Railways may miss deadline to open Digha-Sonepur rail-cum-road bridge

Patna: The apathetic attitude of the state government and agitation by residents of Jalalpur village may delay the opening of Digha-Sonepur rail-cum-road bridge. The deadline to complete the construction work was to end by the end of this month.

Railways has already completed its portion of work and agreed to hand over a portion of land to the state government for building pathway for the Jalalpur residents in lieu of which railways would get land from the government of equal value. But, the state government is keeping mum over the issue for a long time, causing delay in the opening of the bridge, an ECR official said.

ECR CPRO Arvind Rajak said the railways can throw open the traffic operation on the bridge immediately after the track strengthening work is completed. “For this, railways urgently needs to unload stonechips on the site to pack railway tracks all along the bridge and its road alignment. Railways was carrying stonechips to the site by a goods train on Saturday on Phulwari-Digha route escorted by railway engineers. Unfortunately, Jalalpur villagers blocked the tracks and did not allow movement of the goods train. Thus railways was unable to unload stonechips on the site due to which it could not maintain target for opening the bridge on the schedule time,” he said.

Railway Board finance commissioner Rajalaxmi Ravikumar had inspected Digha-Sonepur rail-cum-road bridge recently and directed officials concerned to complete the project at the earliest. “Railways has completed major work on the bridge. Hardly 10% work related to track linking is left to be completed. Major work of track laying between Patliputra station and viaduct portion of the main bridge has been completed on the north end of the bridge. Girder erection work has been completed on 45 spans of the bridge viaduct and deck casting work is also complete on the bridge,” Rajak said.