Bhubaneswar: This sounds too good to be true. City commuters are heaving a sigh of relief that six years, five deadlines and three mishap scares later, the much-awaited Bomikhal flyover connecting Rasulgarh, Bomikhal and Saheed Nagar, will be finally open for the public by February 15.
The Public Works Department (PWD) is giving the final touches to the structure.
Once inaugurated, the flyover will open three-way traffic, connecting people from Rasulgarh to Saheed Nagar to Bomikhal. It will ease traffic burden on the busy Puri-Cuttack state highway and be a saviour for those who wait for hours at Saheed Nagar railway crossing.
“The construction near the drainage line of Bomikhal took a little more time. The bitumen laying work is still going on. We are also testing the street lights. Pavement work is underway along with creation of footpaths,” said PWD Chief Engineer (Roads) O.P. Patel.
Patel said that workers are on the job round-the-clock and will complete their part of work by February 10. “We are planning to take over the flyover most probably after February 10 and are considering opening the facility before February 15,” the Chief Engineer added.
The PWD along with East Coast Railways (ECoR) had taken up the project in 2013. Two major mishaps claiming two lives at the flyover site cast a black shadow on the history of the project execution.
The PWD and ECoR signed an agreement to execute the project in 2008-09. The work started in 2012-13 with a deadline of 2015-16. However, land acquisition problems on the Saheed Nagar side and an extension plan on Bomikhal side delayed the project. It got a fresh deadline of 2016-17, but due to two back to back mishaps, it was delayed once again.
# First deadline – March 2015
# Second deadline – August 2016
# Third deadline was March, 2017 after extension towards Bomikhal was planned
# Fourth deadline – November 2017
# Fresh deadline – October 2018
On September 10, 2017, a 10-meter-wide slab fell off the flyover leaving a person dead and several others injured. The state government suspended an executive engineer, an SDO and a junior engineer of the works department for gross negligence of duty. On October 10, 2017, the government blacklisted Panda Infra Pvt Ltd, the executor of the project, holding the agency responsible for the mishap. On the night of May 3, 2018, in another mishap, a retain wall of the flyover collapsed, leaves one dead and four injured. It was then that PWD was entrusted with the work.
The flyover has 20 pillars on Bomikhal side, 16 pillars on Rasulgarh side and another 18 pillars on Saheed Nagar side. The authorities have also installed LED streetlights, both on the flyover but also on the approach roads down the lane.