Gilgit, December 6: An overloaded truck crossing the Alam Bridge today broke a portion of the strategic hanging bridge, made of wood and iron, disrupting traffic between Baltistan and rest of the country. By the evening, the Pakistan Army engineers were able to remove the truck from the middle of the bridge and the repair work was underway, according to officials.
According to details, a portion of the strategic Alam Bridge gave in today while a heavily loaded truck was crossing it. The trucks driver and his co-traveler were able to save their lives, as the vehicle they were traveling in tilted dangerously towards the river that flows hundreds of feet below.
The bridge provides a vital link between Gilgit and Baltistan, used by thousands of commuters from Shigar, SKardu, Khaplu, Rondu and Kharmang, among all other regions of Baltistan.
Two years back the bridge had collapsed and traffic had remained suspended for several days. The locals from Baltistan have expressed anger and disappointment over the failure of the government to maintain the bridge and keep it in working order, despite of fully being aware of its importance for the commuters, as well as the armed forces.
On the other hand, the GB government maintains that keeping the bridges in working condition is the responsibility of the National Highways Authority (NHA) and people are blaming them for political reasons.
The Gilgit-Baltistan government during the last five years has failed to complete any significant road structure in the region. Some of the bridges that were under construction collapsed during the last four years, while work on others has been stalled for unexplained reasons. An important bridge linking Jutial with Konodas in Gilgit city has been under-construction for more than five years.