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Protest to push for Kharkai link

Inordinate delay in throwing the second Kharkai bridge open to public has prompted NGO Jan Kalyan Morcha to announce a massive agitation on December 13.

The Morcha, which played an instrumental role in construction of the bridge over river Kharkai, will organise a maha dharna near the site to mount pressure on the state road construction department to complete the project soon. The decision was taken at a meeting of the NGO’s executives in Adityapur on Sunday.

Members of all political parties, including BJP, Congress and JVM, will take part in the dharna, declared president of the Morcha Om Prakash. “After a prolonged agitation by Jan Kalyan Morcha, the state government agreed to build the bridge in 2007. The project was supposed to be completed by April 6, 2010. But as work could not be done within the stipulated time, the road construction department extended the deadline till March 12, 2012. However, the bridge was not ready by then,” Om Prakash said.

He added that in view of tardy pace of work, the Morcha, in July this year, sought a fresh deadline. In response to an RTI petition, executive engineer of the road construction department gave a written statement, saying that the bridge would become operational by November 30.

“We are sure that the bridge will miss its November 30 deadline too. While Bistupur-end of the approach road is yet to take shape, considerable work is left on Adityapur-end and also on surface of the bridge,” said Prakash.

The Morcha president is of the opinion that completion of the approach roads on either sides and making the bridge operational was a responsibility of the road construction department. “Unless we resume our agitation, the department will not compel the agencies involved to expedite work. We will draw up our agitation plan for the future after December 13,” he added.

Sanjay Kumar Singh, executive engineer of road construction department, confirmed that work on Bistupur-end of the approach road is yet to begin.

“Jusco has not started construction. At present, it is in the process of floating a tender. We are constantly monitoring the development,” said Singh, declining to anything more.