MALKANGIRI: A 900-metre approach road is all that is required to operationalise the bridge over river Saveri near Motu but it is not happening.
The 290-metre bridge, built as part of Vijayawada-Ranchi Corridor National Highway near Motu, was completed three months back and still awaits the approach road to connect it to the highway.
Once operational, the bridge will provide direct road link between Malkangiri and Hyderabad in Telangana and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.
The bridge would not only facilitate 24×7 inter-state bus services between Malkangiri and the two neighbouring states but also boost business in the district.
It will also help in tackling Maoists. The bridge will enable security personnel of all the three states to ensure round-the-clock inter-state patrolling to take on the Maoists.
Presently, only one private bus plies between Malkangiri and Hyderabad via Dornapal bridge in Chhattisgarh.
The travel time would be reduced considerably and one would only take 14 hours to cover a distance of 520 km from Malkangiri to Hyderabad, said Bhakta Rout, president of District Private Bus Owners’ Association.
According to sources, at least five private bus owners from Jeypore, Nabarangpur and Koraput are interested to ply buses to Hyderabad and Vijayawada via Malkangiri instead of Salur and Sunki to save time.
The state-run OSRTC buses would also ply to Hyderabad and Vijayawada once the bridge is opened.
A National Highway official based in Jeypore, Vinod Bagarti said tender for the approach road was invited before the election model code of conduct came into force but there was no participation.
A fresh tender would be floated again, he said and added that the matter is now with Bhubaneswar-based National Highway Chief Engineer’s Office. If no tender is received in the second attempt, Government would take a final call, he added.