BONAI(SUNDARGARH) : The wait for direct road connectivity to the Bonai sub-divisional headquarters in Sundargarh district seems to have no early end.
Amid whimsical work execution, the Lalei bridge project, being carried out at a cost of ` 30 crore, is running well behind schedule.
The Brahmani river divides a host of gram panchayats (GPs) of the Bonai and adjacent Lahunipara blocks from the sub-divisional headquarters as thousands of villagers still have to rely on age old methods of communication. During rainy season boat services come to their rescue. Rest of the year, they depend on a makeshift bamboo bridge.
Madan Mohan Mahanta, a villager of Brahmanga, said at times they remain cut off for days when the Brahmani is in spate. “During emergency situations, we have to take an alternative route, involving an additional 25 km, to reach Bonai. The bridge is an immediate necessity here,” he said. On completion, the bridge would come as a lifeline for the sub-division. It would be the shortest distance between NH-143 and SH-10(A) to benefit nearly 80,000 people of 20 GPs.
Sources said after years of wait the long-standing demand found favour with the government and the work began in 2009. However, no proper attention was given to it after that. Public Works Department (PWD) Executive Engineer U C Mishra claimed 40 per cent works had been completed.
He added that although the project was to be completed last year, the deadline has been extended to September 2013. He attributed the delay to land acquisition issues for construction of approach roads. Sundargarh Collector Rupa Roshan Sahu said she would review the work progress to ensure its completion as per schedule.