By Nazar Abbas
After Pak Voices report, the Punjab Govt. has resumed the pending work on the Nishtar Ghat bridge in Rajanpur linking Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh via N-5 and N-55 on both sides of river Indus.
The construction work on approach or access roads for Nishtar Ghat bridge is expected to be completed by March 2018. It was the longtime demand of citizens of southern Punjab.
The work on the main bridge was completed but the approach roads and guide walls were left unfinished. PakVoices highlighted the issue earlier this year that has prompted the authorities to start the work on approach roads.
The project includes an approach road from Kot Mithan to N-55, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto bridge over River Indus, link roads from Chachran Sharif, Abutment B to Kot Mithan, between Zahirpir and Chachran Sharif and the construction of guide walls.
The construction of the link roads from National Highway and Kot Mithan to Benazir Bridge has been resumed after a long delay. Abid Yahorr, a resident of Chachran Sharif, talking to Pak Voices said, “After the bridge is completed, the distance between Rajanpur and Rahim Yar Khan will be significantly reduced.”
Praising the efforts made by PakVoices, Abid said, “Pak Voices has raised an important issue that has resulted in a positive change.”
Setbacks to the project:
Nishar Ghat bridge, also known as Benazir bridge project, has received its share of setbacks over the period of time.
In 1988, the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto had taken the initial step by announcing the construction of the bridge. In 2002, the work was resumed on the bridge over the River Indus but it was again delayed.
In 2009, National Highway Authority (NHA) took over the project and started work on it. But the project was once again halted in 2012 because of financial issues.
In 2010 former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani had announced the construction of the bridge and the link roads. The bridge was to be completed in three years but after the change of government, the work was again halted.
Earlier this year the work was again resumed and the bridge is now expected to be ready within this year, according to NHA as the main bridge has been completed and now work is in progress on link roads.
Nazar Abbas is working with Pak Voices as a citizen journalist from Rahim Yar Khan.