Bhubaneswar: Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) has restored vehicular movement on 7.5 kms long Koinpur to Burkhat pass in Rayagada block of ‘Titli’-devastated Gajapati district in coastal Odisha, which also opened road access to the famous hilly tourist destination of Mahendragiri.
Heavy rains aftermath ‘Titli’ cyclone had triggered flash floods in the hilly area washing away roads, disconnecting bordering Gajapati district and Brahampur (Ganjam).
Responding immediately to the request of Odisha government, a team of officers from MCL HQs led by Mr B Sairam, General Manager (Mining/CSR) swung into action and moved to Parlakhemundi — the district headquarters of Gajapati district — on October 18, 2018 to participate in relief operations and pressed two excavators, two loader-cum-leveller, tippers and tractor trolleys into service.
The vehicular movement on the route was restored yesterday by Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India and Government of India Enterprise, which has gone beyond its core competency to assist the local administration to help reconnect rural villages with transport communication.
The MCL team, comprising officers with expertise in the fields of civil engineering, personnel and finance camped in the affected district for early restoration of road, which is now being strengthened.
“We are happy to complete work before the schools are open after Pooja holidays,” said Mr Sairam, asserting that active support of local villagers and cooperation of district administration,particularly the Rural Works Department, had helped in making the road motorable before the estimated time.
Expressing has gratitude towards MCL, Mr Santosh Kumar Bhuian of village Badmasingh in Koinpur gram panchayat said, “Restoration of road by MCL is a great help in bringing normalcy back to surrounding villages, which were devastated by the nonstop 30-hour ‘Baattiya’ (heavy wind and rain)”.
The villagers were facing great difficulties in commuting to nearest healthcare centre and marketplace, he added, adding that the calamity had led to acute shortage of grocery and kerosene in village households.
The MCL team will return after handing over road to district authorities after the road strengthening work is over.