Sonepur: The ambitious ring-road project at Subarnapur town has stopped midway again even though there is ample availability of funds. Local intelligentsia has resented the apathetic attitude of the district administration towards the ‘lifeline’ of the town.
To insulate the town from floods, a ring-road around Subarnapur, including dykes along the rivers which flow in this district, had been designed by Maharaja Biramitrodaya.
The town is surrounded by rivers like the Mahanadi and the Tel on all three sides. Then local ruler had provided funds for laying the proposed ring-road. It is said, the laying of the ring-road and construction of dykes along riverbanks had then started. However, this could not be completed in subsequent times.
Later on, the state government decided to take up a ring-road project, keeping in mind the ever-growing population and traffic snarls in the town. The project work started in 2011 which halted for nearly three years due to lack of the government grants.
A 1,500 metre-long stretch of the ring-road starting from the Mahanadi bridge was tendered for blacktopping at a cost of Rs 3,03,97,000. An agreement to this effect was signed between the works department and a contract firm December 24, 2018, a report said.
This particular stretch should have been completed by November 23, 2019, as stipulated in the agreement paper. The contract firm has only leveled the ring-road so far.
Likewise, blacktopping of another 2,400 metre-long stretch of the ring-road starting from Tel bridge up to Badabazar including retaining walls and two bridges with an estimated cost of Rs 5,91,71,000 is yet to be done. Notably, this second agreement was signed between the contract firm and the departmental February 6, 2019.
The aforesaid work was scheduled to be completed by June 5 this year. However, blacktopping of the stretch has not started yet and the project work is going on allegedly at a snail’s pace.
However, then Collector of Subarnapur Madhusudan Mishra had reviewed the work progress and issued orders June 23 to the works department for seeking an explanation from the contract firm. He had also ordered confiscation of the earnest money deposit (EMD) of the firm and go for retendering if the situation so warrants.
Notably, the 393 metre-long missing link of the project between Kumbharpada and Dasamatighat was to be connected through a portal frame bridge. It was also decided to have concrete retaining walls alongside the river bridge with an expenditure of Rs 45,80,00,000. All aforesaid works pertaining to portal frame bridge were tendered separately on the 2nd week of November.
Reacting to this, Executive Engineer of the works department Asit Kumar Badapanda said, “There is an unusual delay and we have already ordered the contract firm to complete the ring-road laying work. Necessary actions will be taken if it is delayed further”.
WHAT IS A PORTAL FRAME BRIDGE ?
Portal frame bridges are generally designed for use below the ground to provide waterways or pedestrian subways. However, the units are supported on ‘in-situ concrete foundations’ and alternatively the base may be an integral part with portal frame as well.
Seals are provided between successive units to ensure a water-tight structure. The dimensions of units and their weights are limited by the requirements for transportation and installation. Similar units may also be designed for use above ground to form integral bridge-type structures or frames for building the superstructures.