November 01, 2022 – If the Laxman Jhula bridge of Rishikesh had not been closed for movement on time, there could have been a big mishap like Morbi. Actually, on April 3, 2022, the supporting cable of the Laxman Jhula bridge broke. However, there was no major accident at that time. However, in 2019, IIT Roorkee declared the bridge completely unfit for movement in its survey report.
Despite this, the bridge was reopened after 18 days under pressure from local people and traders. For 33 months, tourists and locals used to move through the dilapidated bridge. Finally, the bridge was closed entirely on April 16, 2022.
In 1927, the British Government started the construction of the new 137-meter-long Laxman Jhula bridge. The bridge was opened to the public in 1930. The bridge completed 90 years in the year 2019.
In 2019, A team from IIT Roorkee surveyed this bridge to find its strength. Their report said that most of the parts and components of the Laxman Jhula bridge have become dilapidated. In addition, the report said that the bridge is unsafe for traffic and could collapse at any time.
After this, on the instructions of the Chief Secretary at that time, on July 12, 2019, the bridge was closed to traffic. After this, the local traders and people started protesting and picketing. Due to the protest, the Public Works Department Narendranagar reopened the bridge for traffic only after 18 days. Then, after 33 months, on April 3, the supporting cable of the Laxman Jhula bridge suddenly broke.
During this, tourists and locals were passing through the bridge. Finally, when the supporting wire broke, and the bridge trembled, the people’s lives came to a standstill. But the old Lakshman Jhula bridge handled the load of people. Once again, the Public Works Department started the repair work on the bridge. But on the night of April 16, the District Magistrate ordered to close Lakshman jhula bridge for any movement putting barricades on both ends.
If the bridge was not closed on time, there could have been a significant accident like Morbi Jhulapul in Gujarat. Now Bajrang Setu is being constructed near the Laxman Jhula bridge. About 25 percent of the bridge’s construction work has already been completed.
In a statement, Mr. Mohammad Arif Khan, the executive engineer of the Public Works Department Narendra Nagar, said that the 36-year-old Ramjhula bridge is completely safe for traffic. The bridge is also regularly inspected and repaired at stipulated time intervals; It was also noted that it was checked during the Kanwar Yatra. The 230-meter-long bridge built in 1986 has a 220 kg per square meter capacity. Generally speaking, four people weighing 55 kg can stand on one square meter of the bridge simultaneously. He also said that the dilapidated Laxman Jhula bridge had already been closed. The construction of a new bridge is in full swing near it.