The Uttarakhand government has devised a plan to convert the abandoned bridge into a restaurant to generate income while promoting tourism. According to Uttarakhand Tourism and Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Satpalmaharaj, construction of the national highway and his two-lane bridge over it has made several bridges in the state unusable.
To begin the project, PWD identified five abandoned bridges across the Chardam Yatra route. The five identified bridges are on the Delhi-Badrinath Highway, Dehradun-Rishikesh Highway, Rishikesh-Purchatti Highway, Rudraprayag-Gaurikund Highway and Kotodwar-Pauli Highway.
Initially, one or two of these identified bridges were developed as restaurants. If the initiative is successful, more bridges will be placed under the scheme and become tourist attractions.
Although not in use, Maharaj says the structures of these bridges are still very strong. One side of these bridges can have a view and the other side can have parking facilities.I have directed PWD to analyze and identify the bridges.If successful, these two stories. facilities can be created,” Maharaj said.
Maharaj claims that Uttarakhand will be the first state in the country to implement such an initiative, and the idea came to him when he visited New Zealand and saw a restaurant built on an abandoned metal bridge. Said it floated.
“On both sides there were customers enjoying the view of the river. Later, when I visited Gangotri, I found some thin metal bridges in our state that were not used. ‘ said Maharaj. The minister said the government does not need separate proposals for this initiative as people with disabilities and tourism boards can work together to achieve results.
“These are beautiful English-era PWD properties.These properties are not in great condition, but they are in a beautiful location.We plan to renovate them in PPP mode,” he said.
The minister also said the plan is to lease the bridge and build restaurants in PPP mode. He also said he has instructed the PWD authorities to provide leases for at least 30 years as no one is interested in investing hundreds of thousands of rupees in a short period of time (say five years).
The minister was confident the move would lead to increased tourism and income.
PWD chief engineer and department head Ayaz Ahmad said they plan to identify five bridges and hand over the list to the tourism department to move forward with the project.