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Thursday, July 25, 2024

After a 2-Year Pause, Agonda Bridge Project Resumes with Multiple Contractors

Following a two-year hiatus, the Public Works Department (PWD) has resumed work on the incomplete Agonda bridge project, deploying three different contractors for the pending tasks. The 14.6-meter culvert bridge, left unfinished by the PWD, is now seeing renewed activity.

A JCB machine has been employed since Saturday to excavate the river bank, focusing on constructing the wing walls—an essential component of the incomplete bridge. The remaining major tasks include the construction of approach roads and the installation of railings, aspects that were neglected by the PWD nearly two years ago.

Completion Challenges Faced by the Initial Contractor:

The original bridge contractor had successfully constructed the 14.60-meter 2-box culvert bridge, surpassing the initially planned 12 meters. However, only two out of the required four wing walls were partially erected on one side. The contractor moved machinery without completing approach roads or railings after the sanctioned funds of ₹62.6 lakh were exhausted by June of the previous year.

The contractor cited ill-design and PWD’s failure to address shortcomings in obtaining sanctions as reasons for incomplete work. The contractor had informed the PWD to secure additional funds for project completion, but work was halted without provisions for pedestrians, leaving the link between Parvem and Dhavalkhazan inaccessible.

Residents faced difficulties, prompting mud dumping on either side of the bridge for pedestrian use. Some motorists, however, risked danger by driving on the mud. The issue was raised at the Gram Sabha, attended by MLA Ramesh Tawadkar, who pledged immediate completion.

Current Progress and Contractors Involved:

Three contractors are now engaged in the project. One is working on erecting the four wing walls, employing a JCB machine. Another contractor is responsible for constructing the approach road, while details about the third contractor handling railings remain unclear.

The bridge, vital for connecting the village’s northern side, falls under the jurisdiction of two panchayat members. Both are actively working to complete the project, recognizing its importance for tourism activities in the coastal village.

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