Anandpur: Tension resurfaced once again in Belabahali in Keonjhar district over the construction of a bridge over Kusei River as locals clashed with police. While the construction on the Kusei bridge began with work being undertaken on an approach road from Anandpur side, locals protesting the construction of the bridge clash with the police.
Police had to lob tear gas shells to disperse the mob and also resorted to lathi charge. Soon the whole area became a battlefield after months of calm, following the first phase of protests.
“We have been protesting the construction since 2009 at government level as it is a matter of our life, property and livelihood. We have been telling the government about our problems in writing and through protests. However, the State government is not listening to us,” said a protesting local.
Notably, the protest against the construction of Kusei bridge is a long running one as the villagers of Belabahali along with 5 other nearby villages have been demanding the relocation of the bridge. Last year in July, similar clashes took place and palpable tension prevailed for quite some time.
Later an expert team reviewed the location of the bridge and concluded that it will not be changed. Even the High Court ruled that there will be no change in the location of the bridge.
However, the locals continue to protest the construction of the bridge.