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Brahmani 2nd Bridge Work Near Rourkela Only After Forest Clearance: NHAI Project Member

12 December 2017

Soumya Ranjan Sahoo

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Bhubaneswar: Amid the hullaballoo and political slugfest over the inordinate delay in the construction work of proposed second bridge over river Brahmani near the steel city of Rourkela in Sundargarh parliamentary constituency despite tender process having completed much earlier, NHAI authorities on Tuesday reiterated forest clearance first and bridge building work next.

This was informed by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Member (Project) Anand Kumar Singh after meeting Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi at the State Secretariat here on the day.

In his media reactions after his meeting with the Chief Secretary, Singh said, “Very soon everything will be in place. I’ve to check and ascertain Brahmani’s latest position.”

On being asked if the bridge construction could be taken up without forest clearance, pat came his reply, “Approval for every work is a must.”

Notably, ruling BJD at the State here and BJP at the Centre are at loggerheads over the issue.

While Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has already written letter to Union Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari complaining about the delay and has even proposed to build the second Brahmani bridge from the State funds, the Minister in his reply has complained against the delay in State’s forest clearance.

The CM has even argued that there is no need of forest clearance and land acquisition for the bridge while NHAI argues that the proposed bridge comes under a single tender and single contractor. As per the NHAI guidelines, work cannot be begun unless and until all requisite approvals have been accorded.

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Anand Kumar Singh, Member (Project), NHAI