Uttarakhand: Administration Shuts Down 'Lakshman Jhula' In Rishikesh After Being Declared Unsafe By Experts
Uttarakhand Government has closed all movements on Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh. The instruction for the same came after a team of experts from the Public Works Department (PWD) declared the bridge unsafe to travel due to the precarious condition of the suspension bridge. The team of experts recommended closing the bridge for the public to avoid any mishap. The decision came on Friday, July 12.
The 450 feet long bridge was built in 1923 to connect the districts of Tehri and Pauri, situated on either side banks of the river Ganga. It was named after Lakshman, the brother of Lord Rama, as it is believed that Lakshman crossed the river with the help of Jute ropes from the same location as where the bridge is situated. It was made to ease the travel for the locals who were populated on the banks of the river. It also attracted a lot of tourists because of its association with Hindu mythology.
Lakshman Jhula has also been the point of attraction because of the market, hotels, temples and religious places present in its vicinity.
But the 96-year-old bridge is unable to sustain anymore load according to the experts as they found that the two towers on which the bridge was supported, were leaning towards each other. With the closing of the bridge, people will now have to add 2 kilometres to their travel in order to cross the river via the Ram Jhula. Ram Jhula is a bigger and more recently built bridge than Lakshman Jhula, but the diversion of all the traffic of Lakshman Jhula to Ram Jhula will definitely put some strain on the bigger bridge too.
On Saturday, Trivendra Singh Rawat promised that an alternate bridge will be built for the convenience of the locals and all efforts will be made to preserve and repair the iconic bridge.
It seems a very bold action to take the precautionary step as any negligence would have only contributed towards a mass accident as the Kanwad Yatra is also about to begin next week.