Safety at stake: Guard wall of Samajajpur bridge damaged after fire

Puri: Safety concerns about the Samajajpur railway over bridge at Chandanpur on Bhubaneswar-Puri highway have resurfaced with the protection wall of 50 m, made of bio bags stacked with sand, caught fire two days ago.

As per sources, the bags stacked for the purpose of rendering support to the approach road of the railway bridge towards Samajajpur village have been damaged after it caught fire threatening the longevity of the bridge and its usability keeping in mind the Rath Yatra scheduled on June 25.

The National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) confirmed that the construction company and a consultancy firm have been asked to inspect the site and access the extent of damage. “After that we will take necessary actions as per their recommendations to rectify the problem,” Dharmananda Sarangi, local NHAI official said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the bridge constructed prior to the Nabakalebara festival last year at the cost of Rs 30 crores has been inoperational twice owing to quality issues after being opened to public.  ‘’It is painful to see the government spends crores on bridges and roads and leave those without maintenance,’’ said a local resident.

Asked  about the situation, Chandanpur IIC Jaydeep Mohanty said the police was never involved in deciding on safety and protection measures of the sand bag wall. “Since they are gunny bags and prone to catch fire in summers, at least we could have been prepared to tackle the situation. Even the road authorities did not provide such security at that spot,” he said.