Orissa to construct 300 rural bridges at Rs 1000 crore

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to substantially improve communication network in rural areas, Orissa Government has decided to construct 300 rural bridges at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore.

The construction activities, to be taken up under the Orissa Rural Bridges Scheme, would be implemented out of the state?s own resources, official sources said today.

The decision to launch the initiative was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as part of the state government`s endeavour to strengthen road communication in rural areas, they said.

The decision assumes added significance in the backdrop of extensive damage caused to a large number of roads and bridges during the recent floods which played havoc in at least 20 of the 30 districts of the state.

As many as 60 roads managed by the works department had been breached during the recent floods, which also cut off the main link to the district headquarter town of Jajpur following collapse of the 100-year-old Rudhia bridge on Budha river, sources said.

The concerned authorities have been asked to explore the possibility of putting in place a temporary bridge used by the military during emergency situations as construction of a new bridge would take a long time, they said.

Instruction has also been issued to take necessary steps to ensure construction of the new bridge before the next monsoon, they said.

The state government has already made it clear that Rs 1,208 crore would be utilised in repair and restoration operation in the flood affected areas within the stipulated 45 days, sources said.