Ferozepur, August 12, 2018: A strategically important 280 feet long historic bridge at Hussainiwala, which was blown off during 1971 Indo-Pak war was dedicated to the Nation by Hon’ble Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday. On this occassion cabinet minister (Sports) Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Member Parliament Sher Singh Ghubaya, Commissioner Ferozepur Division Mr.Sumer Singh Gurzar, IG Mr.Gurinder Singh, Deputy Commissioner Mr.Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal and SSP Mr.Pritam Singh were also present.
The bridge having four spans connects Ferozpur with Hussainiwala barrage on River Sutlej on the old Ferozpur-Lahore Highway. It is the only life line for nearly 10 villages connecting Hussainiwala enclave with the rest of the country. After 1971 Indo-Pak war, a Bailey bridge was launched by Army to restore road communication. To replace this old bridge, Project Chetak, Border Roads Organisation (BRO) was entrusted with task of constructing a permanent bridge with RCC decking over steel beam girder super structures. The permanent bridge has now been completed by BRO and dedicated to the Nation by Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman. Speaking on the occasion, Defence Minister said that permanent bridge at Hussainiwala Barrage will help not only the Indian Armed Forces but the local population at large for their daily commuting. She said that Hussainiwala is a historic and sacred place of our great Martyrs Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru and many other war heroes and it was her honour and privilege to inaugurate this historic bridge which will lead to the development of Punjab Region and people of Ferozpur. It will promote regional prosperity, business, agriculture and better movement of Army vehicles, ammunition and logistics.
Defence Minister appreciated the dedicated efforts made by the BRO towards completion of this bridge ahead of schedule and without causing any inconvenience to the locals. She said BRO has been engaged in construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, tunnels and other defence infrastructure works in difficult remote border areas. This bridge is one of the great examples that speak volumes about BRO’s contribution in Nation building. BRO has constructed approximately 52000 Km of roads, 650 Major permanent bridges of 47000 m length and 19 airfields in difficult and remote areas of the country. At present BRO is working on 530 roads (22,803 Km), which include new construction, as well as improvement from signal lane to double lane in Eastern and Western sector. BRO is also maintaining 322 roads of approximately 18803 Km length and seven airfields besides snow clearance of 138 roads (4325 Km) to ensure connectivity of border regions with rest of the Country with an annual turnover of Rs 5500 Cr. The prestigious 8.80 Km long Rohtang Tunnel is being constructed by BRO under challenging environment.
Raksha Mantri arrived Ferozpur on Sunday morning accompanied by Lt Gen Surinder Singh, Army Commander Western Command and Lt Gen Harpal Singh Director General Border Roads. She was received by Lt Gen Dushyant Singh, Corps commander Vajra Corps at the helipad and welcomed at Hussainiwala bridge by Brigadier Ripu Soodan, Chief Engineer (P) Chetak who also gave out technical and construction details of the bridge.
The Defence Minister later visited Hussainiwala Shaheed Smarak to pay homage to the Martyrs where she laid wreaths and also interacted with local Army Units and people.
Lt Gen Harpal Singh, Director General Border Roads and Lt Gen Surinder Singh, Army Commander Western Command, GOC Vajra Corps, civilian dignitaries and many others were also present on the occasion.