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Waiting for disaster: Ghaggar bridge in Sardulgarh town

The half-a-century-old bridge on Ghaggar river passing along Sardulgarh town in Mansa district is in a poor state and appears to be waiting for a disaster as no steps have been taken ever for its renovation.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Bathinda |
January 3, 2011 12:33:53 am

The half-a-century-old bridge on Ghaggar river passing along Sardulgarh town in Mansa district is in a poor state and appears to be waiting for a disaster as no steps have been taken ever for its renovation.

During floods in July this year,the breaches at the banks near the bridge caused by floods not only wreaked havoc in the surrounding villages,but also did a considerable damage to the bridge.

A couple of support base pillars can be seen tilted to a steep angle. The bridge was constructed in 1960 and officials of the drainage department have been writing to the public works department (bridge and roads),asking them to do something as the bridge had “outlived” its life.

“I had recently written to PWD (B&R) executive engineer,but got a reply that the bridge was intact and there was no danger,” said Mansa Executive Engineer (Drainage) V K Garg,adding that PWD officials claimed the tilted support bases of the bridge had been the same ever since it was built.

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PWD (B&R) Executive Engineer Joginder Singh was not available for comments.

“We have been telling the authorities for a long time that the bridge is in a dilapidated condition. The panchayats of a number of villages have even submitted resolutions in this regard. But nothing has been done. If a heavy vehicle passes over the bridge,it starts trembling,” said Sukhdev Singh,a former sarpanch of Phoos Mandi village.

Mansa Deputy Commissioner Kumar Rahul said a team of PWD (B&R) had assessed the bridge last year and had found it to be safe. “But the floods in July have done some damage to the structure. The PWD team will assess the bridge again and it will be decided after that what is needed to be done,” said the DC.

With the threat of breaches looming large,the low height of the bridge has been a cause of concern whenever floods have occurred in the past.

“An increase of a couple of feet in height could help avoid flood situation in the area. I have been raising this demand since 1993,when I was the sub-divisional officer,” Garg claimed.

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