Dharamsala, September 30
Foot bridge constructed outside the mini secretariat of Dharamsala has never been put to use. It has become an example of misuse and wastage of public money.
Although the steel foot bridge was completed about three years ago, it has never been put to use as one end of the bridge lands in a small walled area of the PWD premises. It means that nobody can use the foot bridge.
Sources here said that the PWD had constructed the foot bridge using a grant received from MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund given BJP MP from Kangra, Kishan Kapoor. The grant of Rs 43 lakh was put to use for constructing the foot bridge despite objections from the Dharamsala municipal corporation and Smart City Dharamsala authorities.
Former Mayor of Dharamsala, Davinder Jaggi said the corporation had objected to the construction of the steel foot bridge as there was no need for it. The road over which the bridge has been constructed does not have much traffic. In addition to that the design of foot bridge was such that the senior citizens and children cannot use it, as it was very steep.
The commissioner of the Dharamsala MC and MD of the Dharamsala Smart city project, Pradeep Thakur, when asked, said that both, the Smart City and MC authorities, had objected to the construction of foot bridge as it would have interfered with the plans to expand the road on which it has been constructed. The bridge has never been put to use as one end of it lands in a walled area which cannot be approached by pedestrians.
“We recently got the foot bridge painted due to Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav as it had become an eyesore,” the commissioner said.
Naresh Sharma, a resident of Dharamsala, said that the way foot bridge has been constructed illustrates the misuse of public money by the authorities.
The sources said that initially a proposal was mooted to construct two foot bridges in Dharamsala, one outside the Dharamsala mini secretariat and the other outside the Sacred Heart School. Local MP Kishan Kapoor gave a grant of Rs 43 lakh for the foot bridges. However, the grant was used in the construction of one bridge and another could never come up. The one foot bridge that has been constructed has never been put to use by people due to the apathy of PWD authorities who constructed it.
Sources here said that Central authorities, who came for inspection of MPLAD works, had also expressed displeasure at the wastage of public money in construction of foot bridge.