Rego Bridge project a distant dream?

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Amritsar, August 25

The process of reconstruction of over a century old Bhagwan Mahavir railway overbridge (ROB), popularly known as Rego Bridge, has been caught in technical glitches.

The Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) received the preliminary estimate of Rs 37 crore for the slabs of the bridge. AIT Superintending Engineer Rajiv Sekhri said his office had received the estimate, but with a rider. He said the railways had sought elevation in the height of the new bridge by at least 1.5 metre. For this, the ramps would have to be stretched on both sides.

Extension of the ramp towards the GT road will be an uphill task as the dedicated lane for the BRTS has already been established in the middle of the road, leaving little space for the project. “This will require a no objection certificate (NOC) from the Municipal Corporation (MC). The civic body has asked for the submission of the proposal to analyse its probability before issuing an NOC,” he said.

Meanwhile, the concrete material of the upper surface of the ROB has started peeling off and pits have emerged at some places. Iron railings and barricading to prevent commuters from walking over the dilapidated portion have gone missing.

A resident of Model Town, Manjot Singh, said, “There is a heavy rush of traffic on the ROB, but the authorities concerned have carried out just temporary repairs that lasts for few months. The bridge connects the GT Road with the old city areas near the Gobindgarh Fort. It is considered one of the oldest bridges in the city built before the Independence. The bridge was reconditioned in 1982. The entry of heavy vehicles has been restricted here since then.”

The stretch has several potholes and sometimes these are filled with stones or bricks as a stopgap arrangement. The portion meant for pedestrians is also in a bad condition. The ROB acts as a shortcut for commuters coming from Nawakot, Islamabad and a number of villages to the city.

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