This dhusi band is around 100 metres from zero line.
Few years back, Pakistan too had constructed a similar dam almost parallel to Indian dhusi band for defence purpose. Both dams are separated by around 300 metres with zero line in between.
Bridge over this area will not affect flow of flood water, while the current road is an obstruction.
WITH PTI INPUTS
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