The Rishikesh administration has ordered the temporary closure of the iconic Lakshman Jhula on the Ganga, on Friday, due to its dilapidated condition. There will be no public movement until the bridge is re- opened, the authorities announced.
A Public Works Department (PWD) survey found that the suspension bridge was long overdue for repair which led to its closure. The survey team found that most of its parts were in 'fail' or 'collapse' condition.
Due to unprecedented increase in traffic and pedestrian movement the towers appeared to be leaning to one side, the Additional Chief Secretary, Mr. Om Prakash,said.
'It is highly recommended that the bridge be closed with immediate effect otherwise any big mishap can take place,' the expert team said in its report.
The bridge links Tapovan village in Tehri district on the western bank river with Jonk in Pauri district.
The survey, however, found out that the 90-year-old bridge is safe for public movement but was closed as a security measure. The decision was also taken in view of the potential heavy footfall during the Kawad yatra which commences shortly.
The bridge, first opened in 1923 and opened to the public next year, is based on a 90-year-old design and is not geared for the heavy traffic of today.