ICHHTO to Install Si-o-Se Pol Railings

Railings, made of a combination of wood and metal, will be installed at selected openings of Si-o-Se Pol to ensure the safety of tourists
ICHHTO to Install    Si-o-Se Pol RailingsICHHTO to Install    Si-o-Se Pol Railings
The scheme will be extended to secure Khajou and Shahrestan Bridges as well

The installation of railings on the edges of Si-o-Se Pol, a historical bridge over Zayanderoud in Isfahan Province, was approved by the Technical Council of the provincial office of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization on Saturday.

Discussions over setting up guards began after the death of a two-year-old boy who fell off the edge of the bridge in September.

A few days later, the provincial ICHHTO drilled holes at one of the bridge's openings and set up a fence in what they called a trial scheme, ISNA reported.

The move raised concerns among cultural heritage experts who immediately expressed opposition to any such hasty appendage to the historical structure.

ICHHTO's officials stressed that the pilot scheme is aimed at examining the consequences.

A month later, Nasser Taheri, cultural heritage deputy at Isfahan's ICHHTO office, announced that the scheme was rejected by its experts and the project to secure Si-o-Se Pol would undergo further study.

Finally, in a meeting on Saturday, the Technical Council decided to install railings at the openings of the bridge where the slope may pose risks.

"The fences are not meant to be set up at all the openings [but only at selected sections]," Taheri said.

The plan was chosen from among three proposals and is not expected to tarnish the visual appearance of the bridge.

Based on the council's directive, the railings will be made of a combination of wood and metal.

The design of the railings will later be finalized by the experts of ICHHTO and the Urban Development and Revitalization Organization of Isfahan Municipality before the structures are finally installed.

Only two days before the decision, another tourist, a 17-year-old boy from Mazandaran Province who was walking backward to take a family photo, fell from Si-o-Se Pol and is reportedly in coma now.

This has prompted officials to consider safety measures for other bridges as well.

According to Taheri, the scheme will be extended to secure two more historical bridges in Isfahan, namely Khajou and Shahrestan, in the near future.

"Separate plans will be devised for each of the bridges based on their specific conditions, under the supervision of the Technical Council," he said.

In the Saturday meeting, the Technical Council also agreed to launch a research base for Isfahan's historical bridges.

Fereydoun Allahyari, the head of Isfahan's ICHHTO office, told reporters that the plan will be prepared within 15 days and the permit for a research base will also be issued.

"Since all the historical bridges over Zayanderoud continue to function as a crossover until this day, it is essential to conduct regular studies to preserve both their original features and their usage," he said.

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