Paucity of funds hits construction of Bogibeel project connecting road

A Correspondent
Dibrugarh, June 14: Despite the news of the Bogibeel bridge getting ready for use by October 2018, doing the rounds, it appears highly unlikely that the bridge will be able to serve the real purpose it has been constructed for. The good news is that the bridge, true to the recent reports, will be complete by October in all likelihood, but the road which connects the Bogibeel bridge with NH-37 lies unfinished, thereby casting doubts on whether the public will be able to use it immediately after its opening.

The approach road, named Dibrugarh-Bogibeel Connecting Road, starts right next from Sukapha Bhavan on NH-37 and stretches along a distance of around 8 km before joining the Bogibeel bridge. Although approximately 6 km of the connecting road has already been completed, construction work on the remaining portion has been lying in a state of abeyance for the past three months due to the paucity of funds. A 150-metre long over-bridge is yet to be constructed on the road without which the remaining portion of the connecting road will be far from complete.
As per sources, the first contract for the road, when floated around three years back, was awarded to Bhagya Kalita, who managed to construct the road up to a length of 6 km. After that, for reasons best known to the authorities concerned, Kalita was asked to walk out, and fresh bids were invited for the remaining part of the total length, that is to say, 2 km. Bids came from Badri Rai Construction, Duliajan and K.K.M.B. (JV), Dibrugarh, of which, the latter was awarded the fresh contract under order number NHR – 25/2017/147 dated 05/12/2017. As per the site engineer, whom The Sentinel got in touch with, the company had started its work on October, 2017, and already completed constructing around 75 per cent of the said over-bridge after pumping in an amount of Rs 15 crore. The project has been halted ever since then as the construction company did not receive any amount till now from the Union government for the initial investment it made, the engineer said. He, however, maintained that if the Centre released funds for the purpose, the 2 km length of the road, including the over-bridge, could be completed in another four to five months.

It is surprising that the Centre, on the one hand is showcasing its unwavering commitment towards the Bogibeel project but not delivering on it on the other. If the Centre does not release the required funds for the connecting road immediately, the Bogibeel bridge, even after getting complete by October, 2018, will be of no use for the public, and for the country, at large.