State

Assembly adjourned thrice over bridge construction delay

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Assembly today witnessed three consecutive adjournments over delay in construction work of a second bridge over river Brahmani near Rourkela.

The state's Parliamentary Affairs Minister B K Arukha said work of the bridge, whose foundation stone was laid by Union Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, is yet to start "even after months".

The Union minister has cited issues related to forest clearance and land acquisition as reasons behind the delay in beginning of the construction work, Arukha said.

"However, I want to inform the House that there is no requirement of forest clearance for construction of the bridge as it is not located in any forest area. This apart, there is also no delay in land acquisition issue related to bridge construction," he said.

State BJP leader K V Singhdeo denied Arukha's claim and said work is delayed due to the forest clearance and land acquisition-related issues.

The state government has not been cooperating in the bridge construction and therefore, the delay, Singhdeo alleged.

As the ruling BJD and Opposition BJP members debated on this, Congress members rushed to well of the House and demanded referring the matter to the Privilege Committee.

Later, the BJP, too, joined in the demand for the referral. Unable to run the proceeding, Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat adjourned the House thrice.

Normalcy, however, returned after Amat said he would give a ruling on the matter by the end of today's proceeding. 

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