Villagers demand halt to work on Kusei bridge till HC hearing

Anandpur: Tension erupted at Belabahali village in Anandpur sub-division of Keonjhar district when the villagers opposed the construction work of a new bridge on Kusei river near the village that was scheduled to begin today.

The villagers demanded a halt to the construction work till the hearing of the case by the High Court scheduled to be held on August 23.

Ghasipura police reached the spot to pacify the angry villagers and sought their cooperation.

On the other hand, the Collector said 20 platoons of police had been stationed at the spot to avoid any untoward incident as the construction work was scheduled to begin today.

Notably, the people of Belabahali and nearby villages had clashed with the police on July 7 last year while protesting the decision of the NHAI and the district administration to construct a new bridge on NH-215. Supporting the demand of the villagers, the Congress and the BJP had also protested the construction of the proposed bridge.

While the villagers were hopeful that their demand for relocation of the bridge site would be considered, a notification for construction of a new bridge by the Centre issued on June 15 this year has put paid to any such hope.