ISLAMABAD: An important bridge that links Bhara Kahu with Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) and Bari Imam is in an extremely ruinous condition as the safety pillars on either side are broken and there are visible holes which can result in a major mishap any time if the problem is not addressed.
The bridge was constructed by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) over the main water pipeline coming from the Simly Dam some four decades ago, however, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) later constructed roads at both sides of the bridge, which are used by the locals quite often to reach QAU campus and Bari Imam.
Over time, the residents have started using the road as an alternative to reach Islamabad whenever the main Murree Road is closed due to processions or demonstrations.
The bridge is now in shambles for the last several years due to the acute negligence of the authorities concerned as safety pillars on both its sides are broken while large holes can be seen on it that often frighten commuters.
Dwellers of the area are using the bridge regularly because it is a short route linking Bhara Kahu with QAU and Bari Imam despite the fact that crossing the bridge is a nightmare.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Anwar Abbasi, a student of QAU, said that it is quite shocking that the bridge is in shambles for years but no repairing work was done.
He said that the bridge is a constant safety threat to the citizens especially children and bike riders, adding that it appears as if the authorities concerned are waiting for a major mishap before paying any attention.
Citizens lamented that they have complained repeatedly and raised the issue before politicians of various political parties, however, no step has been taken to plug the holes and erect the safety polls on the sides.
They said that the bridge was built during former military ruler Ayub Khan’s regime in order to provide pedestrians with a safe passage to cross over a water pipeline, but later on, it was being used by automobiles since it was the shortest and hassle-free route to reach Islamabad.
The residents complained that the bridge is in a dilapidated condition but no government paid any heed to its reconstruction and repairing that speaks volume about their lack of concern towards the public issues.
Zeeshan, another citizen, said that crossing the bridge in the night is much more challenging because neither it has safety polls nor there is any light system.
He lamented that it is really unfortunate that people of Bhara Kahu never raised the issue on a united platform vociferously due to which neither the CDA nor politicians could be forced to take steps for its reconstruction.
Zeeshan said that even after the setting up of the local government system, the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) did nothing to address the problem of the broken bridge.
He said that the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government deceived the people for five years with the slogans that a three-kilometre Bhara Kahu bypass would be constructed to ease the growing traffic congestion on Murree Road, however, nothing could be done and the project has been shelved for the time.
When this scribe contacted MCI spokesperson Malik Saleem for comment, he sought time to get an update in this regard. The spokesperson was later approached after a few days but he asked to contact CDA spokesperson Syed Sadar Shah despite being informed that the CDA spokesperson has already refused to comment since the matter is being dealt by the MCI.