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Pargwal-Indri Pattan Bridge: Construction Company “suspends” work, allege funds shortage
10/21/2020 12:41:32 AM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Oct 20: The fate of one of the major projects, Pargwal-Indri Pattan bridge, is hanging in between as the Construction Company has ‘suspended’ the work alleging shortage of funds and blamed the Jammu and Kashmir Public Works Department for not taking up the matter with higher authorities.
The work on under-construction Pargwal-Indri Pattan bridge, connecting border village Pargwal and adjoining areas directly with Jammu, which was scheduled to be completed by December 2020, has been ‘suspended’ and may not be completed due to “shortage of funds”.
Senior General Manager, VKG Constructions (Executing Agency), Ravendra Mishra here said that since December 2019, no funds have been released and the work is almost suspended.
Mr Mishra said, “we have suspended the work and unless the payment is not made, we will not be continuing the construction.”
He added that the entire machinery has been pulled off adding, “our contract is with the PWD and let their officers concerned take up matters at the right quarters for further action.”
“We are undertaking another 5 to 6 projects in J&K with BRO and this was the only with the PWD and unfortunately no progress is seen with regard to release of funds,” said the General Manager.
Chief Engineer PWD, Jammu, A K Kikloo when contacted told UNI, “we haven’t received the funds for the last one year.”
“We are shortly receiving the funds and the construction work will again resume on the bridge,” he said.
On September 3, UNI had highlighted about the suspension of work on Pargwal-Indri Pattan Bridge following which almost a month later, the J&K Public Works Department on Oct 6 in a statement said that 30 percent of work on the Indri Pattan to Pargwal bridge over Chenab River taken under CRF has been completed, even as the pace of construction was slowed due to delay in the release of funds.
The department in a statement had said that 1640 Metre Double Lane Prestressed Bridge was started in September 2018 at an estimated cost of Rs 206.90 Crore and till date 30 per cent of the work has been completed by incurring Rs 35.51 crore.
“The bridge is a CRF project and due to delay in payment owing to non-availability of funds, the contractor has slowed down the work which is causing a delay in completion of the project,” said the Department.
They further said that higher authorities have been apprised for the demand of funds so that the work may be completed well in time.
Meanwhile, lashing out at the PWD, the locals demanded early completion of the project.
Gar Singh of village Khadwal said, “it is very sad that the work has been suspended. This bridge is a lifeline for the people of Pargwal.”
“The PWD should clear the pending bills of the executing agency so that the work is restored at the earliest,” he said.
Des Raj, another villager said, “during firing along India-Pakistan international border, people have to run for shelter to safer locations and sometimes boats are also not available in the River Chenab. This bridge should be completed on priority.”
Another villager Natha Singh while demanding fulfilment of 60 years old demand of bridge, said, “we get struck up between Pakistan and River Chenab at the time of cross border firing. Why doesn’t the government clear pending dues of the company so that the bridge gets constructed soon and we heave a sigh of relief.”
Unhappy border residents, however, have appealed to the Centre and also to the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to intervene and get the concern addressed.
Terming the bridge as ‘lifeline’ for border residents, the locals said that it was one of the major demands but, unfortunately, the project is lingering on due to funds shortage.
Around 35,000 households will get benefitted once the bridge is ready.
At the time of border firing or flood-like situation in River Chenab, the border dwellers have to migrate to safer locations but, in absence of the direct connectivity, presently they have to take a long route to link with Jammu.
The villages fall under the constituency of senior BJP leader Jugal Kishore Sharma, sitting Member Parliament from Jammu-Poonch.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 laid foundations of around 44,000 crore development projects for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh at a function in Vijaypur before Parliamentary elections.
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