All vehicular movement has been stopped at Rishikesh’s famous Laxman Jhula (Lakshman Jhula) bridge for the time being. An iconic landmark in the Yoga Capital of the World, the bridge is more than 90-years-old and is recognized worldwide. A suspension bridge, it is 450 feet long and flows over River Ganga. It is also believed to be the ‘First Jeepable Bridge of UP’, and its construction was initiated in 1927.

Now, a ban on all vehicular movement has been put in place by the state government, after a Public Works Department (PWD) report stated the “distressed condition” of the bridge. The immediate closure of the bridge has been announced, leaving tourists in dismay since it is the most popular site in the town. Other than the foreigners flocking to it, the bridge is immensely popular with the locals as well; several Bollywood movies have also been shot here.

Apart from its lure to the tourists, Laxman Jhula’s closure will add another two kilometers to those commuting between Tehri and Pauri Garhwal. Pedestrians will be allowed to use the bridge in a limited number albeit. The move to shut vehicular movement, as stated, was a call of the hour as Kanwar Mela is about to start, bringing in droves of pilgrims to the site and, thus increasing the chance of an accident.

The first suspension bridge in the state at the time of its construction, Laxman Jhula is now in need of immediate renovation. Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat stated that a new bridge would soon be built as an alternative to the iconic site, and help in bearing the traffic adequately.

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