Sans bridge, people risk lives on country boats to cross rivers in Bhadrak

Bhadrak: For residents living in several villages of Chandbali area in the district, country boats are the only lifeline. Every day thousands of people in the region risk their lives to cross Mantei and Baitarani rivers in boats due to the absence of bridges.

Locals of several riverside villages like Baliapal, Tinitar, Choudhary, Habeli, Panchutikri, Dhanakhania and Mantei allege that even as the government has laid foundation stone for the construction of the bridge on both the rivers, the work on the same is yet to begin.

Nearly 2 lakh people from 36 panchayats including Chandbali NAC have to depend on country boats to reach Dhamara for work.

The absence of proper transporting facilities has forced the people to depend on taking perilous journey across the rivers on a daily basis.

“We have a constant fear of drowning of boat when there are excess passengers. But at the same time there is no other option for us as we have been dependent on this since last 25 years,” said a local resident Bijay Padhi.

The executive engineer of Road and Housing department Bhadrak, Amiya Nayak said that a tender has been floated for the construction of the bridge.

“Evaluation process is been underway. Once it is done work will begin,” said Nayak.

On the other hand, the opposition political party leaders have alleged that despite being in power for last 18 years, the government has failed to construct bridges for the welfare of the people.

“MLA Byomkesh Ray had promised to construct two bridges in the area but it has been four and half years the work for the same is yet to be done,” said President of Congress OBC cell, Abhisekh Rout

“The ruling party has to answer the people why they have been unable to construct the bridges” said BJP leader, Manmohan Samal.

However, refuting the allegations of the Opposition, Chandbali MLA Byomkesh Ray said that the delay in construction of bridge is due to inland waterways.