Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik dedicated the Gurupriya Bridge to the people

Report by Kishor Dash, Malkangiri: Bringing the dreams of water-locked cut-off region people into reality, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday dedicated the much awaited 910-meter Gurupriya Bridge in Malkangiri district to the people there amid unprecedented security cover by Border Security Forces and district police, thereby putting an end to decade long wait. Inaugurating the bridge, said to be his dream project, the Chief Minister became ecstatic and called upon the Left Wing Extremists to shun violence and join the road to development.

I appeal them to give up violence and join the mainstream. Let the Left Wing Extremists (LWEs) enter the path of progress and embrace peace, an emotional Naveen said while inaugurating the Bridge. The bridge would now bring development into the cut-off region, he said while speaking to the media soon after the he threw open the bridge for the inhabitants of the erstwhile cut-off region.

Paying homage to all those security personnel’s who sacrificed their lives for the construction of the bridge; Naveen Patnaik expressed his gratitude to all those people who involved in the building the Gurupriya bridge. “I feel it is a historic day not for Odisha but also for the rest of the nation. Now the people residing there will not know as the cut-off region. That belongs to history, now they will become the people of a development area”, the Chief Minister said while expressing his happiness over the completion of the bridge.

After inaugurating the bridge, Naveen walked on the bridge while waiving at near about 4000 people gathered at both sides of the bridge. Later, he went by a car to the other side of bridge and interacted with villagers at Janbai close to the bridge.Naveen became emotional when the crowd echoed, “Our decade long dream has finally turned into a reality due to you”.

Naveen accompanied by his private secretary V Karthikeyan Pandian flew to the Gurupriya bridge site today and landed at the BSF helipad there at around 11.10 am on Thursday and rushed to the bridge where SC & ST Development Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi, Sports & Youth Services Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera,Chitrakonda MLA Dambru Sisa,Collector Manish Agarwal, IG(Intelligence) R.K.Sharma, IG(Operation) RP.Koche, Sperintendent of Police Jagmohan Meena,BSF IG Aswini Kumar Singh, BSF DIG(Intelligence) Sukumar Sarangi were present.

While,about six platoons of security personnel’s including BSF were pressed into service to provide security to the Chief Minister during the inauguration of the bridge,the BSF personnel’s were on guard at the hills around the bridge since Tuesday due to the Maoist threat.

Later, Speaking at “Ama Gaon , Ama Bikash programme “ at the Sports stadium after inaugurating the newly constructed 7-storyed District Headquarters Hospital building ,Naveen announced a package of Rs.100 crore for the development of the erstwhile cut-off region. Now the cut-off region will be known as “Swabhiman Anchala”(Self-esteem area), the Chief Minister said.The development of Malkangiri has always become in the agenda of his Government and it would be further accelerated in the times to come,he said. Near about,50,000 people from the various parts of the district were thronged to the Sports Complex to hear the Chief Minister.

The bridge will immediately connect 26 revenue villages under Papermetla panchyat limits and 25 revenue village under Badpada panchyat. However, it will connect all the 151 villages under 10 panchyats in the region once the all the panchyats gets inter-connected after the construction of other small bridges at various locations in the region, sources said.

Dedicating Gurupriya Setu to the people, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik described the 151 cut-off villages as Swabhiman areas and announced special package of ₹100 crore to fastrack development in the region. Focus on livelihood creation, connectivity, electrification, drinking water and healthcare. Details of the package:

– Over 5 crore fish to be released in to Chitrakonda reservoir; benefit to 2,000 fishermen families
– 7 major bridges & roads from Muktiput to Jamuguda and Panasput to Jodamba
– 33/11 KV Sub-station at Badapada
– 4 Piped Water Supply projects at Badapada & Papermetla and 100 Tubewells
– Health Sub-Centres in 6 GPs

The 910 metre long #GururpriyaSetu was completed in a short span of 4 years. A symbol of peace, progress and cooperation, the bridge will become the identity and Swabhiman of Malkangiri district.

In the meanwhile the CM also called the extremists to join the mainstream for development of the region. He said, “I appeal to left wing extremists in the region to forsake violence and embrace progress that the bridge brings to the region.”

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