Work on Behsud bridge to start in 2 weeks
JALALABAD (PAN): Residents of 27 districts of eastern Nangarhar, Kunar and Nuristan provinces on Wednesday warned of blocking the Asadabad-Jalalabad highway if the authorities failed to launch construction work on a new bridge in Behsud district.
But officials said they would start practical work on the bridge within two weeks. An aging bridge, which is considered a major facility, has 360 metres length and already completed its lifespan.
Two suicide attacks on American troops in recent years left parts of the bridge damaged. The link is being used by residents of 27 district, refugees returning from abroad and dwellers of Behsud, Kama and Dara-i-Noor districts of Nangarhar.
Nangarhar Public Works Department officials had earlier promised work on the bridge would be launched in April, but nothing has been done so far. Malik Wilayat Khan, a tribal elder from Behsud, told Pajhwok Afghan News the facility remained closed for several hours daily as a result of traffic and rush.
“Our youth fail to reach schools and universities in time if they do not leave home early in the morning,” he said. At times they were faced with inordinate delays in taking patients to hospital, he complained.
Elders of the area have decided to kick up a storm of protests and block the Kunar-Jalalabad highway if the government failed to initiate work on the facility. Haji Rassoul Jan, a resident of Kama district, said they could not reach workplace in time.
Khanjar, hailing from Kuz Kunar district, said a baby girl of his village succumbed to her injuries as her family was unable to rush her to the Jalalabad hospital due to a big crowd on the bridge.
Zabit Amir Mohammad from Dar-i-Noor village accused the government of negligence and inertia. “The Behsud bridge is at on the verge of collapse and its fall could cause many casualties.”
Eng. Ikramudin Rasa, in charge of a construction company in Jalalabad, said the facility had completed its lifespan. He asked the government to start work on the bridge as soon as possible.
Acting Governor Mohammad Hanif Gardiwal said the bidding process had been completed and a technical survey would be concluded within a week. He pledged the foundation stone of the facility would be laid within two weeks.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.