Ramban (J&K): The reconstructed bridge on river Chenab connecting Ramban town with Maitra village on Jammu and Kashmir highway has been opened for traffic on Sunday. Union minister of state for science and technology formally inaugurated the bridge, which replaced the hanging suspension bridge, made by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
BRO officials said that the bridge, which has been back in service after 57days of traffic suspension, would cut down the travel time between Jammu and Kashmir to four hours. The reconstruction was done a month ahead of the deadline, owing to its significance for connectivity to the hilly areas. Vehicles with around 10 tonne of loads are allowed to cross it at the speed of 10km per hour.
Addressing a meeting after opening the bridge, Singh said that the decades old bridge had to be replaced as it was declared unsafe and accident prone. “Those who had to take around 10km detour to cross the river and reach Ramban from Maitra or vice versa must have heaved a sigh of relief on the construction of the bridge,” said the minister.
He also said that the important Maitra Bridge and the flyover to bypass the town are under construction day and night in double shifts. After their completion, and also the completion of the remaining stretch of national highway beyond Ramban, the road travel journey time from Jammu to Srinagar will be reduced to just about four hours.
Claiming that the Central government was focussed on development of the hills, Singh recalled that once there was a time when there was just one Government high school in Ramban. “Today there are more than a dozen degree colleges and higher secondary schools in the district. In the last eight years, many degree colleges have been set up in remote areas like Kastigarh and Ukhral,” added the minister.
Emphasizing on giving a boost to startup movement, Singh said, soon there will be a comprehensive plan about agriculture related entrepreneurship for which this place has huge resources and which will be a lucrative source of livelihood for the youth.
“The resources of river Chenab have been fully exploited and now galaxy of multiple power projects coming up in the erstwhile Doda district. This region is going to be the power hub of North India and will also provide electricity to other States,” said the minister, adding that other monumental work done during the last eight years of construction of a Relay Radio Station at Nadha Top which caters to the whole of the district.