A dilapidated bridge at Badapandusar under Nayagarh’s Itamati block over Khordha-Bolangir National Highway-57 continues to pose a grave threat to commuters, even two years after it was deemed ‘dangerous’.
As per reports, the bridge shakes dangerously whenever a heavy vehicle goes over it. The dilapidated old bridge is broken in many places and poses a grave threat to commuters.
Four persons were burnt alive and another person sustained severe burn injuries after a petrol tanker caught fire after falling off the bridge in June, 2022. Following the mishap, the bridge was deemed dangerous and works on a new bridge beside it began.
But even after two years, the new bridge is yet to be completed forcing people to take the old bridge every day risking their lives.
“Some unscrupulous people are collecting money from the contractor making the work slow. We demand to finish the work as soon as possible,” said a local Purnachandra Shanta.
Another local, Jyotiranjan Das vented his anger on the government officials. He said, “Children of MLAs and MPs are not suffering and dying because of this bridge. That is why they are delaying its construction. They do not give two hoots if the common man in Nayagarh dies.”
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) officials blamed the delay on contractors and disputes among them.
“The contractor who was awarded the contract has delegated another contractor the job. They are facing some issues between them. We are monitoring the work. If they make any more delays, we will look out for alternative ways to finish the work,” said NHAI Superintendent Rabindra Jena.
Asked about the delay, Nayagarh Collector Rabindranath Sahu said, “There were some issues over the eviction of a family from the site. However, the family has been shifted two months back. Work is going on in full swing. Hope it will be finished soon.”
“We are currently working on the approach road. Only black-turfing of the road remains, which will be completed within a month,” Sahu said.