Days after the nearly century-old suspension bridge Lakshman Jhula, was closed for public use, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Wednesday announced the construction of a new and "modern" bridge in its place.
"The new bridge will be constructed in a modern and high-tech manner and it will be a tourist attraction. We have already received proposals from several companies," Mr Rawat said.
The iconic Lakshman Jhula across the Ganges in Rishikesh was closed on July 12 by the local administration after a report by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) claimed the bridge was not fit for use.
"Every road or bridge has a load capacity. The same was ignored in the case of Lakshman Jhula, which led to issues with the bridge. Now, the same is happening with the Ram Jhula but we have started monitoring the load and traffic flow on the bridge now. There is no danger so far," Mr Rawat added.
Traffic has increased on the decades-old Ram Jhula in Rishikesh ever since the closure of the Lakshman Jhula.
Earlier, the chief minister had said that the government will make efforts to preserve the bridge.
"Lakshman Jhula is Uttrakhand's cultural heritage. We will take substantial steps to preserve it. Keeping public safety in mind, we have closed the bridge. An alternative bridge will be constructed soon to provide relief to the people," Mr Rawat had said on July 13.
Lakshman Jhula is a 450-feet long iron suspension bridge that constructed over the Ganga river in 1923 and is one of the landmarks of the Uttarakhand town. According to mythology, Lakshman, the brother of Lord Rama, crossed the river on jute ropes at the place where the bridge is currently stands.
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