Dilip Kumar

Khordha: Resentment is brewing among local residents and traders over inordinate delay in the construction of flyover at Sitaram square near Jatni in the district.

Local traders, who have been evicted for the facilitation of the flyover, have demanded early execution of the project and adequate compensation for them.

"We cooperated with the district administration in the eviction drive for smooth facilitation of the project. But, not a single trader has been compensated by the government yet. Still, we have faith in the government to get compensation for the loss we have incurred due to the eviction," said R Venkat, a local shopkeeper.

Even though the government has not yet compensated 587 traders who have been evicted from the project location, fresh notification for demolition of 150 more shops from the project site has become a cause of concern for the shopkeepers.

The government had aimed at commissioning the project by the end of 2017. But, half of the works is yet to get over. Delay in the construction has led to severe traffic snarl, locals said.

The project work had begun at a cost of Rs 54 crore and it has now risen to Rs 100 crore, sources said.

The Panda Infra, a construction unit which had been initially entrusted with the responsibility of the project work, was later disengaged from the job for sub-standard work that reportedly led to collapse of side wall of the under construction bridge. Later, Biraja Construction Pvt Ltd took over the charge of construction.

After the work was handed over to Biraja Construction, the design of the project was changed, which required eviction of more shops. However, the traders are reluctant to vacate the land alleging that many of their fellow traders are yet to get the compensation.

Local MLA and senior Congress leader Suresh Routray said that the district administration should acquire only required portion of land. The needy traders should be spared, he said, adding, "The flyover would be functional by April 1. We all are making efforts and working in that pace to achieve the target."