Under-construction bridge results in accidents, crime

Published November 12, 2023
GUJRAT: A truck loaded with fruit crates overturns at the site of a small under-construction bridge on Gujrat-Dinga Road. — Dawn
GUJRAT: A truck loaded with fruit crates overturns at the site of a small under-construction bridge on Gujrat-Dinga Road. — Dawn

GUJRAT: A small under-construction bridge over a storm water channel near Sekerewali, on Gujrat-Dinga road, has been lying incomplete for the last couple of years, resulting in frequent road accidents and crimes in the area.

Though the incomplete bridge poses risk to vehicles and people’s safety, neither the contractor firm, nor Punjab Highways Department has bothered to install any signboards there to warn the public of the ongoing construction work due to which trucks, cars and motorbikes often get damaged and stuck while passing from there.

A truck loaded with fruit crates overturned on last Monday night while passing through the dilapidated portion of the bridge causing further hurdle to the traffic.

The route has been the main approach road to a large number of villages in the area, and is also used by dumpers carrying cement and crushed stones, besides other heavy vehicles coming from Ghareebwal area of Pind Daden Khan (Jhelum) and Rasool Headworks of Mandi Bahauddin to Gujrat, Wazirabad and Gujranwala.

Some area residents complain that the ratio of crime, including road robberies, vehicle snatching etc, had also increased near the under-construction bridge since vehicles have to slow down there, providing an opportunity to criminals to strike.

They say many trucks and dumpers get stuck after getting damaged because of the uneven muddy track and potholes on the approach road near the site, while a large number of motorcyclists have also been injured in road accidents there.

Former provincial minister and six-time MPA from the area, Mian Tariq Mehmood of Dinga, told Dawn that he had brought the issue into the notice of chief engineer and other senior officers concerned of the provincial highways department, who had promised to visit the site and expedite the project, but to no avail.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2023

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