Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jun 10:
The Samjajpur railway overbridge in Odisha’s Puri may collapse at anytime if its not repaired and restored soon, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has written a letter in this regard to Puri collector.
According to sources, the overbridge, which was constructed during Nabakalebara last year, has developed cracks at many places. Besides, several portions of road over the bridge have caved in.
After getting the letter from NHAI, the Puri district administration has directed the agency to start repairing and restoration work of the bridge immediately. A meeting was held between Puri MLA and chairman of Nabakalebara Infrastructure Development Committee Maheswar Mohanty, Puri Collector Aravind Agrawal, NHAI regional officer, and officials of the company which had the contract of constructing the overbridge.
Keeping in view the upcoming Snana Yatra, the district administration has directed to complete the repairing work within June 30, sources said.
“The NHAI has sought a time of 15 days to complete the repairing work. We are concerned about finishing the restoration work ahead of Rath Yatra. The Puri Collector has discussed the matter with NHAI chairman, regional officer, project director,” said Maheswar Mohanty.
“The NHAI has “promised” the Chief Secretary to complete the repairing work well before Rath Yatra. The soil at the bridge has caved in and it would be raised through jack and then concreted. As of now, small vehicles will be allowed to ply over the bridge and heavy vehicles will be allowed once the repairing work is over,” said Works Department secretary Nalinikanta Pradhan.
Puri Collector Aravind Agrawal and SP Sarthak Sarangi today visited the spot in the presence of NHAI technical manager Sanjay Channa. The NHAI was asked to construct an alternative road through which vehicles will ply from tomorrow, sources said.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Prasad Harichandan also went to the spot. “This is not just corruption, this is mega corruption of the decade. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is responsible for the corruption as he was monitoring the Nabakalebara works,” said Harichandan demanding a thorough probe into the matter.