In yet another viral news that has been doing the rounds lately, the iconic Lakshman Jhula suspended over the river Ganga in the glorious Rishikesh has been momentarily shut down for vehicular voyage after serving as a passage for over 90 years. The suspension bridge was deemed dangerous and beyond repair by an expert panel of the Public World Department (PWD) who were tasked to review the current status of the Jhula.
As per the officials, the bridge was operating well over its capacity due to the unprecedented break out of tourists in the city in recent years. The reports also mention the faulty status of bridge towers erected on either side. Thus, to ensure there is no trending news in India from Rishikesh any time soon, the experts recommended the closure of the bridge.
“We observed that several components of the bridge are in very bad condition. This bridge should not be permitted for pedestrian movement from now onwards. It is not in a position to sustain any more with the present condition,” said Uttarakhand Additional Chief Secretary Om Prakash.
“There has been an unprecedented rise in traffic and pedestrian movement along the bridge in recent times and the bridge towers appear to be leaning towards one side. It is highly recommended this bridge be closed with immediate effect, else some big mishap could take place,” he added.
Lakshman Jhula History
For the inundated, Lakshman Jhula is a 450-feet long iron suspension bridge that was stretched over the Ganga the river in 1923. The Jhula that connects Tapovan village in Tehri district on the western bank of the river with Jonk in Pauri district remains one of the major attractions of the city and entertains lakhs of tourists from across the length and breadth of the world every year.
Just like most of the attractions in India, Lakshman Jhula also has a story intact. As per the Hindu mythology, it is believed that Hindu deity Lakshman, brother of Lord Rama, crossed the river on jute ropes at the place where the bridge is currently built. I wonder what viral news it would have been had something as such was done today. This bridge was constructed by U.P.P.W.D. to replace the former 284 feet bridge that was washed away by great floods of October 1924.
Lakshman Jhula And Bollywood
Moreover, the other reason why Lakshman Jhula is trending news today is because of its never-quenching fondness with Bollywood. The Jhula has been featured in some of the all-time hit films including Amitabh Bachchan’s 1978 film Ganga Ki Saugand, Soun Ke Titi Ki Sweety, Qarib Qarib Singlle, Dum Laga Ke Haisha and last year’s Batti Gul Meter Chalu.
Meanwhile, an alternative bridge will be constructed soon to serve as a passage assuring the tourist activities don’t take a back seat. Also, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat assured that every possible step to restore the iconic attraction would be taken.