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Bokaro ire over incomplete bridge

Bokaro residents took to the streets on Sunday to demand restarting of work on the 102m bridge over river Garga.

Led by JVM district president Jaidev Rai, the residents put up a road blockade near the incomplete bridge for four hours — from 8am to noon.

The agitated residents demanded immediate restarting of stalled construction work. The blockade was lifted around noon after the arrival of Chas SDO Sanjay Singh. The SDO spoke to Bokaro MLA Samresh Singh and promised to discuss the issue with National Highway Authority of India officials and road construction department officials.

The blockade started when more than 200 people led by Rai arrived near the under-construction bridge and sat on the road, disrupting vehicular traffic on NH-23.

A large number of policemen led by officer in-charge of Bokaro steel city police station Ramod Narayan Singh and officer in-charge of Chas police station Gautam Singh tried to talk to the agitators, but in vain. The protesters were adamant in their demand for concrete assurance that work would resume immediately.

Samresh Singh arrived at the spot around 11am and threw his weight behind the residents by joining the dharna.

Later, senior officials of the district administration led by the SDO also arrived at the spot and held talks with agitators, following which the blockade was withdrawn.

Rai said NHAI stopped construction work in the first week of February this year. “The bridge is the only link between Bokaro steel city and Chas and people will be affected if the bridge is not ready soon,” he said.

Notably, construction of the bridge began on November 6, 2010 with an estimate of Rs 3.58 crore. However, due to several reasons like changes in the design of the bridge several times, the work stalled for several months and the deadline of November 5, 2012 could not be met.