Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Malkangiri, Sep 29:
On the last day of the three-day visit to the district, Development Commissioner UN Behera today visited the under-construction Gurupriya bridge near Balimela reservoir in Odisha’s Malkangiri district and reviewed the progress of the much-awaited bridge which would provide connectivity to the cut-off area.
The top bureaucrat accompanied by Water Resources and Public Works department secretaries discussed the security aspect with the top BSF personnel stationed at the trouble-hit area to provide security to the persons engaged in the construction work.
It may be recalled that three security personnel and a civilian was killed in a deadly ambush with the Maoists on August 26 this year. Following the attack, the construction of the bridge was stalled. However, the work resumed after three days amid tight vigil of BSF personnel.
Behera asked the officials of Kolkata-based Royal Construction company to expedite the construction work. The private company has undertaken the construction of the work after Gammon India Limited abandoned the project after a series of attacks on its men and machinery.
Behera was recently given additional responsibility to expedite development works in Malkangiri.
Notably, the foundation stone for this all-important bridge was laid way back in 1982 by the then Chief Minister late JB Patnaik and again by present Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in 2000.
Initially, the construction work was assigned to the Odisha Bridge Construction Corporation (OBCC) and was later taken up by GIL. But GIL backed out shortly after starting work owing to repeated attacks on its men and equipment by the Red rebels.