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Congress takes jibe at BJP; holds Parimal Suklabaidya responsible for the miserable condition of new Sadarghat Bridge

The bridge that connected BJP’s “development manifesto” to common people has almost lost its bearings. The approach to the new Sadarghat Bridge inaugurated early March 2019 is in a miserable condition. Potholes, bumps, and splashes from the puddles welcome people to Silchar as the bridge connects Mahasadak and Airport with the city.

Before general elections to Lok Sabha last year, on March 2, chief minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the bridge. The engineers working on the bridge said they had to “rush their work” as the inauguration was lined up suddenly.

The rash-rush became evident on March 23, just a few days after the inauguration. The bridge was shut by the engineers as they had to do some urgent renovation. Images of cracks on the newly built bridge started going viral on social media. Immediately, the engineers drew a renovation plan and workers got on the action.

Our correspondent spoke to the contractor in charge of the renovation work who wished not to be named. Back then, he had said, “The bridge is fine. This issue is with the approach of the bridge. After taking stock of the situation we analysed that this small issue at the approach of the bridge needs immediate attention and thus this renovation work.”

Image of the repair work going on: Date March 23, 2019, just

On July 1, 2019, a big ‘No Entry’ board obstructed vehicles from plying on the new Sadarghat Bridge. It was another episode of “work in progress.” When Barak Bulletin’s correspondent reached out to the contractor in charge of the renovation, he said, “Since the work of the bridge was completed in a hurry it couldn’t be finished in a proper way. Bitumin layer was not properly applied and thus the wear and tear.”

No Entry board obstructing vehicles from plying on the bridge.

After a few heavy showers, in August 2020, the approach of the bridge towards Silchar has again lost its bearing. “The bridge which was sanctioned by the Congress government is in a miserable condition. While BJP was prompt to take credit for the work done by Congress, why are they missing now when it comes to taking responsibility for the miserable condition of both the approaches,” Abhijit Paul, general secretary of district Congress Committee, took a jibe at the party in government.

He added, “Parimal Suklabaidya was the PWD Minister of Assam when the bridge was inaugurated. Where is he now? What kind of work did his department do, that the bridge is in such a condition in just a year after the inauguration? Why is he not taking responsibility for the trouble people are facing?”

Paul termed the condition of the approach as risky at best and deadly at worst. “Many accidents will occur in this approach because of its miserable condition. It is time that the BJP takes responsibility and looks into the matter.”

Approach to the new Sadarghat Bridge as it looks today

Construction company D2S infrastructures had bagged the contract of this Rs 67 crore project after responding to Government’s invitation to tender in 2014. In an interview to Barak Bulletin, D2S infrastructure executive had said that they believe they have done a good job, “We have planned it to work smoothly for 100 years. But taking into consideration the wear and tear caused due to natural calamities, 70 years is a good number. But I must also add that the yearly maintenance is important for a good run of any construction,” the chairman of the construction company had said in an interaction with Barak Bulletin. (Read: The Making Of Sadarghat Bridge – Standing Tall Against The Flow).

While the political blame game has begun, what measures the PWD department takes as damage control, remains to be seen.

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