Orissa government is planning to construct Bailey bridges to connect inaccessible hamlets in hilly terrains of tribal-dominated Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput (KBK) districts which remain cut-off during the rainy season. The Bailey bridge,a portable,pre-fabricated steel bridge,was developed during World War II for military use.
Last month,state SC/ST development department wrote to the collectors of Kalahandi,Nabrangpur,Malkangiri,Koraput,Rayagada,Kandhamal and Gajapati seeking the number of Bailey bridges required in each district. State SC/ST development secretary Santosh Sarangi said the government preferred such bridges as construction of conventional bridge is not feasible in several parts of these districts.
During the rainy season these habitations remain cut-off and provision of health facilities,movement of mobile health unit,availability of PDS material get adversely affected. For example,in Kalahandi district,blocks like Lanjigarh and Thuamul Rampur remain inaccessible during Monsoon. Once we get the details of the total requirement from the district collectors we would move the planning and coordination department about the necessary budget, Sarangi said.
The span of each such bridge would be between 40 to 300-feet with load-carrying capacity of 30-70 tonne. The bridges can take between 45 days to 2 months to install and can cost between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 2 crore. Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers ,a central government undertaking under the Ministry of Defence,will construct the bridges.
The state government has already constructed handful of such bridges. In Maoist-affected Kandhamal district,two Bailey bridges have come up.