Dehradun, July 12 (IANS) The Uttarakhand government on Friday said it had closed the iconic Laxman Jhula bridge on river Ganga in Rishikesh over safety concerns. The narrow bridge is used only by pedestrians and two wheelers.
However, police officials said the local administration was yet to receive a formal order for its closure. "The pedestrians are still using the bridge," said Laxman Jhula SHO Rajinder Singh Kathait.
Sub Divisional Magistrate Neekanth Sham Singh Rana said the decision to close the bridge came after the Public Works Department and the local Muni Ki Reti Municipality gave a joint technical report stating that the 96-year-old bridge had completed its duration.
Additional Chief Secretary Om Prakash said in an inspection following the report parts of the bridge were found in poor condition and on the verge of collapse. "The bridge is not able to sustain the load of pedestrians anymore. The Muni Ki Reti Municipality therefore recommended its closure with immediate effect, failing which, it said, a big mishap may take place," he said.
Uttarakhand Agriculture Minister and local MLA Subodh Unniyal confirmed: "Yes, a decision for the closure of the bridge was taken by the Muni Ki Reti Municipality."
The suspension bridge was constructed in 1923 and was a big attraction for pilgrims visiting the holy city of Rishikesh. It is widely believed that Laxman, the younger brother of Lord Ram, crossed the Ganga where the bridge stands.
New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) In what is seen as a major boost for the union territory (UT) of Ladakh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday launched winter grade diesel for the entire Ladakh region.
The Indian Oil Corp's (IOC) Panipat refinery has come up with a kind of diesel that can withstand the harsh winter conditions of the newly created UT where temperatures fall to sub zero of nearly -30 degree Celsius.
The winter grade diesel produced by Panipat Refinery for the first time has a pour point of - 33 degree C and does not lose its fluidity function even in the extreme winter weather of the region, unlike the normal grade of diesel which becomes exceedingly difficult to utilize. This winter grade diesel also meets BIS specification of the cleaner BS-VI grade diesel.
Amit Shah launched the supply of this special grade diesel in Ladakh via video conferencing from the national capital. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and BJP MP from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, were present on the occasion.
Shah said that this special diesel for Ladakh has been developed to address the problem of loss of fuel during extreme winter conditions. The project is said to have cost more than Rs 50,000 crore.
The first tank truck containing winter grade HSD has been flagged off from IOC's Panipat marketing complex. Subsequent supplies of such diesel would be sent from the Jalandhar Terminal to the Leh and Kargil depots to meet demands of customers in the Leh-Ladakh region during peak winters.