Bridge remains unused due to non-clearance of encroachments: CAG

VIJAYAWADA: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found fault with the Panchayat Raj & Rural Development Department for constructing a bridge at Tadigadapa in Krishna district “without prior clearance of encroachments, which resulted in the bridge constructed at a cost of Rs. 64.57 lakh in June 2000 remaining unused till date.”

The CAG observed in its report for the year ending March 31, 2008, which was tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday, that the Government accorded administrative approval in April 1999 for construction of a two-way bridge across Bandar canal at 5/5 km near Tadigadapa village at an estimated cost of Rs. 87 lakh to connect four villages – Peddapulipaka, Tadigadapa, Yanamalakuduru and Chodavaram – to growth centres and market yards.

Audit scrutiny

The work was scheduled to be completed by April 2000.

But, it was observed in the audit scrutiny taken up in October 2006 and June 2008 that the bridge constructed at an expenditure of Rs. 64.57 lakh as far back as in June 2000 was not being used even as of June 2008, as the approaches to the bridge and the retaining walls were not constructed.

Though it was essential to clear the encroachments for laying the approaches to the bridge and retaining walls, this was not undertaken before the construction of the bridge. “The fact remains that the process of eviction (of encroachments) had not been started yet. This issue should have been sorted out first before undertaking the work. As this bridge could not be used, the villagers were reportedly compelled to use the existing one-way locks bridge, which was 100 years old and likely to collapse any time. Also, the objective of providing connectivity to the villages also remains unfulfilled,” the report observed.

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