HYDERABAD: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah inaugurated on Friday the Rs2.9 billion Thatta-Sujjawal bridge, which besides connecting the two coastal districts will also serve the transport needs of the Thar coal project.
The four-lane bridge whose construction was completed in 19 months, according to the government, is an addition to the over five-decade-old two-lane bridge between the two districts which are divided by River Indus.
This is the first-ever bridge on Sindhu darya [River Indus] that has been constructed by a provincial government from its own resources, said Shah, adding that it is otherwise the job of the federal government.
According to him, the urgency of a new bridge, as the older one had developed cracks, motivated the provincial government to utilise its finances for the project.
Apart from provision of inter-district transport, the bridge will immensely help the Thar coal project, pointed out Shah, adding that it was a big challenge to transport heavy machinery of coal-fired power plants to the Thar coal field [from Karachi port to Tharparkar].
Shah appreciated the Thar Coal Authority, the executing agency of the bridge and presented appreciation letters to the concerned officers and the contractors.
The two districts were carved out from one district, Thatta, in 2012. “The [local] people and the [elected] representatives of both the districts favoured administrative division of Thatta and Sujawal, otherwise I would have merged them as they stay connected by the bridge,” said Shah. He suggested the local administration to use the old bridge for light traffic, including motorcycles.
The CM also announced the construction of two more bridges on River Indus, including one at Zulfikarabad and another at Kandhkot-Ghotki in upper Sindh. He also said that he will soon inaugurate another river bridge at Jhirk- Mulakatyar.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2017.
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