Reported by Ranjan Rath
Rayagada, Dec 12:
In the absence of a regular bridge, nearly 10, 000 people living on the banks of Bansadhara river in south Odisha have to depend on a makeshift wooden bridge to communicate to the other side – and that too for only six months in a year. For the rest of the year, they have to take a detour that increases the distance by more than 30 kilometers.
A temporary wooden bridge has been erected over Bansadhara River at Gumuda village of Rayagada district to facilitate communication between Bhubaneswar and Rayagada.
It may be noted that, the permanent bridge built on the river was washed away first in the floods of 1980 and then again in 2007. A temporary wooden bridge is constructed at a cost of Rs 25.40 lakhs on the shallow waters to enable connectivity from December to June every year since then.
However, the bridge is removed during the rainy season when the flow of the river increases requiring the 70-80 government and private buses that ply on this road have to take a detour through Gunupur via Padmapur and Kenduguda that increases the distance between Rayagada and Bhubaneswar by 32 kilometers.
To reach the district headquarters of Rayagada, people living on the other side of the river bank such as Philingirai, Kalini, Jayantpur, Bijikote, Antarjholi, Sharadhapur have to travel 90 km instead of the usual 40 during the period when the temporary brdige is removed.
A plan for construction of a 720-meter long permanent bridge over the river was sanctioned in 2009. The tender called by Public Works Department (PWD) was won by ARSS Ltd. However, the Rs 26 crore project. which was due to be completed by 2011, has run into several delays and cost overruns.
Four years after the initial targeted handover time, the project cost has already gone up to Rs 56 crores, but not even 60% of the construction is complete. However, Gourang Charan Sahoo, the executive engineer of PWD is quite optimistic that thw ork would get over soon.
Speaking to OST, Sahoo said, “The delay in construction has been caused due to technical glitches. However, the work is progressing at a rapid pace now and we expect it to be completed within next three months.”