Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 2:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged the Union minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari to sanction funds for construction of a second bridge over river Brahmani near Rourkela on the Biramitrapur-Barkote section of NH-143 (erstwhile NH-23).
In a letter addressed to the Union minister, the Chief Minister said that the steel township of Rourkela is connected to western Odisha and northern India through a two lane bridge over river Brahmani constructed in the seventies.
This bridge is in a very dilapidated condition as mining and other commercial traffic over the bridge has increased considerably over the years, he pointed out.
Patnaik said NHAI took up four-laning of the Biramitrapur-Barkote section of NH-143, which also included construction of a new bridge over river Brahmani, and awarded the work on May 31, 2012. But the award was foreclosed due to delay in environmental clearance.
In the meantime, the condition of the said bridge is worsening by the day. In the eventuality of any damage to the bridge, commercial traffic to Rourkela will be completely disrupted, Patnaik stated in the letter.
“In view of the above, I would request you to direct the National Highway authorities to take up construction of a new bridge near the existing bridge and at same level and grade so that the developed commercial and residential areas of Rourkela will not be unduly affected. The bridge work may kindly be taken up as a stand-alone project to save time,” Patnaik said in his letter.