ROURKELA: Even as the proposal of a suspension bridge over river Brahmani to connect the Vedvyas temple complex with mainland continues to hang fire for last six years, a makeshift bamboo bridge is laid every year during the Shivratri to shorten the distance for devotees.
The proposal was approved twice by the project level committee of the Panposh Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) but is yet to be implemented.
The bridge was to connect Veddvyas temple complex with the Hadpoka ghat at Panposh and reduce the distance by 400 metre. It was to be designed on the lines of the one at Dhabaleswar pitha in Cuttack district.
Currently, people have to cover four km by road to reach the Vedvyas temple located at the confluence of Brahmani, Koel and Sankha rivers. The project was also aimed at increasing tourist flow to the temple.
An amount of Rs 10 crore was sanctioned by Sundargarh MP Jual Oram during his tenure as the Union Tribal Affairs Minister in 2014-15.
The ITDA project level committee had approved the bridge proposal and estimated its cost to about Rs 13 crore and it suggested for diversion of required fund to the bridge project.
Accordingly, the district administration in December 2015 sought approval of the ST & SC Development, Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare Department.
Oram’s representative Ramesh Agarwal claimed that the State Government put spanner on the project and instructed the ITDA not to spend funds of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MTA) for areas under Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) limits as the money is meant for development of backward tribal areas. Agarwal said since then the entire amount is lying idle unused.
Again in April 2018, the ITDA project level committee unanimously approved the bridge proposal and the project administrator of ITDA sought fresh approval.
Rourkela MLA Sarada Prasad Nayak said the allotment of funds by the MTA was not proper and fund diversion to RMC areas would have met with opposition by tribal outfits. He added that the BJP is accusing the BJD of delaying the project for political gains.
The hanging bridge project was sanctioned in 2015 and it aimed at reducing distance to Vedvyas from mainland
BJD, BJP resort to blame game over non-utilisation of funds for the project
An amount of Rs 10 crore was sanctioned by Sundargarh MP Jual Oram during his tenure as the Union Tribal Affairs Minister in 2014-15. But State did not utlise it