PESHAWAR           -        The National Heritage Council (NHC), a non-governmental organisation striving for the conservation of historical sites, has expressed grave concern over the dilapidated condition of a Mughal-era bridge, also known as Sehti Bridge’, which was built over Bara river at Choha Gujjar village in the outskirts of the provincial capital.

During a visit to the bridge on Sunday, the office-bearers of the NHC, including its Chairman Muhammad Khalid, Vice Chairman Colonel Liaquat and General Secretary Tahir Khattak, expressed the resolve to make efforts for the preservation and restoration of the historic bridge.

Executive Members of NHC, Maryam Iqbal, Dr Sadia Shafiq, Neelam Babar, Zulfiqar Ali and Nazim of Choha Gujjar village, Sikandar Badshah also visited the site.

The NHC team members said it was very disappointing to see that Water and Sanitation Services of Peshawar (WSSP) was dumping solid waste on the bridge, thus severely polluting the Bara river and making its water poisonous which was once considered as most suitable drinking water.

“It was also very awful to see local farmers washing fresh harvested vegetables from the same polluted water of Bara river before transporting them to markets for sale,” they said, and added in the solid waste dumped there, carcasses of some animals were also lying and the bad smell coming from there due to the decomposition had made it impossible for people to stand for long.

Speaking on the occasion, NHC chairman and its team members opined that the dilapidated condition of this historic bridge was the solid evidence of lackluster attitude of the concerned departments which were responsible for its preservation.

They said due to the irresponsible attitude of sanitation department, the scenic site on the fringes of the provincial metropolis had turned into a dumping site.

They said some government departments received millions of rupees to upgrade historical sites, but sadly Sehti bridge could not get any their attention.

They said the purpose of their visit was to highlight the importance of this heritage.

They added that this bridge was constructed by Mughal rulers and later Sehti family of Peshawar added to its beauty by making decorations of flowers over it.