OKARA: The 0.7km long and 22 foot wide overhead bridge linking the north part of the city to its southern part and the only direct approach to Dipalpur for the motorists from Faisalabad is in dilapidated condition and using it has become risky for the motorists.
The bridge, completed in 1990, is a big facility for the residents of Okara as both railway crossings remain for 20 times a day due to trains and it saves their time. However, with the passage of time, the traffic load on the bridge has increased and its condition deteriorated. It has developed dozens of cracks and pits and incidents of vehicles colliding on it are on the rise.
During the sugarcane crushing season, the overhead bridge witnesses traffic hurdles round the clock as only one tractor-trolley loaded with sugarcane can use it. The sugar cess roads, especially built for Chak 4/L and Chak 3/L, are also in such a bad condition that they have become unusable. The district administration and traffic police should divert the sugarcane-loaded tractor-trolleys to the sugar cess roads, which these trolleys avoid to save about 6km distance to reach sugar mills, including Baba Farid Sugar Mills in the north of city on the Okara-Faisalabad road.
In the wheat crop harvesting season, only one chaff-loaded tractor-trolley can pass over the bridge at one time, causing hindrance to the rest of the traffic.
The bridge has lost more than 70pc of its safety iron fences and it has developed cracks and deep pits.
The district administration and municipal corporation, responsible for taking care of the overhead bridge, need to repair the bridge and install its iron fence to save the life of dozens of hundreds of motorcyclists using the bridge.
Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2021