Flyover ready, road faces hurdle

Wait over at railway crossing

By Sandeep Mishra
  • Published 5.08.18
SMART PASSAGE: A panoramic view of the railway overbridge at Pokhariput in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: The public works department has finally completed construction of the Pokhariput overbridge, which would be thrown open to the public before August 10.

The project, which faced hurdles since it had begun, will connect commuters between Jagamara and Pokhariput on the one side and Sundarpada, Samantarapur and Old Town on the other.

"There were several issues with the bridge, including a court case, encroachments and a deviation in the original plan. We had steadily cleared all the hurdles and put the work on the bridge on fast track since May. Now, the work is complete except for the painting," said an official of the works department.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik laid foundation stone in August 2012. The department had taken up the project in 2013 and set a 2015 deadline for its completion. However, the bridge missed its deadline as officials faced hurdles in land acquisition. A fresh deadline was fixed for the completion in March this year, but the authorities again failed as they dropped the contractor from the project in May.

"We faced many problems in view of the delay in construction of the overbridge. They didn't provide proper alternative roads, which was a necessity. We also had to wait longer at the railway crossing. However, we hope that all the problems will be resolved after the bridge is open for use," said Jagamara resident Pabitra Jena.

Residents of Old Town area, Palaspalli, Forest Park, Gandamunda, Bhaktamadhu Nagar, Jagmohan Nagar, Jagamara and Khandagiri use this route.

The bridge has been built over the busy railway crossing near Lingaraj railway station. It has 15 pillars and is 401 metres long. Every day, more than 100 train passes through the tracks.

"We had taken up the work on our own in May and completed all civil work as of now. We are tentatively looking at August 8 to inaugurate it," said roads chief engineer Om Prakash Patel.

"It is a well-planned overbridge, but it should have been completed way earlier. However, the authorities did carry out the last part of the project fast. They constructed the connecting road between four pillars in two months," said Sundarpada resident Saransh Ojha.

The public works department and the East Coast Railway planned to construct three bridges over railway crossings at VSS Nagar, Saheed Nagar and Pokhariput. Work on all three bridges started simultaneously between 2013-14. While the one at VSS Nagar had been inaugurated in 2016, the other two were delayed because of several reasons.

"There were not many problems at VSS Nagar. However, we faced hurdles at the other two bridges. The problems for Pokhariput are resolved and it would be opened shortly. The Saheed Nagar one will take some more time, but we are trying to open it by October," said another official of the department.