Inordinate delay in works hits project which started in 2007, villagers continue to face hardships
Kumram Bheem Asifabad: It has been 14 years since work on a high level bridge across Peddavagu rivulet at Gundi village in Asifabad mandal began. Deadlines were extended several times, but the bridge is yet to be completed. The inordinate delay in completing the works continues to cause hardships for the residents of at least 10 villages in Asifabad and Wankidi mandals.
The bridge was planned to improve connectivity of Gundi, Chorpalli, Bheempur, Thattuguda, Dubbaguda, Komatiguda, Sankepalli, Komatiguda of Asifabad and Khanargaon, Chalaplaguda and Dubbuguda villages at an estimated cost of Rs 8.50 crore sanctioned by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) way back in 2007. The deadline was December, 2010.
The construction, however, was stalled due to various reasons, forcing the authorities concerned to extend the deadline till 2012. The design of the bridge was altered and cost escalated by Rs 3.85 crore the same year. The cost escalated by Rs 6.13 crore in successive years. Despite the cost escalation being accepted, the contractor stopped works in 2016. The government earmarked Rs 8.13 crore to restart the works in 2020.
So far, only four pillars have been constructed against the total seven. Many other works are still pending. A sum of Rs 3.91 crore has been spent so far, Panchayat Raj Department officials said.
“The delay in works is causing inconvenience to residents of six villages in Asifabad mandal and four villages in Wankidi mandal. Residents of Gundi, Chorpalli, Bheempur, Thattuguda, Dubbaguda, Komatiguda, Sankepalli, Komatiguda are forced to take Wankidi-Khanargaon route to reach Asifabad for various needs including medical emergencies and if Peddavagu is in spate during monsoon,” Jabari Ravinder, a local told ‘Telangana Today.’
Negligence of the executing agencies and increased project cost are being cited as reasons for the slow progress of works. “Girders and slabs need to be completed. Labour shortage caused by Covid-19 pandemic is also one of the factors that delayed the work. However, proposals have been sent to higher authorities to invite fresh tenders for the works,” Panchayat Raj in-charge Executive Engineer P Rammohan stated.
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