Samajajpur bridge not a threat, repairs to begin shortly, say NHAI officials

Puri: A team of experts including the regional NHAI Director Dharmananda Sarangi and Project Director of Samajajpur railway over-bridge on Puri-Bhubaneswar national highway Binay Bansal, today,  took stock of the safety concerns of the bridge arising due to destruction of stacked geosynthetic bags used as guard wall of the bridge.

The team visited the spot where the 50 m long retaining wall made of sand filled geosynthetic bags had caught fire two days ago. Speaking about the situation, Sarangi stated efforts are on to ensure quick repair of the damaged wall and finish the pending works of the bridge.

“Completion of work has been delayed but we are trying to ensure everything is done before the Rath Yatra celebrations this year,” Sarangi said.

Asked about the apprehensions over the safety of the approach road suspected to be affected by the fire incident,  Bansal said the condition of the road is fine. “Since the condition of the soil was problematic we treated it but could not give enough time for it to settle. There is only a bit of deflection of the slab due to embankment but there is neither crack nor any defect in condition of concretisation of the road.”

Meanwhile, locals allege, misappropriation of funds in the project which has led to the faults. The Union Government should enquire into it. “As a common man I feel sandbags cannot support a heavy traffic over bridge for long. There is every possibility of mishaps,”  Chakradhar Mohapatra, a local resident  said.