Political parties scramble to take credit for Bolangir Bypass road project

Bolangir: Political crossfire ensued in Bolangir district after the Union Ministry approved funds for land acquisition for the Bolangir bypass road project.

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, had written a letter to Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, informing the latter that the centre has allocated Rs 190 crore for land acquisition for the project.

Soon after the announcement, the three major political parties of the state BJD, BJP and Congress are now at loggerheads to take credit for the project.

At a presser, members of Bolangir district BJP termed it as a Diwali gift for the residents of Bolangir and banners, posters and flags of BJP have been put up at different places across the district to take credit for the project.

Spokesperson of Bolangir district BJP, Pravas Panigrahy said “Initially they accused of central negligence after demand for Rs 241 crore was rejected. After a proper assessment was done, centre immediately allocated Rs 190 crore for the project.”

On the other hand ruling-BJD MP Kalikesh Singh Deo said “I have personally spoken to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and he has agreed for the project. A revised estimate of Rs 190 crore has been sent.”

Even the Congress has not left itself out of the race saying that the project has been a political issue since last two decades and a letter was initially written by Bolangir MLA, Narasingha Mishra after discussing the matter at the Public Account Committee meeting.

“Those who do not have any idea about the project should make an assessment first as to when it was started, why it was delayed and who was responsible for the delay,” Bolangir MLA Narasingh Mishra said.

Apart from the political parties, the Bolangir Joint Action Committee has also included them in the race to take credit as the organisation had earlier called for a two-day bandh demanding construction of a bypass to prevent road mishaps in the town. The committee said that it is the victory of the general public of Bolangir.

“Bolangir Joint Action Committee along with various social committees has pressed for the project, so the credit goes to them as well as to the media,” said Convenor of Bolangir Joint Action Committee, Gopalji Panigrahi.

On the other hand, local residents opined that everyone should stand up for the development of Bolangir rather than politicising everything.