Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Koraput, May 22:
Odisha Director General of police (DGP) Sanjeev Marik today visited Koraput and Malkangiri’s Chitrakonda along with Nalinikant Pradhan, Secretary of Works Department and other senior officials of state government to assess the Maoist situation in the pre-division Koraput district and review the progress of the construction of Gurupriya Bridge.
Marik and Pradhan held meetings with senior officials of the police and local administration to analyze the situation.
“I spoke to the people here. They are highly motivated and happy about the construction of this bridge. So far as security is concerned, we are analyzing how to intensify our operation further and working on it. This is our primary aim,” said Marik.
“The Maoists have lost territory in Koraput and Malkangiri districts and are on the back foot now. But we can’t be complacent. We have decided to intensify our anti-Maoist operation. We need at least two more battalions of BSF in Koraput that will fill the prevailing gap in our counter insurgency operations in the district,” he added.
Works Secretary Nalinikanta Pradhan expressed his happiness over the progress in works of long-delayed Gurupriya bridge.
“Most of the roads of Malkangiri district are already good. The Gurupriya Bridge was a pending task. We have deployed an outside contractor and work is going on in full swing. Once the bridge is complete, at least 30,000 people of 151 villages across the Balimela reservoir that have remained cut off from the mainland since past 50 years will have road connectivity to the rest of the state,” said Pradhan.
It may be noted that the foundation station of the bridge was laid in 1982 by the then Chief Minister Janaki Ballabh Patnaik. However, the work was never completed due to threats from Maoists.
The construction work of the Rs 173 crore project is now on since September by Kolkata based Royal Infra Construction with active police protection. The project is expected to be completed in two years.