.........BHUBANESWAR/MALKANGIRI: The much-hyped Gurupriya bridge in Malkangiri district suffered a jolt after three slabs slipped while being anchored on the concrete girders on Tuesday afternoon. Although no one was hurt in the incident, the mishap is likely to delay the work by at least a month or two. The bridge, a dream project of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, is slated to connect the cut-off areas of Chitrakonda reservoir.
The slabs were being anchored on the prestressed concrete (PSC) girders between pier 10 and 11 when the mishap took place. It also led to tilting of the girders. While construction of the three PSC girders was completed, the cross girders connecting the main girders have not yet been cast and work was going on.
Although labourers were present when the work was underway, no casualty or injury has been reported. Kolkata-based Royal Infra Construction, which is executing the project, claimed that tilting of the girders were caused by heavy wind pressure. Project Manager Niranjan Kumar said the incident may have caused a loss of `18 lakh.
Works Secretary Nalini Kanta Pradhan said, there is no report of any structural damage but the incident may delay the work. “We have asked the company to clear the area and resume the work as soon as possible,” he added.
This is the second such incident since the commencement of the construction of Gurupriya bridge by the Kolkata-based company in 2015. Four piles between piers 12 and 13 located in the deep water zone had tilted last year forcing the State Government to redesign the piles. The Works Department has assigned the supervision work of the bridge to Architechno Consultants Private Limited which has undertaken the work since December 29, 2015.
The `172 crores mega project over river Janbai measures 910 meters in length and comprises a 1,200-metre approach road on Papermetla side of the bridge. Given the Maoist stronghold of the area, the project remained stuck for several years. It is now being executed under the vigil of Border Security Force (BSF) which has a camp office there.
Once it is completed, the bridge would provide connectivity to the cut-off area housing 25,000 tribals living in 151 villages. The foundation stone for the bridge was laid in 1982 by the then chief minister JB Patnaik and again by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in 2000.