GILGIT: Agreeing with the government’s point of view, the Supreme Appellate Court, Gilgit Thursday allowed the Gilgit-Baltistan administration to remove a major suspension bridge connecting Gilgit with the Hunza valley, officials said Thursday.
Popularly known in Gilgit as the Bailly Bridge, the suspension bridge had the highest chance of being hit by flashfloods if the Attabad dam burst its banks, experts had told the government recently, suggesting the government to remove it as soon as possible. Sources said that the government had started removing the bridge when the matter came to apex court’s knowledge which summoned the government on Thursday to explain why they were doing it.
On government’s behalf, sources added, the director disaster management appeared before the court and explained the reason. The chief judge agreeing to government’s point of view allowed them to go ahead with their plan. Officials said that although the government hasn’t given any deadline as yet, it is presumed that before June, water could overflow the 13km-long lake, threatening to submerge a number of low-lying villages besides damaging several bridges up to the Kohistan area. In view of the recommendations put forth by the experts to the government, the Gilgit- Baltistan government discussed the matter at a high level meeting and decided to do dismantle the bridge to avoid a huge loss to the exchequer.
The meeting was chaired by Speaker Gilgit- Baltistan Assembly, Wazir Baig, and attended by Adviser to the Chief Minister Aftab Ahmed, Deputy Speaker Jamil Ahmed as well as Chinese experts and engineers of the National Highway Authority. The meeting also reviewed the status of Jalal Abad- Chamogarh Road and asked the public works department to undertake the necessary repairs so that transportation of commodities could be ensured to the people cut off by the removal of the Bailly Bridge.