RAWALPINDI: After a months-long wait, the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) finally agreed to repair more than a century-old bridge at Transit Camp connecting the cantonment with the city region.
This was decided in a meeting held at Station Headquarters with Station Commander Brigadier Sulman Nazar in the chair. The meeting was attended by Divisional Superintendent Railways Inamullah, commissioner’s representative Mazhar Nadeem, representative of Punjab’s minister for parliamentary affairs and senior officials of the RCB and district administration.
It was decided that the Punjab government would provide funds for the repair work to connect Ratta Amral (city area) to Raja Akram Shaheed Road in Cantt near Transit Camp while RCB would do the repair work.
Pakistan Railways Divisional Superintendent Inamullah informed the meeting that the condition of the bridge was dilapidated and it was in dire of need repair work. He added that it was the responsibility of the civic authority to do the job.
According to the railways official, the bridge will remain closed for heavy traffic following the repair work as it would extend its life. He said that if the heavy traffic stopped plying on the bridge then it would remain operational for the next 25 years.
After a detailed discussion with local engineers of the RCB and district administration, it was decided to start the repair work and impose a ban on heavy traffic on the bridge.
Punjab govt to release funds for renovation, heavy traffic to be banned
Speaking on the occasion, Brigadier Nazar directed the departments concerned to start the repair work without wasting any further time. He also asked the RCB to make a plan to repair the dilapidated roads in the cantonment areas on a priority basis.
The representatives of the Punjab government assured the meeting that the government would release the funds as soon as possible for the repair of the bridge and the dilapidated roads in the cantonment areas falling within the limits of the provincial constituencies.
It may be noted that the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board had refused to repair the bridge, saying that it was the responsibility of the Pakistan Railways to maintain the bridge.
PR’s Rawalpindi division had closed the dilapidated bridge over its main track between Rawalpindi and Peshawar after the district administration and the cantonment authorities failed to repair it.
The bridge was declared dangerous by railway authorities in September after its dyke wall collapsed owing to years of negligence. Subsequently, the railway authorities placed barricades on both sides of the bridge.
The bridge connecting the city and cantonment areas of Rawalpindi is used by commuters coming from I.J. Principal Road, Peshawar Road, and other routes. Its closure has resulted in tailbacks on Ganjmandi Road, City Saddar Road and Gawalmandi.
Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2022