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26 years on, bridge remains ‘incomplete’

From Our Correspondent

TURA: Believe it or not! The Williamnagar bridge which was suppose to connect the two banks of river Simsang remain incomplete 26 years after work first began.

More interesting is the fact that the work order amounting to Rs 1.43 crore for completion of the bridge has continued to get revised due to delays and the last revised estimate was put at Rs 5.43 crore out of which Rs 4.57 crore has already been spent but the bridge remains incomplete.

Angry with the repeated delays, villagers from across the other side of the river filed an RTI which brought out glaring details about the money sanctioned, withdrawals and the little balance remaining even though the bridge is nowhere near completion.

The bridge was suppose to connect Williamnagar town through Warima locality across the river into Rongongre.

The first work order for the bridge construction was given out on March 25, 1986 estimated at Rs 1,43,65,000 but delays led to a revise of Rs 4,54,88,000,” informed villagers of Jakopgre who had filed the RTI application to know about the problem of delay.

The RTI also revealed that a second work order was given out estimated at Rs 5,43,54,000 out of which an expenditure of Rs 4,57,90,000 has already been utilized. Only Rs 85,63,300 remains.

The villagers question as to why the bridge remains incomplete after so much of money has been spent.

There are over fifty villages across the river whose people depend heavily on the completion of the bridge. During the monsoon the people from the other side suffer immensely with many lives lost due to drowning from the strong water currents. Families have lost their food items while trying to cross the river and villagers trying to bring their fruits and vegetables to Williamnagar for sale have also lost their earnings in the water. Also, hundreds of school children have lost the opportunity to appear their exams in Williamnagar because they were not able to cross over during the monsoon when the river currents are strong.

“Every time elections come round the corner the candidates promise to complete the bridge but in the end they do not fulfill their word and by the next round of elections the same assurance is given by a new batch of candidates,” said the villagers.

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