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Kusei bridge controversy: Police, locals scuffle

belabahali bridge

Bhubaneswar: With controversy on the proposed Kusei bridge construction on NH 215 in Belbahali area of Keonjhar district intensifying amid growing dissatisfaction of local public and administration unable to find a plausible consensus with locals, villagers on Friday protested the construction of the bridge taking the deployed police personnel to task by pelting boulders at them. To control the aggrieved mob Section 144 of CrPC has been intensified with lathi charge. As police tear gassed to disperse the irate crowd  works have been stalled.

The fresh clash between locals, police followed the latest bid by the district administration   to start construction of the proposed bridge. This was the third such attempt by the administration to go ahead with the construction after two earlier unsuccessful bids notably on June 3, July 7 last year and September 9, 2016.

District Collector N Tirumala, SP Rajesh Pandit took the ground zero situation earlier on Tuesday deploying about 20 police platoons, 30 DSPs and Inspectors and started the construction work only yesterday. Anandpur BDO and Assistant Tehsildar have been deployed as Magistrates while Anandpur Sub Collector was deployed to take stock of situation.

After briefing works continued for only two hours yesterday and till now cleaning work for the approach road from Barigaon has been completed.

It is noteworthy to mention here that the locals every now and then have always congregated to oppose the building of the bridge as per the design proposed by the technical expert committee.

They apprehend that such a step would result in flooding of the area and thus pose a risk to their lives.  The High Court meanwhile has ruled that the design made by the technical experts is OK giving green signal to the NHAI authority to go on with the work.

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