Gurupriya Bridge becomes functional, CM to inaugurate soon

KalingaTV News Network

Malkangiri: The much-awaited Gurupriya Bridge on the Gurupriya River near Chitrakonda in the district became functional on Tuesday. A special puja was also offered to mark the occasion.

However, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will inaugurate the 910-metre-long bridge in June, after completion of the approach road to the bridge.

Former Chief Minister JB Patnaik had laid the foundation stone of the bridge in 1982. Later, Naveen again laid the stone in 2000. The estimated cost of the bridge is Rs 172.58 crore.

The bridge will connect as many as 151 villages across the Balimela reservoir with the main land of Malkangiri. It will be the lifeline for more than 20,000 inhabitants of these cut-off area villages, as people have been relying on the ferry boats to visit Chitrakonda or Malkangiri for medical, marketing and other purposes.

Moreover, the bridge will help the security personnel to take on left wing extremists in the cut-off region.

Notably, several villages in the region drowned and 151 villages were cut-off from the mainland after the commencement of Balimela Hydroelectricity Project in 1960s.

In 1970, the State government provided motorboat services establishing access to these villages.

Motorboats ferry villagers along 68 km water path during daytime. Currently, 8 boats have been engaged for the government run motorboat service, but only four are in running condition, sources said.

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