ROURKELA: Protesting inordinate delay in construction of second Brahmani bridge and expansion of National Highway 143, hundreds of residents of Rourkela city formed a human chain on Monday.
The protestors, led by youth leader Prakash Paswan, formed the human chain on the existing Brahmani bridge and burnt the effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan. Opposition parties BJD and Congress continued to criticise the Prime Minister, who in April 2015 had announced to complete NH-143 expansion and upgrade the Ispat General Hospital (IGH).
The highway expansion project between Birmitrapur and Barkote was approved in 2005-06. Gammon Infrastructure, which was awarded the work order in 2011, pulled out of the project in early 2014 without making any progress. Since then, the Detailed Project Report (DPR) has been modified twice and three tenders have been cancelled. However, with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) monitoring the project, tender process is underway for the first package of around `476 crore between Birmitrapur and Rourkela, including the second six-lane bridge near Tarkera.
Reliable sources in the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) said after floating of e-tender on March 12, tender was opened on June 16 after being deferred twice. Eight bids from reputed firms have been received and they hope to finalise the bidder shortly, said the sources. Tenders for the second package for Rajamunda-Barkote and third package for Rourkela-Rajamunda close on June 22 and 27 respectively, the sources informed. Chairman, Rourkela Development Authority, Sarada Prasad Nayak said the delay in upgradation of the projects in the Lok Sabha constituency of BJP’s Cabinet Minister Jual Oram is yet another example of the Centre’s continuing neglect towards Odisha.
Defending Modi and NDA Government, Oram said earlier the plan was to four-lane the Birmirtrapur-Rajamunda stretch (around 75 km)and two-lane Rajamunda-Barkote stretch (around 50 km) with two-lane Brahmani bridge at Rourkela. But, NDA Government decided to four-lane the entire stretch of about 125 kms and six-lane the second Brahmani bridge in the larger interest of the people. The BJD should look into all-round failures of its Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, he added.
Ray writes to Modi on Brahmani dispute
Rourkela: At a time when Odisha Government is maintaining stoic silence over the looming threat to existence of major river Brahmani at its origin point, Rourkela’s BJP legislator Dilip Ray has drawn the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to it.Ray recently wrote to Modi stating that the situation is alarming with the arbitrary construction of barrages and dams by Jharkhand Government upstream of Brahmani’s two main tributaries Sankh and Koel. He said Jharkhand’s projects would spell disaster for agriculture and industrial economy besides endangering the environment of Brahmani river system. Ray claimed that Jharkhand’s present construction activities violate the National Water Policy 2012 norms and there is an urgent need for water sharing agreement between Odisha and Jharkhand. Requesting the Prime Minister to direct Jharkhand Government to share details of its ongoing and proposed hydel projects with Odisha, Ray urged Modi to directly intervene for an amicable solution to the dispute.