Lathikata-Timjor high level bridge on the Brahmani river in Lathikata block under Sundargarh district is yet to be functional even after six years of the laying of foundation stone by
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. This is, as the approach road to the bridge has not been readied. About 70,000 people under 11 panchayats are suffering due to this.
Chief Minister Patnaik had laid foundation stone of the Lathikata-Timjor bridge on January 22, 2014 but the bridge was completed during April 2019. However, the approach road to the bridge has not been readied.
An agreement had been made between contractor Rajalaxmi Construction and the Rural Development Department for construction of the Lathikata-Timjor bridge and the approach road at an estimated cost of Rs 22,55,076 crore. The agreement was made for construction of 612 meter length high level bridge and approach road of 500 meter length in left side and approach road of 800 meter in right side. The approach road has not yet been constructed because land acquisition could not be done.
There are 18 panchayats under Lathikata block. On one side of Lathikata block there are seven panchayats and on the other, there are 11 panchayats and in between, there is the Brahmani river. On one side of Lathikata block, there are Lathikata block office, Tehsil office, market and some other essential offices, on other side of block, there are Birkera, Tainsor, Garjan, Bada Dalki, Birda, Jadakudar, Balanda, Lungei, Jhartarang, Kalunga and Chikatmati panchayat and about 70,000 people of these 11 panchayats are facing severe difficulties because the bridge has not yet functioned due to the problems in construction of the approach road. While the water level is low in the river, they cross the river through wooden bridge in unsafe condition and when the water level is high, they also use boat to cross the river to reach the other side of river for their work.
“We have not been able to construct the approach road because we were not provided land for construction of approach road of 1,300 meter length as the land acquisition for had not been done. The concerned authorities have started land acquisition process and we hope the land acquisition will be completed soon and thereafter we will start construction work of approach road," said Supervisor, Rajalaxmi Construction, Amiya Panda.
“Total 23 plots are required for 1300 meter length construction of approach road to the bridge. We have already started acquiring land and the construction work of the approach road will be completed by May 2020," said Executive Engineer, Rural Development Department, Rourkela, Sushil Samantaray.