Ramakanta Biswas

Alarmed by the hanging bridge collapse tragedy in Morbi of Gujarat that left at least 140 people dead, the district administration of Cuttack has decided to shut Dhabaleswar hanging bridge for one day in order to undertake a thorough safety inspection.

Cuttack Collector informed that the suspension bridge connecting Dhabaleswar temple located on an island in Mahanadi river in Athagarh of Cuttack district will remain shut on Tuesday to facilitate the safety inspection. 

“The bridge will remain shut for one day for safety examination. The inspection will be carried out on the basis of the report of the technical team. The movement of people on the bridge will be restricted. If needed, the bridge will be completely shut in view of safety inspection. Fire services and ODRAF personnel will be deployed near the bridge. We appeal people to visit the temple by boats,” said district collector. 

The suspension bridge over Mahanadi River was constructed in 2006 and has a capacity to carry 600 persons at a time. However, local administration on Monday capped the capacity to 200 devotees following the chilling bridge accident in Gujarat. 

“The hanging bridge has become weak. Movement of over 200 people at a time is prohibited,” read a poster put up by the rural development department at the bridge. 

As per sources, an expert team from Kolkata has been roped in carry out detailed inspection of the suspension bridge over Mahanadi River. As per the team’s recommendation, the administration has reduced the number of visitors to minimise the pressure on the bridge.

The 254 metre long suspension bridge over Mahanadi was constructed by Cuttack RW division under NABARD assistance at a cost of Rs 358.39 lakh.