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Subadh Kumar Nayak

Balasore: Prior to its inauguration, a portion of an under-construction bridge over Budhabalanaga river in Balasore caved in. With this, the hope of people of Mayurbhanj and Balasore to cross the river without any problems has now been shattered.

According to reports, the construction works of the bridge had started four years back with an estimated cost of Rs 8.5 crore. The bridge was scheduled to be inaugurated after a couple of months post completion of the pending construction works.

The local residents alleged that the bridge collapsed due to sub-standard construction work. "We were so happy that the bridge was nearing its completion. People of around 30 villages of two districts would have been benefited with the completion of the bridge. However, it has collapsed due to poor quality of works," alleged Prafulla Chandra Sahoo, a local resident.

"People of the other side of the river face many problems in seeking medical attention as the culvert also has been washed away. The bridge will be of strategic importance as it will be a major boost to local economy with better communication facilities," said Kailash Chandra Sahoo, another local resident.

"The government should inspect the quality of the construction work of the bridge. They should take action against erring officials and ensure timely completion of the bridge," he added.

Executive Engineer of Rural Development Department, Balasore, Nanda Dulal Ghadei, informed that an inquiry will be conducted to ascertain the reasons as to why such incident occurred.

"We had inspected the construction of bridge recently and found everything to be okay. Centring of the bridge was washed away in the strong river current," said Ghadei.

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