25 years on, bridge yet to be completed

Kendrapara: Even after 25 long years, the ‘B’Diha bridge continues to remain a distant dream for the residents of Mahakalapara block of Kendrapara district. Though the stipulated deadline has been breached since long, only two pillars of the bridge are completed.

The foundation stone was laid way back in 1990. Then after 10 years in 2000 the tendering process was completed and work started. However, the work stopped only after construction of two pillars. It is being alleged that due to negligence on the part of departmental authorities the work has stopped.
The aforesaid bridge was sanctioned to be built over river Gobari. The Odisha Bridge & Construction Corporation Limited was entrusted with the responsibility to construct the bridge. Rs 2.48 crore was budgeted for the construction of the bridge.

With construction of the bridge incomplete, residents of the area are still using makeshift bridge made out of bamboo exposing the commuters to accidents. Notably, the bridge will ensure connectivity to the district headquarter along with district headquarter hospital and college.

According to sources, peeved locals launched protests forcing the administration to float a new tender and assign a new company to complete the bridge. However, a number of contractors have changed yet the pace of construction continues to be tardy though as per the new deadline the work is supposed to be completed by the end of 2015.

Commenting on the matter, the assistant engineer of the Rural Development department Kaminikant Behera said that the contractors undertook the work, however they left after some time, resulting in delay in completion. Tenders were sought in 2014, however no contractors showed interest. A new tender was floated in 2015 and the work is likely to be completed by the end of the year, said Behera.