Sunderbans Development Minister Manturam Pakhira said a detail project report (DPR) has already been prepared with the help of experts. The DPR has been submitted to the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He said that it is one of the many initiatives to further improve the connectivity of Sunderbans with the state’s mainland.
In the past five years, various initiatives were taken to improve the basic infrastructure of the area and people in the area have witnessed an overall development, starting from construction of concrete roads to electrification of villages.
The bridge that will connect Godkhali and Gosaba will be around 2 km long and as per the DPR it will come up at a cost of Rs 208 crore. Construction of the bridge had been a long standing demand of the people in the area as it would give a boost to the tourism sector. At the same time, people from the Sunderbans can easily reach the mainland at anytime without facing any trouble.
The travelling time from Kolkata to the remotest parts of Sunderbans will reduce to half with the construction of the bridge.
At present, a person who wishes to come to Sunderbans from Kolkata can easily reach Godkhali by road via Basanti Highway. But the journey becomes slightly difficult and hectic from Godkhali, as people need to cross river Bidyadhari by a vessel or a boat to reach Gosaba.
The vessel service depends on level of water in the river, which becomes more difficult after dusk. It takes around three and a half hours to reach to the destination. There are two other routes to reach Sunderbans, but the one via Godkhali is considered the shortest.
With the setting up of the bridge, one will need just an hour and 45 minutes to reach the remotest part of Sunderbans. It may be mentioned that construction of a bridge at Lalgarh has changed the life of people. Countless people died from snake bite, during monsoon, while travelling to Jhagram. But the bridge has not only made transportation safe and easy, it has also contributed to improving the quality of lives of the residents of the area.
The people of Sunderbans, who get cut off from the mainland after dusk as vessels do not ply, are also expecting the same. The work to construct some more bridges in Sunderbans is going on and after completion of all the projects more tourists will start pouring into the land of mangroves.
At the same time, residents of those areas do not have to toil at all to reach the city either for medical treatment or other purposes.
A meeting is scheduled on Friday between all MLAs from the area where the matter of further improving the connectivity will be taken up.