Pradeep Pattanayak

The hanging bridge over the Nagabali river on the outskirts of Rayagada town has been closed to the public from today for an indefinite period. The district administration took the step for the safety of tourists as this bridge has earned notoriety for several mishaps, causing deaths as well. 

In the locality, the bridge is even referred to as a ‘death zone'. 

The administration has put up barricades on both ends of the bridge, restricting tourists from walking on it. 

As the news broke, tourists and nature lovers expressed dissatisfaction. 

The bridge was planned to provide road communication facility to around 30,000 people of Karubai, Bada Alubadi, Tala Alubadi, Baisingh, Mirabali, Dangaladi, Durgapadu and Erukubadi panchayats. Prior to the construction of the bridge, the villagers took detours to reach Rayagada town. 

The bridge suspended at a height of over 33 metres above the Nagabali river through cantilever technology was constructed in 2011 and opened to the public in 2012. 

Since the location offers breathtaking scenes, it soon became a tourists' paradise. But as days passed by, mishaps too started happening, forcing the administration to put up signboards warning visitors not to align from the bridge to take bath in the river. 

Yet, mishaps like drowning and deaths were reported from the spot. 

Eventually, the bridge has been closed for an indefinite period.