SAMBALPUR : Construction of the much-awaited high-level bridge over river Mahanadi to connect river island, Kud Gunderpur under Dhankauda block, with the mainland in the district has started.
Sub-Divisional Officer of Burla PWD, Bankim Panda said a Chhattisgarh-based firm, Uttam Construction, which was selected to execute the work, has started preliminary work of the bridge. The department has set a target to complete the bridge within two years, he said.
Despite selection of the construction firm in December last year, the PWD did not enter into any agreement with it as an approval of the funding agency, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), was awaited.
The estimated cost of the project is `32 crore and the 450-metre long bridge over river Mahanadi will connect Tulandi in mainland with Kud Gunderpur.
Earlier, Rural Development Department had floated tender for the work 11 times between 2006-2007 and 2014-2015 but there was no response. Subsequently, the project was handed over to the PWD in December, 2014 after Rural Development Department failed to attract any bidders.
Kud Gunderpur gram panchayat, located about 35 kms from here, is situated inside the river Mahanadi and one has to take a boat ride to reach the village. The panchayat comprises six villages - Kud Gunderpur, Kud Tabda, Kud Jampali, Kud Amlipali, Kud Mahada and Kud Patakhai - and the villagers continue to suffer with country boats being the only medium of communication.
The river island measuring seven kms long and two kms wide is inhabited by around 10,000 villagers. Prabhanjan Purohit, a resident of Kud Gunderpur, said bridge to connect the river island was a long pending demand and once the bridge is completed all their problems would come to an end.