The administration has started construction of a bridge which is being illegally constructed on the flood spill channel in Srinagar.
The Irrigation and Flood Control Department has resumed work to finish construction of an illegally constructed bridge on the spill channel in Rawal Pora locality of Srinagar. The bridge’s construction was started during the previous Peoples Democratic Party –Bharatiya Janta Party regime.
The officials have confirmed that bridge construction was illegal as there was no clearance received by the concerned agencies including the IFCD and there is hardly any chance that this project will receive approval. A senior engineer in the flood control department said that construction of such a bridge with multiple spans is not permitted on the flood channels as it causes resistance to flow of waters during the floods.
The official said that the department has already received many complaints that the construction of the bridge has increased the chances of floods in the Rawal Pora and Hyderpora localities. He said that the government should launch a probe into construction of such illegal bridge. But in place of that, that government is pushing more money into this project and it should be discouraged.
Sources say that the reason behind the administration’s ignorant behaviour is because a “land mafia” is having eye on land in area and wants to get the bridge completed so that the nearby land can be sold at higher prices to benefit the “masters of land brokers”. Sources said that the land mafia had links with some senior officials and been in their touch for the last few months. There might be some “deal” stuck between the two parties. Without any “incentive”, government officials would not allow such a criminal work to be continued.
Meanwhile, the local people in the region have requested Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to personally look into the matter. A senior engineer of the flood control department said that a few months ago, the area was hit by floods as the waters in the spill channel spilt over the canal and this illegally constructed bridge has decreased flood bearing capacity.