Saswat Singhdeo

Rourkela/Sundergarh: Protesting irregularities in land allocation to people and families displaced for the construction of the second bridge over Brahmani River, the affected residents today staged protest in front of Lathikata tehsil office in Sundergarh today.

Even after the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had ordered to restart the construction work of second bridge over Brahmani River on December 2, the work is yet to begin.

The process of land acquisition for the approach road meant for the second Brahmani bridge had begun on November 29 with the eviction of 46 houses in Ruptola slum area. Subsequently, the displaced residents were shifted to C-block of Jalada area by the administration and each family was allocated 4-decimal land. However, the displaced residents alleged that they were not allowed to stay in the new location by the local residents. According to sources, the displaced families are now staying at temporary homes built of polythene sheets.

"Without finalising the land why did they demolish our houses? Now, we are staying under polythene sheets in extremely difficult conditions for the past 1 month," said a displaced resident, Pankaj Chakraborty.

Another displaced local Sandip Kumar Bhoi said "We are not asking for a particular location. They should give 4-decimal land to all the displaced families at any location."

On the other hand, Additional Tehsildar of Lathikata, Biswakesan Pandey assured that the issue will be resolved soon.

“Administration can't be blamed for this. We have allocated the land but we came to know that the locals are opposing the decision. Soon, we will find a solution,” Pandey said.