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Dispur rejects bridge over Barak
- Dispute over site of construction, costs likely to go up

Silchar, Aug. 3: Dispur has rejected a scheme mooted earlier by the DoNER ministry to set up a Rs 16.83-crore road bridge over the Barak, the state’s second biggest river system, on the northeast fringe of Madhuramukh in this town.

The minister of state in the Union ministry of surface transport and national highways, Jitin Prasad, said this in Lok Sabha yesterday in reply to a question by BJP MP from Silchar, Kabindra Purakayastha, who wanted to know about the fate of project.

The road bridge project over the Barak was prepared in 2008. Senior PWD officials said the original cost of this bridge would be doubled by now, with the high price of construction materials.

They said if it had been built at least three years back, it would have been the fourth road bridge over the Barak in Cachar district.

Cachar district administration sources said the state government was considering a proposal to build a bridge over the Barak at Tarapur locality near Annapurna temple which links a vast area, including the farmlands both in Borkhola and Udderband blocks in Cachar district.

Former Union minister Sontosh Mohan Dev today admitted that there was an ego tussle between him and Purakayastha, over the construction site of this bridge.

Dev said he had pushed for this road bridge sited at Annapurna ghat on the western flank of this town, as it would have provided better access to those living in Dudpatil village on the northern bank of the Barak.

Purakayastha, on the other hand, wanted it built at Madhuraghat, as that would provide better access to the eastern part of the Dudpatil village which has at least two tea gardens.

Dev, said over phone in New Delhi today that the bridge at Annapurna ghat would be “more comfortable” for the people of Dudpatil, as it would be helpful for the entire village, rather than providing access to a part of the village, having a population of only around 12,000.

Purakayastha was not available for comment.

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