People of the town have demanded construction of the proposed bridge over the Mahanadi near Kachery ghat instead of Sadak ghat to ease traffic.
The government has already finalized a proposal to link eight gram panchayats of Sambalpur Sadar block with the town by constructing the bridge at Sadak Ghat. This would be the shortest route.
The locals argued though Sadak ghat is not ideal for construction of the bridge, keeping expansion of the town in mind.
“Sadak ghat was an important place because people after crossing the river by boats were going to their destinations from Mundoghat located on the other side. But after the construction of Hirakud Dam and Burla bridge, Sadak ghat is hardly being used by people,” resident Fanidra Patnaik reasoned.
Sources said there are nearly 50 villages in the eight panchayats under Sambalpur Sadar block. These are separated from Sambalpur by the Mahanadi. The villagers have to cover 25 km by crossing Burla bridge to reach Sambalpur as there is no direct road communication to the town. Now as 25 villages under four panchayats namely Katapali, Chaurpur, Shenhapali and Baijamunda have been included under proposed Sambalpur corporation, people need a shortest route to reach the town, another inhabitant argued.
SDO of PWD (Sambalpur) P K Nath said the government has decided to construct the bridge in public-private partnership mode at a cost of Rs 112 crore. “Since the site to construct the bridge has already been finalized, it is now up to government to meet the demand of people.”