Staff Reporter

Sub-Collector rushes to the site

The new bridge was being constructed on NH 5

Use of low-quality material alleged

BERHAMPUR: A large portion of the new bridge under construction on the Rushikulya river on the NH 5 near Ganjam town in Ganjam district collapsed on Saturday afternoon.

The construction work collapsed at around 4.30 pm during a stormy shower that hit the area.

But the river bed was almost dry when the structure caved in.

Around two hundred meters of the bridge that had been put on the pillars suddenly collapsed. Luckily no one at the construction site was injured.

Chatrapur Sub-Collector Ajit Mishra rushed to the site to inspect the mishap. A team of engineers from the National Highway Authority is also reaching the spot at night to investigate.

As the collapse of the bridge had also snapped power supply to the work site it was not possible to make any inspection to assess the total loss in the darkness, said Mr Mishra.

The new bridge was being constructed on the NH 5 under the golden quadrilateral project which is greatly delayed in Ganjam district.

A Hyderabad based firm had earlier taken the contract to construct the bridge.

When it backed out it was taken up by a Cuttack based construction firm. From the very beginning the construction work of the bridge was faulty.

Two of the pillars constructed by the Hyderabad firm had allegedly lost their alignment.

It was alleged that faulty engineering or low-grade construction work led to this collapse of the portion of the bridge under construction.

In recent past some localities of the area had written to the NH authority with allegations that although the bridge existed too near the coast, saline sand from sea coast was being used for its construction, which might lead to corrosion of iron and steel materials used in the construction of the bridge.

They had also alleged that low-grade material was being used in the construction work. Only a detailed investigation would prove the real cause of the mishap.

But it has further delayed the golden quadrilateral project on NH 5 in Ganjam district which is also related to the progress of other projects like Gopalpur port and the SEZs attached to it.