Jammu, Jan 15: The Jammu-Srinagar, the only road link connecting Kashmir Valley with the outside world, remained closed for traffic on the fifth running day on Friday.
The 260-kilomter thoroughfare was closed at 6:20 p.m. on January 10 after retaining wall of key bridge collapsed suddenly.
“Jammu-Srinagar highway shall remain closed due to sudden collapse of retaining wall of a bridge near Kela Morh, Ramban, repairing work is going on. However, Jammu-Doda-Kishtwar, Jammu-Ramban, Gool Sangaldan, Magerkot- Banihal, and Banihal-Qazigund stretches are through for local traffic,” a traffic department official told GNS, adding, “People are requested to take their journey accordingly.”
While there is no optional carriageway available nearby, the Border Roads Organization (BRO) has almost completed the construction of a Bailey Bridge to restore the traffic on the highway. Officials said the make-shift bridge would undergo trial run on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner (DC), Ramban, Nazim Zai Khan and Chief Engineer BRO, Brigadier IK Jaggi inspected progress of construction work of Bailey bridge besides repair work of damaged concrete bridge, here at Kela Morh.
Additional Deputy Commissioner, Harbans Lal; Project Director, NHIA, Parshotam Kumar; ASP, Rajni Sharma and several other officers of BRO and the construction agencies were present on the occasion.
After taking stock of the progress of the work, the deputy commissioner informed that construction of Bailey bridge is nearing completion and the trial run would be conducted on Saturday before opening it for traffic.
He said that the construction of the Bailey bridge is going on round the clock and substantial part of the bridge launching work was completed by Friday morning. He said that the perishable supplies have been transshipped and sent to their destinations.
The Chief Engineer BRO informed that the work is in progress as per plan. “BRO has put all the resources available for completing the bridge. Work is going on at war footing as all men and machinery have been put to use. Hopefully, by tomorrow (Saturday) evening the Bailey bridge will be completed and ready for traffic,” he informed. Sources in the administration told GNS that successful launching or otherwise of the bridge will be known after the trial run expected anytime in the afternoon on January 16.
Meanwhile, Civil QRT Ramban, Banihal, Ramsu and other organizations are helping the pedestrians to by-pass the damaged portion at Kela Morh safely, officials said. (GNS)