The suspension bridge connecting Danyore with Gilgit was shut down for an indefinite period on Tuesday after being declared unsafe by the district administration.
Usman Ahmed, a senior district administration official, said that until a decision is made about the fate of the structure, traffic for Danyore will be diverted through the recently established alternate suspension bridge.
Ahmed said the order was issued on the recommendations of a team of engineers that was tasked to examine the bridge. The team had declared the bridge unsafe to travel, he informed.
Dubbed as “Pul-e-Sirat” (the bridge between heaven and hell), the 510-feet-long bridge connects to a 10-metre curve tunnel. Locals say the journey is a test of a driver’s skill and nerve and add that an abrupt stop can leave a vehicle stranded on the middle of the stream, “which is a quite a frightening situation”.
The bridge was built around four decades ago, and three years back when the alternate RCC Bridge collapsed, it served as the only route to Gilgit for thousands of people in Danyore, Bagrote and Jalalabad. An alternate bridge was built only five months back.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2012.