CHITRAL: The residents of Mulkhow have said that the ramshackle wooden suspension bridge in Muzhgol village can collapse anytime.
The bridge connects Mulkhow subdivision with the rest of the district.
The former union nazim of Mulhow, Maulana Javed Hussain, told this scribe that the bridge was constructed three years ago by communication and works department after it was washed away by the flash flood in 2015.
He said that the dilapidated bridge could not withstand the weight of even light vehicle and could collapse anytime. He said that collapse of the bridge could cause casualties and would also disconnect the vast area from the other parts of both upper and lower Chitral districts.
Mr Hussain said that the anchors on either side of the bridges had been slipped, making them feeble to bear the high tension in the cables. He added that the wooden planks had also fallen down after being smashed to bits under the load of vehicles.
He said that the residents of Mulkhow approached all the quarters concerned to repair the bridge but to no avail. “The people of Mulkhow have no alternative route and they are constrained to take the risk of their lives and vehicles by crossing it on daily basis,” he added.
Mr Hussain said that there was no pedestrian bridge in the nearby localities owing to which the local people were totally dependent on it. “The schoolchildren will be unable to go to schools if the bridge collapses,” he added.
He said that the students would miss even their matriculation examinations if the bridge collapsed while removal of serious patients to the hospitals would not be possible too.
The former council nazim said that a RCC bridge had been under-construction near the ramshackle bridge for the last four years but work on it was stopped one year ago for paucity of funds and it was a pity that no funds were allocated in the current budget for it.
Riaz Wali Shah, the executive engineer of communication and works, could not be contacted as he did respond to the repeated telephone calls.
Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2019