Bridge over Rakti to be completed by year-end
Kolkata: With normalcy returning to the Hills, the state government has taken all necessary steps to complete construction of one of the most crucial bridges on River Rakti near Garidhura that establishes direct road connectivity between Siliguri and Mirik.
According to a senior officer of the state Public Works Department (PWD), a target has been set to complete the work by December.
It may be recalled that the bridge was washed away due to a flash flood in 2015.
The state government had undertaken repair work and it was opened, allowing vehicles to ply on it.
The bridge collapsed once again in October 2016 and the state decided to construct a new one replacing the old structure in its entirety.
The work to build the bridge had started on time and the work was going on in full swing to ensure timely completion of the project.
Almost 80 percent of the work was complete.
But the flow of the work got restricted due to the three-month-long unrest in the Hills.
Now, with normalcy returning in the area, the state government has approached the agency that had bagged the tender to build the bridge to resume work and all necessary steps to initiate construction of the remaining part in full swing have been taken up soon after Kali Puja.
With the work beginning at a time when it is expected that there will be no heavy rainfall, the state PWD officials expect that the task would be complete by the end of this year.
The official said when the bridge was washed away, vehicles had to ply an extra 25 km to reach Siliguri from Mirik and vice versa through Panighata Road via Bagdogra.
Though a temporary diversion was made to reduce the distance when the new one is under construction, the permanent bridge will be immensely helpful for residents of the area.
All sorts of vehicles will be allowed to ply on the 100-metre long bridge that is coming up at a cost of around Rs 12 crore.
The bridge is also crucial as
the road connects Simana and Ghoom via Mirik.
According to the official, it is quite a difficult task to carry out construction in such a terrain as there is heavy water current most of the time at different times of the year.
Despite such obstacles, the work is being carried out on a war footing so that it can be completed within the stipulated time period.