Manali Bailey Bridge Damaged, Plying Of Heavy Vehicles Stopped

Manali: If you are going to Manali in a big vehicle then do not go through the Kullu Naggar Manali road. Take the Kullu Manali National Highway. Aleo’s Bailey bridge connecting Naggar to Manali stands damaged.

As soon as the bridge was reported to be damaged, the Manali administration banned movement of heavy vehicles for safety considerations. The Public Works Department visited the bridge with the Manali administration and taken stock of the condition.

Due to the damage of this bridge, the bus service of thousands of people of the left bank has also been affected. The problem of all the residents studying Manali on the left bank has also increased.

Anup Sharma, Executive Engineer, Public Works Department, Manali, told that the repair of the bridge may take time now. He said that today a meeting has also been held with the officials of the mechanic wing. He informed that a by-pass road is also being built near the bridge on this route, which will be ready this year.

SDM Manali Raman Gharsangi said that in view of security, movement of large vehicles has been stopped, people should cooperate till the condition of the bridge improves. Due to this, tourists may also have to do troublesome stuff.

This Bailey bridge of Manali over river Beas was built in 1958. The bridge 1 km away from Manali town. Heavy traffic plies on the bridge on a daily basis as it connects various important areas and is a junction. The poor condition of the bridge is posing a potent threat to the lives of the people travelling on it.

Damaged bridge at Manali

The worst sufferers of the bridge’s shabby condition are the commuters, for they have to travel on it twice a day-early in the morning and late in the evening gateway for the left bank and main entry into town has been in a dilapidated condition.

Each day, thousands of people including transporters, commuters, students, etc. travel through the bridge for different purposes,” Gautam Thakur, a resident of Manali said

“Locals also say that the many complaints submitted before the district administration for rehabilitation of the bridge have been in vain. Critical of the authorities’ indifference to the public woes. He said, “despite repeated complaints submitted for early repair of the bridge, none of the officials concerned have bothered to come and see the situation.”

Gautam Thakur told Hill Post that the town had a small wooden bridge before the existing bailey bridge was built in Batala, Punjab and brought to Manali before a visit of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1958.

“The bridge was built in an emergency under supervision of the then superintending engineer of PWD at Amritsar, Basant Singh.

Manali’s retired professor NC Sharma, who had worked as work inspector on this project said that the life of this bridge was estimated at 50-60 years. The bridge has served us for six decades and now we are looking forward to replace this bridge by new one.”

Locals and hoteliers want the bridge repaired at the earliest as they are facing a great inconvenience. Anup Thakur, president of the Hoteliers Association, Kullu-Manali, said the bridge was the lifeline of the town. The poor condition of the bridge speaks volumes of the apathetic attitude of the authorities.

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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