Aman Sethu replaced
11 February 2006
Kaman Post: In a major step to boost trade links between India and Pakistan via Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, Army engineers on Saturday replaced the damaged Aman Sethu (peace bridge) here with a strong Bailey bridge. Commanding Officer of Six Engineers Col. Dharmendra Singh, who supervised the re-launch of the bridge, told reporters that the earlier bridge was extensively damaged in the earthquake in October. India built the bridge in record time as per a mutual deal between the two Armies. Pakistani engineers had expressed their inability to repair the bridge due to massive damage on their side, Mr. Singh said. 'We have requested Pakistani engineers to construct a retaining wall on their side so that even if landslips occur, they will not affect the bridge,' he said. The Bailey bridge would be open to traffic in three days. Mr. Singh said nearly Rs. 3 crore was spent to repair the bridge and re-lay the road from Uri to Kaman Post, portions of which had been washed away. 'The new bridge is strong enough to bear the heavy load of trucks and has been designed for trade,' the Army officer said, adding that 60 jawans and officers of the Army Engineers braved harsh winter conditions and worked round-the-clock from December 1 last year to January 20 to make the road and bridge traffic-worthy. The opening of the bridge will not only help people travel to and from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir but also spur the movement of goods between either sides of the LoC, once trade between the neighbours resumed in April, a defence spokesman said here.