Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday requested Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari for personal intervention to direct the NHAI to immediately take up construction of the second bridge over Brahmani River or allow the State Government to construct the six lane bridge near Panposh of Sundargarh district as a standalone project in the larger interest of the public.
The bridge is yet to be started by NHAI despite repeated requests, Naveen said in a letter to Gadkari and added that the unusual delay in commencement of the project work may result in a disaster.
Referring to the two earlier letters he wrote to Gadkari in this regard on December 2, 2014 and May 24, 2017, the Chief Minister reminded the Union Minister about the urgency of its construction.
“The existing old narrow two lane bridge over river Brahmani on the NH 143, located near Panposh, connecting Biramitrapur and Barkote is in a distressed condition,” Naveen said and added, “This road is the economic lifeline of this part of the State and caters to heavy mining and commercial traffic.”
Meanwhile, a war of words ensued between the BJD and BJP after Naveen yesterday’s announcement that the State Government will take up construction of the second bridge on river Brahmani.
Criticising Naveen for politicising the issue, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said funds have already been allotted for the project and the NHAI has already issued tenders.