The iconic Habba Kadal Bridge is nearing completion two years after work for its revival was started. It is scheduled to be thrown open for public on 6th September.
The bridge had completed its 50 year life span and was supposed to be dismantled totally. But due to “political pressure” and government’s policy to revive heritage, Jammu and Kashmir Project Construction Corporation Limited (JKPCC), undertook its refurbishment plan.
The project which begun on August 2013 has incurred estimated cost of Rs 236.88 lakh. “We have disbursed Rs 67.58 lakh in the revival so far,” officials told anonymously Kashmir Life because they were not authorized to speak to media. “We are anticipating the rest of the money because it has been promised to us.”
The ailing bridge had earlier been closed for heavy vehicle traffic but has now been retrofitted. The old timber slabs have been withdrawn and new ones incorporated. “We have used Epoxy paint to strengthen the joints,” officials said. “All the steps will cumulatively ensure that the life span is extended by another 40-45 years.”
The bridge has been iconic in the sense that it featured in numerous photographs and documentaries depicting the life in Kashmir before the turbulence started in 90’s. It has also been object of many paintings and art works related to Kashmir and Srinagar in particular.