PULWAMA — The residents of Wurbagh village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district are yearning for a footbridge for the last many decades, which could connect at least seven villages.

The work on the footbridge was started after the then People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MLA Mohammad Khalil Bandh visited the area in 2016, but the same was never completed.

On June 22 this year, the wooden footbridge collapsed due to the flood water and added to the woes of the locals, disconnecting at least half-a-dozen neighbouring villages.

Abdul Gani Bhat, an elderly man from the area, told The Kashmir Pulse that there have been many accidents taking place on this bridge, due to its bad condition. “The bridge, connecting many villages, is a lifeline for the area as it connects them to the rest of the district.”

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“About decades ago, this temporary bridge was built and it was the former DC Pulwama Mohammad Akram who came forward to help us. Then, it was MLA Mohammad Khalil Bandh who promised in 2016 that the bridge would be completed soon. However, the dilapidated condition of the same is in front of all of us,” Abdul Gani adds.

Pertinently, before being collapsed due to the recent floods, the footbridge had no walls, which endangered the lives of passers-by. During floods, the villagers are stuck in their homes as all the roads connecting them to other areas are inundated.

Javid Ahmad Bhat, another local resident from Wurbagh village, said that the villagers met the officials of the concerned departments many times to demand the completion of this bridge, but no one took the responsibility for the same.

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“People were only given assurances but due to their failure to complete the work on the bridge, people’s lives have been put at grave risk,” Bhat said.

The residents have now demanded that the bridge be completed at the earliest so that the village’s connectivity with the adjoining areas and the rest of the district is restored.

When contacted, Mr Mohammad Iqbal, Tehsildar Pulwama, said that the concerned department will be informed about the dilapidated state of the footbridge. “I will speak to the concerned department and get it resolved. The repair work of the bridge will be done and people will get rid of this problem,” he added.

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