Jajpur: Even though the Odisha government is making every effort to carry out development work in rural areas it is failing to do so. This is because, many feel a section of the officials are corrupt and are embezzling money from various funds. They are delaying the completion of projects resulting in cost escalation.
The three-kilometre long Bahujanga-Dhaudipada High-level Bridge on Birupa River and Sakutalapur-NH-5 High-level Bridge on Sanagenguti River under Jaraka Rural Work Project-2 is a prime example of delay in completion. The deadline for completion of the bridges has long gone by. Yet the bridges are still not complete.
The foundation stone for the two bridges were laid in 2013. HL Infrastructure, a construction had been awarded with tender to construct the two bridges in 2013-14 financial year. It had promised to complete the constructions of two bridges by April, 2019. However, a year has gone by and the bridges are yet to completed.
The initial cost for Bahujanga-Dhaudipada High-level bridge was estimated at 13.77 crore. Now the cost has gone up to Rs 15.32 crore.
“While the estimated Rs.13.77 crore has already been spent, the only visible progress made is two under-construction pillars,” said Niranjan Sahu, a local resident.
Similarly, the initial cost for construction of Sakutalapur-NH-5 High Level Bridge was estimated at 5.55 crore. Now it has been pegged at Rs 5.70 lakh.
Locals alleged that the dilly-dallying attitude of the authorities in the Works Department is causing inordinate delays in the completion of the two projects. They have threatened to stage agitations before the District Collectorate office soon unless the construction of the bridges is completed.
Admitting that funds constraint has been a hindrance for the second bridge, Chandikhol Rural Development Department sub-divisional engineer Tulasi Patra said the work will start once the funds are released. ‘‘We are waiting for fund allotments,’” he said.