Report by Kishore Dash; Rayagada: Aimed at providing connectivity to the poor rural tribal population, a 151-metre suspension bridge, the second of its kind in the state has finally come up at Chekaguda village over river Nagabali under Rayagada Block.
Signs of smiles were clearly visible on the faces of the tribal inhabitants of the area when this correspondent visited the area on Monday. About 20,000-odd tribal villagers residing in nine panchyats, on either sides of the Nagabali river, located at the outskirt of the town has certainly brought them closer to the district headquarters town. The other suspension bridge in the state is at Dhabaleswar in Cuttack district, which was built by the Works dept of Government of Odisha in 2004. However, there was no precedent of this kind of a bridge being built by the district administration in the state of Odisha, at least.
Ours long pending demand of building a permanent bridge over the river has finally brought off with the sincere efforts of Collector Nitin Bhanudas Jawale and Superintendent of Police Anoop Krishna , said Dhanurjay,a local resident. We are happy that the old bamboo bridge made by the villager's long back has been replaced with a suspension bridge, he said.
Earlier, it was a risky business to cross the river on two-wheelers. Forget about four wheelers. The bridge will undoubtedly boost the economy of the region and give scope to the farmers to bring their products to Rayagada district headquarter town and sell those at a suitable market price, said Gobardhan, another villager of Chekaguda.
While conceding the year long demands of villagers for the construction of a bridge over the river, the erection work was taken up in December 2011 and completed just within three months thereby making a record.
Designed by Karnataka based 'Bharat Grama Sethu Pratisthana' Chief Girish Bhardwaj the work was ascribed to Odisha Police Housing corporation by the district administration, which worked out the 1.19 crore estimated project. Even though the work was entrusted to Orissa Police Housing Corporation, with the aim of expediting the work, it took more than 3 months to just float the tender and further 3 to 4 months to allot the work order.
With round the clock monitoring by the Collector N.B.Jawale and Superintendent of Police Anoop Krishna the project work was executed under union Government sponsored Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for the Left Wing Extremist (LWEs) affected states with the active participation of two young entrepreneurs from Rayagada, Ravi Prasad Dora and Narin Kumandan, were persuaded by the district administration, especially SP Rayagada to participate in the execution of the project. The enthusiasm and dedication shown by these two young people was to prove to be the most crucial factor in the successful completion of the project, other than the sharing of the technology and execution support by Sri. Girish Bharadwaj.
The vision of the district administration, as said earlier is to make many such bridges, at a low cost and in a shorter span of time. With the completion of this bridge, the district administration has not only got the necessary confidence and motivation, but also the necessary capacity to take up such work in the interior areas, Collector N.B.Jawale told to this Odisha Diary Associate Editor.
It was a marriage of visions and seems like a divine intervention'.
The district administration intendeds to build capacity within the district and hence involved two young entrepreneurs of the district to execute more such projects in future. The project work has already been completed and it would be ready for public use by March 15, Jawale informed.
An annual grant of Rs 30 crore has been sanctioned to as many as 60 left-wing extremists affected Districts for infrastructure development under the IAP in the financial year 2011-12.
This project is not only a story of the execution of an engineering marvel, but also one in which the determination of the district administration was tested to its limit. This is a befitting redemption of the trust reposed by the government on its premier services and also an example to show that when the govt reposes its trust in its services and gives the necessary freedom and flexibility with the funds, it can work out wonders.