Baripada: The construction work of a bridge across Budhabalanga at Baripada in Mayurbhanj is reportedly moving at a tardy pace amid allegations of sub-standard work. The project is being executed at a cost of Rs 27, 29, 80, 208.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik laid the foundation stone of the bridge October 26, 2016.
Iron Triangle, a construction firm, was awarded its construction work.
A plaque put up by the public works department (PWD) revealed that the work was supposed to end by December 11, 2018. But five months have passed since its deadline and its work is nowhere near completion.
Locals also alleged that quality of the bridge construction is being compromised by the agency.
Meanwhile, an engineer of the PWD, who is looking after the construction, has recommended extension of its deadline to February 20, 2020. Deadline extension of this project has put a question mark on the intent of the department, locals pointed out.
Sources said, only 40 percent of the work is over. When monsoon is just a few months away, carrying forward the work will be impossible, locals added. It will cause further delay.
During the monsoon, the town faces floods every year in the absence of a dyke along the river bank. The old bridge on the river is said to be weak. Now, the old bridge bears the brunt of vehicular movement.
During floods, it will bear further loads of relief and rescue operation. Had the new bridge been completed in time, it could have been a great relief for residents, said locals.
As for allegation of sub-standard work, assistant engineer Rabinarayan Panda was asked by our correspondent. Panda said that the construction 292-metre long and 15.4-metre wide bridge is underway.
“Earlier, it was designed for 11 pillars and later it was revised. The bridge will pass through over nine pillars,” he added.
“40 percent of the bridge work is over. As the bridge design was changed, there was delay. Extending its deadline was recommended,” he said.