The seminal 450-m long suspension bridge over the Ganges in Rishikesh
was shut immediately on July 12th. A report coming from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) called for an instant lockdown of the bridge as it was overtaxed from increasing vehicular and pedestrian traffic. It could have led to any mishap and was therefore closed forever to ensure safety and preservation. Uttarakhand
CM Trivendra Singh Rawat on 24th July expressed, “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.” This new bridge is supposed to be built from high tech infrastructure and will also serve as a tourist attraction.
A lot of issues have arisen due to this call of action - local markets such as Tapovan
Bazaar and Lakshman Jhula bazaar have suffered big blows due to lack of visitors, many tourists and pilgrims have made their way to the bridge, unaware of the ban, and gotten into tussles with the local authorities when asked to leave. But, the state’s decision is full and final and the project for an alternate bridge will commence soon.
This disheartening news of the Lakshman Jhula has dampened spirits of tourists and pilgrims over the country alike. To ensure this iconic bridge survives in memory, let us know your favourite visit to the Lakshman Jhula in the comments below!
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