MALKANGIRI:Demonetisation of high value currency has badly hit construction activities across the district and a mega project like Gurupriya bridge on the other side of Chitrakonda reservoir too has not been spared.
For the construction of the bridge, the executing agency heavily relies on daily wagers but post-demonetisation, the workforce has come down to 20 per cent. However, the pace of work has not been affected as Kolkata-based Royal Infraconstru Limited, which is executing the work, has been managing the show with its permanent staff and available manpower who are working 24X7.
“We are facing difficulties in paying `2.5 lakh in cash to nearly 140 labourers per week as State Bank of India (SBI) branches at Chitrakonda and Malkangiri pay only `50, 000 each a week,” said Nirajnan Kumar, Project Manager, Royal Infraconstru Limited. The daily wagers want payment in cash as they don’t have bank accounts, said Kumar.
However, after giving in writing about the weekly requirement towards labour payment, Chitrakonda branch of SBI has assured to start paying `2.5 lakh a week soon,” Kumar said, while claiming work is on in full swing despite the cash crunch.
On the other hand, the rising water level in the reservoir is obstructing pile capping and piers erection work, said sources in the Works department. While foundation of the pile cap lay at river level (RL) 452 metres, the water was flowing at RL 458.4 metres on Tuesday posing a challenge in undertaking pile capping and pier work, a department official here said, adding only 20 mm water is receding each day.
Citing a solution, he said either Balimela-based OHPC Limited has to go for more power generation or more water should be discharged from the dam to facilitate the works.
The construction work is on in full swing and project will be completed by September 2017, Works department sources here claimed, adding that 15 of the 24 piers have already been erected. Similarly, the number of total piles went up to 142 from 112 after the redesign. About 118 structures have already been set up. Of the 66 girders, construction of eight has also been completed.
Work for erection of at least 30 additional piles (P11 to P18) in the deep water zone is going on. In place of pre-stressed concrete girders, steel girders are being provided for these piles whose redesign was necessitated after the tilting of piles between P12-P13 last year. New piers are being constructed in new locations and the tilted ones have already been abandoned, the official claimed.
For the 910-metre bridge, deck slabs have been cast up to 41 metres each from Chitrakonda and Papermetla sides in the rainy season itself to maintain the pace of work.