Baripada: Low-quality stone packing on the embankments of Budhabalanga River has sparked outrage among the residents of Bhanjabati and Baghuapal villages under Sialighati panchayat of Badasahi block in Mayurbhanj district.
Angry villagers said that the work on the river bank was carried out with low quality material and feared that it might get washed away. This has created strong resentment among the public.
The stone packing, dumping, grouting and launching works which were done on the embankment will slid down into the river after minor rainfall in the area.
As per the approved plan, the stone packing should have been done two metre below the Budhabalanga river water level. However, the specifications as mentioned in the approved plan are not being followed by the contractor concerned, the residents rued.
The local residents from Bhanjabati and Baghuapal villages had earlier brought the matter to the knowledge of Mayurbhanj Irrigation Department. Following which, some department officials reached the site and had warned the contractor to carry out the work strictly as per approved plan specifications, a source informed.
According to the source, the embankment and spur construction work was earlier started by Irrigation department at an estimated cost of Rs 9,86,45,000, in order to protect the two villages from erosion. The project included stone packing over a 1,405 metre-long patch and construction of six spurs, including 955 metre-long embankments. The contract was awarded to a firm named Gourav Constructions.
The project had started in April last year and the local villagers had also raised their voices against the ongoing low-quality work.
The irked locals even stopped the construction work Sunday morning for a few hours. After arrival of Irrigation Department Superintendent Engineer Pramod Kumar Padmasingh, the work resumed.
“Moreover, the contract firm has been making use of small size stones for packing the river embankments, which might wash away during floods,” residents from Baghuapal village including Sirish Chandra Giri, Purna Chandra Patra and Ananda Shankar Patra said.
On being contacted, the superintending engineer Padmasingh said, “I have already inspected the stone packing work and asked the local villagers to stop the work if such allegation is found again.”