Photos: Ali Ahmed
GILGIT, Nov 29: Bailey bridge on Gilgit river, constructed by Chinese engineers after the collapse of RCC bridge on August 10, was opened to traffic on Saturday. Speaking on the occasion, the Northern Areas Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad expressed his utmost pleasure and congratulated the team of Chinese engineers and officials of National Highway Authority (NHA) for coming up with this project.
Mr Babar said the communication ministry would be informed about the excellent performance of the National Highway Authority.
He enumerated the problems faced by the public after the RCC bridge collapsed and revealed the government’s plan of arranging alternative routes in case Karakuram Highway (KKH) was blocked again.
He said all machinery had been brought into use to complete the under-constructed bridges within a short period, and added that the ancient Jalalabad Road was being rehabilitated and would provide access to the people up to Alam bridge.
He said people suffered economically following the collapse of the bridge and precious crops could not be transported to the market.
Mr Babar highlighted the importance of Karakuram Highway and said the NHA and Chinese Road and Bridge Construction (CRBC) Company had done an excellent work. He also appreciated the engineers and workers of the company for working day and night.
He also lauded the services of the then deputy commissioner, Mohammad Usman Younus.
The NHA general manager said on August 10, 2008 the China bridge collapsed and the link between China and Pakistan was severed.
He said the NHA had committed to construct bailey bridge within 90 days.
The work on the project started on September 10.
He said the inhabitants also faced great difficulties as there was no alternative route.
He gave the details of the project and said 150-metre long bridge was capable to bear 30 tons burden. The width of the bridge was four metres.
He expressed the hope that in future the NHA would continue to enjoy support of the administration for the upgradation of KKH project regarding land acquisition, relocation of utilities and providing security to the Chinese.