JORHAT, Jan 23 � The new steel girder bridge on the Bhogdoi river in Jorhat town, the construction of which has been under way, is now scheduled to be ready in March. The State Public Works Department (PWD) has intensified the superstructure works on the bridge since the past few days.
�We have completed the foundation and substructure. Works have been intensified for the superstructure of the steel girder bridge that is modelled on the famous Howrah bridge of Kolkata,� said PWD executive engineer Nirup Kumar Bora. The new bridge, that costs over Rs 7.18 crore in the tender estimate, will measure 60 metres in length and 10.4 metres in width. According to PWD officials, the completion was delayed by three months �due to some technical reasons.� The PWD had to complete the new bridge in December last year according to the earlier estimation.
The PWD officials said that no construction could be initiated in the heart of the Bhogdoi river as the water level had not receded till autumn. �Besides, the Bhogdoi was in a spate when the foundation works were supposed to start,� said a senior official.
Along with the citizens, several organisations here staged protests against the delay in the construction of the new bridge as it was causing hardships in communication between the two banks of the river after the old RCC bridge was demolished a year ago.
�During the protests, the officials gave us assurances of early completion on many occasions. But they have continuously missed the deadline,� said AJYCP district general secretary Ritul Pathak.
Although the old bridge was dismantled owing to its weak structure, locals said that its foundation was very strong as the pillars could not be easily uprooted during the excavation. According to the residents, the Government could have spent less money and got better results if the old bridge was repaired instead of building a new one.
The two wooden bridges built beside the construction site of the Bhogdoi bridge as subways cannot allow the passage of large and medium vehicles. �We request the authorities concerned to complete the bridge as soon as possible. For the last 13 months, we have been suffering a lot. During emergencies, no ambulance can make its way from Borigaon and its adjoining areas to the Jorhat Medical College Hospital over the two wooden bridges,� said Jalil Ansari, a local businessman.