Srinagar, Aug 01: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh directed the J&K Project Construction Corporation (JKPCC) Limited to report about the proposed time frame within which the Akhal bridge in Kangan area of district Ganderbal would be made operational.
A division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Rajesh Sekhri also directed the JKPCC to submit an affidavit regarding the completion of Tangchater bridge situated at Ganderbal on or before the next date of hearing.
The court passed the directions after Deputy General Manager, JKPCC Limited, Imtiaz Khaliq Bhat, who was present in the court, informed that the Tangchater bridge would be made operational within two weeks for the purposes of light motor vehicles and pedestrians and within another two weeks for the heavy vehicles also.
He submitted that the said bridge would be operational in all respects within a period of one month by the end of August.
Regarding Akhal bridge, he informed that 65% of the work of the bridge is already done but the remaining work could not be carried out "as the contractor is creating some problems for which some necessary steps have been taken to cancel his work order so that the new contractor may be appointed."
The court, after taking submissions on record directed Deputy General Manager, JKPCC to complete the work of Tangchater bridge and make the bridge operational.
The court also sought an affidavit from the Deputy General Manager, JKPCC, on or before September 28, this year.
In respect to the Akhal bridge, the bench directed the Deputy General Manager to proceed in the matter as expeditiously as possible and report by the next date of hearing as to the proposed time frame within which the said bridge would also be made operational.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Samaj Sudhar committee and Forest Protection Committee of Tangchater Kangan in 2011 seeking construction of bridges over Sindh Nallah at Tangchater Akhal Kangan.
In a previous hearing, the court rapped the JKPCC for the slow pace of work.
It pointed out that the work had started way back in the year 2012 but the Corporation was unable to complete the construction work and made the bridges functional even after twelve years.
“This clearly shows the pace at which the JKPCC Limited works,” the bench had said.
The court had observed that the way the JKPCC is working gives an impression that it is not interested in providing the facility of the bridges to the residents.
Earlier, the court was informed through a status report filed by JKPCC that Tangchater bridge at Ganderbal has now been approved under languishing projects and the sub-structure of the bridge stand completed and the superstructure of the bridge is in full swing and is likely to be completed by the end of May.
The report had revealed that the Corporation as an executing government agency is executing work on various bridges in Kashmir province which were languishing earlier due to paucity of funds.
It further informed that 24 bridges have been approved for completion of the balance or left over works under Jammu & Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC) languishing projects.
It disclosed that bridges which are under its construction are either funded by the World Bank or by the government of J&K as the budget component in respect of all the bridges under execution with the corporation is dominion with project authorities like the Public Works Department and those funded by the World Bank.
In most of the bridges, the report said, the paucity of funds was causing delay in the completion of the execution of the projects.