As many as 193 roads have been damaged in floods in Poonch district, Executive Engineer of the Pubic Works Department (PWD) Kabir Hussain Shah said here today.
Of the total damaged roads, 121 are major thoroughfares -- 34 in Surankote, 33 in Mandi, 31 in Poonch and 23 in Mendhar -- connecting several villages to the tehsil and district headquarters whereas 72 are minor roads connecting small hamlets with the major rural links, he said.
"As many as 107 of the major roads which were extensively damaged and blocked at various locations due to landslides, rock falls, slips and washed away stretches have been opened for traffic and restoration work on the remaining 14 roads got delayed due to major stretches and take off points of roads being washed and slid away," he added.
The unprecedented incessant rains and consequent flash floods and gigantic landslides in district Poonch have caused immense damages to the road infrastructure. This was revealed at a meeting here chaired by District Development Commissioner (DDC) Mohammad Huassain Malik.
Several foot bridges and approach roads to three major bridges -- Sher-e-Kashmir, Dhundak and Pamrote -- were breached at various locations putting the vehicular traffic and pedestrian movement to a grinding halt, he added. For restoration of three major bridges in the district, bailey bridges have been arranged, the Executive Engineer said adding that the restoration work of fully and partially damaged foot bridges has also been set into motion and the DDC has set fixed timeline for their completion.
Malik has directed the PWD (R&B) authorities to ensure permanent restoration of the strategic Sher-e-Kashmir Bridge, whose approach has been breached at different locations, only after proper design and study of hydraulic data to ensure its safety.
As directed by the DDC, the PWD authorities have installed steel grinder stairs at Sher-e-Kashmir bridge site and temporary crossing on the local Nallahs over various breached bridge sites as an emergent measure to connect the cut off areas with the district and tehsil headquarters.
Malik has directed the concerned officers of R&B to mobilise their men and machinery to restore remaining road links so that people do not face any inconvenience.