BALASORE:It has been seven years since construction of 88-km Anandapur-Bhadrak-Chandbali (ABC) road was started but only around 40 per cent of work has been completed so far. Besides, work order for some portions of the road are yet to be handed over to construction company, Isolux Infrastructure, by Roads and Buildings (R&B) division.
Work on the ABC road, a part of State Highway 9, that passes through Bhadrak and Keonjhar, was commenced in February 2008 and was targeted to be completed by September 2011. But, only about 27 km of bituminous surface and 0.5 km of concrete road surface have been laid due to lack of coordination between district authorities and implementing agency.
Acting on a petition, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had last year asked Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) to act as per law. On November 14 last year, the OHRC had asked the collectors of Bhadrak and Keonjhar districts to submit an inspection report. Subsequently, Bhadrak district administration constituted a committee of five members headed by Additional District Magistrate (ADM) to find out the reasons behind the delay.
In its report, the committee stated that as 22 km stretch of road was not handed over by the Chief Engineer, World Bank Project, Bhubaneswar and three writ petitions were pending in the Orissa High Court, the project was delayed.
The report recommended establishment of a stockyard at Gadi to get sand and soil in consultation with local Tehsildar and improve manpower and machinery to hasten the work.
An official of the construction agency, on condition of anonymity, said some portions of the road have not been handed over to them and work of five bridges is yet to begin. While required soil and morrum were not supplied, 41 trees on the route were yet to be felled which led to delay in the project.
Chief Engineer, World Bank Project, Bhubaneswar is to be approached for handing over the area to the existing company.
Similarly, Executive Engineer of R&B division has been asked to take immediate steps for repairing the damaged stretches. The authorities are also required to report to the District Collector every fortnight over the progress of work, the report added.
Though Keonjhar Collector was also asked to conduct a similar inquiry on the patch from Anandpur to Bhadrak and submit a report, it is yet to be filed.
Bhadrak Collector LN Mishra said 90 per cent of land for road widening has been handed over to the construction company. “After the previous company left the project, Isolux has been given the tender to complete it. They have been asked to start the work immediately and we would sort out other land acquisition related issues to hand over the left out portions soon,” he added.