Ferozepur (Punjab), Aug 12 (IANS) A strategically important bridge in Punjab's Ferozepur district was on Sunday dedicated to the nation by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman -- 47 years after the old one was blown off in the 1971 India-Pakistan war.
The 280-feet-long bridge connects connects Ferozepur with Hussainiwala barrage on the Sutlej river on the old Ferozpur-Lahore highway.
It is the only lifeline for the residents of nearly 10 villages and connects Hussainiwala enclave with the outside world.
After the 1971 war, a Bailey bridge was set up by the Indian Army to restore road communication in the area.
"To replace the old bridge, Project Chetak was launched and the Border Roads Organisation entrusted with the task of constructing a permanent bridge, which has since been completed," a defence spokesman said here.
Sitharaman said that the bridge -- with RCC decking over steel beam girders -- will be useful not only to the Indian armed forces but also the local population.
She pointed out that Hussainiwala is a historic place connected to martyrs Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru and many other war heroes. The Minister later visited the Hussainiwala Shaheed Smarak to pay homage to the martyrs.
Western Command General Officer Commander-in-Chief, Lt Gen Surinder Singh, and Lt Gen Harpal Singh, Director General of the BRO, were present on the occasion.