It was a historic day for Punjab, when four bridges were jointly inaugurated and dedicated to the nation. It was expressed by PWD Minister Punjab Vijay Inder Singla after jointly inaugurating the bridges through a virtual inauguration ceremony presided by the Union Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh. Three bridges were in district Gurdaspur and one was in district Fazilka which were much needed with regard to security point of view and the local populace of these border districts.
After inauguration, Mr. Vijay Inder Singla said that the construction of these four bridges in the state will not only provide economic and social development of the border areas but will also strengthen the security for the entire country.
The Cabinet Minister further added that apart from this there are many initiatives that the Punjab government has taken where by development of highways to connect the urban & rural areas of the state.
Divulging the details of the bridges, Mr. Singla said that in district Gurdaspur, 483.95 meter long Multi Cell Box Bridge (Submersible) across river Ravi near Dharamkot Pattan at Kasowal on Ghonewala-Rasulpur road will provide the much needed all weather connectivity to the defense forces and will increase their OP preparedness. Also the numerous villages in Kasowal Enclave along the border will be socially and economically connected to the main towns.
Describing the requirement of the Bridge, the cabinet minister said that Kasowal Enclave was seasonally connected to the mainland by a limited capacity pontoon bridge that is dismantled before the monsoon every year. This meant that thousands of acres of fertile land across the river could not be utilized by the farmers. Also, keeping the lines of communication open for induction of reinforcement and logistic support was a challenge during the monsoon season. This bridge will connect the enclave that lies along the India-Pakistan international border to the rest of India.
Similarly, the 42.96 meter long Baju Bridge on Dogra Mandir-Parole-Janiyal-Bamiyal in district Gurdaspur is double lane span Multi Cell Box Bridge constructed departmentally, which will provide connectivity to the Army deployed on the International boundary. There are numerous villages enroute, as also many border villages are being provided the much needed connectivity by this road. This road is also linking NH-1A in J&K (UT) to Punjab state and further leading to international Boundary. He said that this road crosses water-gap, which was not trafficable during monsoon season, thus leading to disruption in normal routine life of locals and also affecting operational efficiency of the armed forces. The work for the bridge was commenced in May 2019. Although the smooth execution of the work was a challenge amid the heavy traffic and rainfall but due to the hard work of the PWD department and persistence efforts of the team, the 42.96 meter long bridge was completed in a record time of 5 Months.
PWD Minister further added that the third bridge in district Gurdaspur is 30.20 meter long ‘Shingarwan Bridge’ on Parmanand-Taragarh-Kathlaur-NJS-Parole. Constructed departmentally, this bridge will provide connectivity to the Army deployed on the International boundary besides numerous villages en-route. This road is also linking J&K (UT) with Punjab and also provides alternate route of NH-1A from Pathankot to Jammu. He said that during most part of the year due to heavy flow of water in the Nallah, the road Parmanand-Taragarh-Kathlaur-NJS-Parole was not trafficable thus leading to disruption in normal routine life of locals and also affecting operational efficiency of the armed forces. Keeping in view the importance of this road and also from strategic point of view as well as dependence of large civil population, construction of the bridge was felt necessary and the bridge was completed in a record time of nine Months.
The 40 meter long Steel Superstructure Bridge was built at Sabuna-Mauzzam and will connect Khanpur to Keryan village along an existing PWD road from Fazilka to provide connectivity to the villages located in border areas. He said that the new bridge has replaced the old Extra Wide Bailey Bridge (EWBB), built in1972, due to its limited load classifications. This bridge will benefit a large section of population located close to the border by giving a boost to agriculture, and improve the Socio-economic development of the area.