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Vijay Ghat (Bhagalpur): Irate villagers numbering hundreds today put a blockade on Bhagalpur-Madehepura road near Kadwa Milan Chak to protest against the government inactivity to complete proper road connectivity via Baba Bisu Raut bridge across river Kosi in the bordering parts of Bhagalpur.
This type of incident has now become common in Bihar particularly but it has very significance in the history of today. Bihar is celebrating the 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Champaran Satyagrah’ celebration. Ironically, the state government has virtually forgotten the plights and miseries of people in Bihar hinterlands for which Gandhi Ji once not only raised voice but also strongly advocated for development of villages.
Interestingly, the state government claims tall for developmental works but this Kosi bridge is the classic example of governmental apathy towards state’s hinterlands. Even after passing of two successive years, traffic yet not fully restored from a unfinished approach road over the bridge here.
Nitish Kumar here on May 17, 2015 inaugurated this Vijay Ghat bridge and it was an unique event as even after the opening of the bridge by the chief minister, the traffic yet not started playing on it. Reason : lack of concerned departmental coordination have compounded many problems like land acquisition for which the approach road for the bridge yet not be completed.
Even the chief minister’s programme was made success but no one including the official concerned of Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Ltd (BRPNNL) and M/s S P Singla Construction Company, the construction agency which constructed the bridge were not sanguine when the traffic could be started paying over it. Even after two years, the situation remains the same.
Nabard funding 1840 meter long Vijay Ghat bridge having four lanes along with 10.87 km approach road connecting from Naugachia zero mile on NH-31 was a dream project of Nitish Kumar who laid the foundation stone of it on July 2010. Cost of Rs 374 crore worth this bridge would not only open a new scope for a vast diara (island of Kosi) population who since long remained deprived off due to communication gap but would reduce the distance of many places like Madhepura to 50 km from 120 km from Naugachia.
Mohon Kumar Prajapati, project manager of S P Singla company which was assigned to complete the bridge along with 10.87 km long approach road, wind up the project in 2015. So no one like a technocrat is available for comment.
“Singla company had to complete construction works of the bridge within the date line of 2014 but due to land acquisition problems and problems related to land erosion, it was delayed. But some technical problems rather one could say it lack of coordination among the concerned government agencies, this mega project has yet not been completed,” pointed out local sources.
Echoing him another sources from district administration said that due to complication in land acquisitions,delay by Bihar State Electricity Board to replace of 132 KVA high tension (HT) overhead transmission wires of Purnea-Baruni supply line which passing very close on the rail over bridge (ROB) on the approach road of the bridge along with delay by the railways to supply required equipment for construction of the ROB over the railway tracks of Baruni-Katihar section of NEF railways, the approach road and heavy traffics would not start on the bridge even after its inauguration. “We are trying to play traffic through the makeshift diversion and hope after solving the problems, full-fledged traffic would be started playing on the bridge soon,” he told news5pm.
Irate villagers at Pratapnagar and Gola tola under Kadwa panchayat of Naugachia located at the border of Madhepura have stopped the construction of road connecting the bridge. Over 50 farmers who earlier received compensation for the lands for the four lane road, now demanding that their compensation should be revised.
Earlier they received the amount on agricultural lands but their lands are residential. “I spent all my money and labour for construction the pacca house, now how could I allow to demolish it for the proposed four lane?” Arjun Yadav, a native of Panchgachia pointed out.
Despite tall claims by the district administration, no progress yet been taken place in settling the land row with local inhabitants.
Apart from the land acquisition problem, the 132 KVA high tension wires passing over the ROB, has compounded the problem of completing the approach road. “ After construction of the ROB, the live HT wires come very close to the site and since within 4.5 meters of the live HT wires it has an effective magnetic field, no construction work could now be possible without removing it or without raising its from its present height,” said a source.
The source also said that railways has been assuring in suppling the required materials for last two years so that the concrete working could be done to complete the ROB soon, but nothing has happened. “We operate the traffic through this level crossing very cautiously but during rainy times, the problem compounded and both the trains and the vehicular traffic has to take maximum risk to cross this level crossing,” told a railway employee. He further added that recent electrification on this Katihar-Baruni section, the situation turned more risky.
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