ROURKELA: The much-needed high-level bridge over Koel river to connect Rourkela city with Kuanrmunda block of Sundargarh district is slated to be completed by end of next year. Alongside, feasibility study for another bridge at the same destination is underway.
The ongoing project on the north-west end is set to connect Jamunanaki of Kuanrmunda and Pradhanpali of Rourkela and cut down distance between the two industrial belts by 15 km benefitting the tribal population including farmers and daily labourers. This would act as the third gateway to Rourkela after the existing old Brahmani bridge on NH-143 at Panposh and under-construction second bridge on the western end.
Approved under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF), the first tender for Koel river bridge was cancelled for technical reasons during May 2019 and fresh tender finalised during mid-2021 with an estimated cost of about Rs 28 crore.
Meanwhile, residents of Luakera near Sector-14 of Rourkela have urged the administration for another bridge on Koel river to connect Kuanrmunda. This assumes significance with a new industrial estate coming up in the block and the State government also focusing further on promotion of industries, agriculture and its allied sectors in Kuanrmunda and adjacent Nuagaon blocks.
Works department Superintendent Engineer (SE) Manoj Mahananda said 30 per cent work on the bridge has been completed and the remaining will be done by December next year.
With connectivity still remaining a major hurdle, bridges on Koel and Brahmani rivers will go a long way in urbanisation, said Pravin Garg, president of Rourkela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI).