SAMBALPUR: The much-awaited bridge to connect river island of Kud Gunderpur under Dhankauda block with the mainland has finally been completed. The 450-metre bridge over Mahanadi river will connect Tulandi with Kud Gunderpur. It has been constructed at a cost of Rs 32 crore.
Kud Gunderpur gram panchayat, about 35 km from Sambalpur, comprises six villages surrounded by Mahanadi. The seven km long and two km wide island is inhabited by around 10,000 villagers. The only means of communication for the villagers to reach the mainland is by boats. A bridge to connect the river island was a long-pending demand of the villagers who are now eagerly waiting for its inauguration.
Executive Engineer of Public Works Department (PWD), Division II, Sambalpur Basistha Pattnaik said the bridge including approach roads on both sides was completed in the second week of February. Vehicles have also started plying on the bridge. He, however, said the date of its inauguration has not been fixed. “The district administration will decide the date of inauguration of the bridge soon,” Pattnaik said.
The bridge project took nearly a decade and half to see the light of the day. The Rural Development (RD) department had floated tender on 11 occasions between 2006-2007 and 2014-2015 for the bridge project but there was no response. Subsequently, the project was handed over to PWD in December, 2014 after RD department failed to attract any bidders.
Despite selection of the construction firm in December, 2015, the PWD did not enter into any agreement with it as the department was waiting for the approval of the funding agency NABARD. Chhattisgarh-based firm Uttam Construction started work on the project in December, 2016 after PWD got approval from NABARD.