Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Revamping of Old Zero Bridge underway

After lying defunct for years, Old Zero Bridge is finally getting renovated. The work on the bridge, which is a heritage construction, has been started.

 Officials say that the bridge would be renovated and not demolished. The damaged parts of the bridge would be replaced with new ones. The bridge would continue to be a timber bridge, maintaining its original charm. The renovation work is being undertaken by Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC) together with Department of Roads and Buildings.

 “It is a heritage project and we are tasked to refurbish the heritage Bridge,” said Ishtiyaq Hussain Wani, assistant executive engineer, JKPCC. He said the Bridge would be given original shape.

 “There are many damages to the Bridge which need to be replaced. But we are using wood as it has been used before. The surface would be metaled,” said Ishtiyaq.

 Old Zero Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in Srinagar city and amongst few surviving heritage bridges in Kashmir. The Bridge has been made with wooden logs, with least use of cement and bricks. It involves 600 year-old art of building bridges with wooden logs.
 The Bridge is likely to be completed in this financial year. The Old Zero Bridge would be thrown open for light motor vehicles and not for heavy vehicles.
 Currently the cleaning of upper surface of the Bridge is being undertaken.

 “We are removing the macadam and slabs. After it is over, we will get to know how much of the wooden structure has been damaged and would replace it accordingly,” added Ishtiyaq,
 The foundation stone for the renovation of the Old Zero Bridge was laid by chief minister Omar Abdullah last year.

 The reopening of the Bridge would not only keep alive the heritage but also solve the traffic issue in surrounding areas.
 “Commuting from Raj Bagh to Lal Chowk is really messy.  There is so much of traffic mess on the new Zero Bridge. If the old one is made functional, it can really help a lot,” said Aneesa Syed, a resident of Rajbagh.

 “The location of schools in Rajbagh and Jawahar Nagar area has added to the traffic mess. The morning and evening hours are jam packed. Old Zero Bridge can serve as a relief,” added Umar Akhtar, resident of Ikhraj pora.

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