Deadline for Gurupriya bridge extended to February

Bhubaneswar: First September, then November and now February! The deadline for completion of the Gurupriya bridge, the lifeline of people residing in cutoff areas of Malkangiri district, has once again been extended to February, 2018.

Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi on Wednesday informed that the Works Department, at the Unified Command meeting, has made it clear that it would complete the construction work by February next year.

Works Department officials said the construction work is delayed due to some issues; however, it would be completed by February, 2017.

“Around 15-20 per cent of the construction work is yet to get over. Work on 17 of the 22 spans of the bridge is over. Work on three concrete guards and 12 steel guards is yet to finish. Besides, construction of a 1200-metre approach road is yet to be completed,” said an official of the Works Department. However, it is targeted to finish the project by February next year, the official added.

It may be mentioned here that more than 30,000 people reside in 151 villages under 10 Panchayats in the cut-off areas of Malkangiri district. Most of these people depend on boats to communicate with the mainland. Amid such situation, the inordinate delay and repetitive rescheduling of deadline for construction of the bridge is brewing strong resentment among the people.