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Signifying lackadaisical attitude in execution of vital projects, inordinate delay has hit completion of Athwajan-Soiteng bridge over Jhelum here. 

Executed by Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC), the project was started in 2010 and was scheduled to be completed in 2013. However, the bridge construction has missed several deadlines with escalation of project cost from 720 lakhs to Rs 1359 lakhs.

The latest deadline was December 2018 which the authorities again failed to meet.

"This is sheer example how vital projects are executed in Srinagar” said Ashfaq Ahmad of Soiteng.

The bridge over river Jhelum will benefit people living across the river. Besides the bridge will be an alternative route to reach Rambagh, Hyderpora, Nowgam, Airport, Dalgate, Nishat and Pampore 

“95 percent works on the project are complete. However, construction activity has been stopped. In absence of accountability, concerned authorities are in deep slumber,” said Ghulam Hassan Bhat, a resident of Syed Abad Soiteng. This bridge, as per locals, will act as lifeline to the scores of areas in case of floods.

The locals urged government to direct concerned authorities to ensure completion of the bridge without any further delay.

Presently, in absence of bridge, the locals have to travel several kilometers to cross river Jhelum --which separates Syed Abad Soiteng from Batwara.

“People particularly students and employees presently use the road via Jawahar Nagar or  Pantha Chowk to reach city centre. The absence of bridge causes lot of inconvenience ,” said Farooq Ahmad Wani, a local shopkeeper.

Official documents reveal that inordinate delay in construction of Soiteng-Vethpara bridge over Jhelum has escalated cost of the project from Rs 720 lakhs to Rs 1359 lakhs.

JKPCC deputy manger general Unit-6 Srinagar Ishtiyaq Malik said that “project was languishing due to non-availability of funds.”

“Now, the funds have been released and we will start pending work from March-April. I don’t figures of cost escalation. But it is true that few deadlines have been extended earlier,” he said while replying to a query.