The iconic Lakshman Jhula was built in 1923 (image: twitter)

Lakshman Jhula, the famous historic suspension bridge across the Ganga River in Uttarakhand’s Rishikesh, was closed for the public traffic on Friday as experts feel it cannot sustain more load, officials told PTI.

Additional Chief Secretary Om Prakash said that a team of experts found most parts of the 450-foot long iron bridge in “fail” or “collapse” condition, following which it was shut down.

The experts suggested the bridge, built in 1923, cannot sustain any more load — the structure undergoes a very heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the historic city’s peak tourism seasons. Keeping it operational could be risky, the official said.

The additional secretary also mentioned that the bridge towers appear to be leaning towards one side due to rise in traffic and pedestrian movement.

The report had stated: “It is highly recommended that the bridge should be closed with immediate effect otherwise any big mishap can take place anytime.”

Named after Hindu mythological character Lakshman, who is believed to cross the Ganga river with jute ropes, the Jhula has been of the key attractions for tourists and devotees coming to Rishikesh.

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