PONDA: The new Khandepar bridge, which was opened recently for public is sadly being used for programmes hosted by political parties.
Displaying complete misuse of power, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) – Ponda has organised a series of Christmas celebration programmes on the newly-inaugurated Khandepar bridge, which is part of National Highway. These entertainment programmes are being held since December 22 and will end on December 25 according to a pamphlet printed by MGP-Ponda.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), however, is unaware of any such programmes being conducted on the bridge.
Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, which is an ally of the BJP-led government in the state, is being criticised across the social media for using government property for a political party’s programme, while locals have expressed shock over such an event being hosted on a National Highway bridge.
“It’s complete misuse of power wherein party of PWD Minister Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar is using public bridge for private functions and no one is daring to raise voice against it,” expressed a local from Khandepar. “Work on the approach road to the bridge is yet to be completed and the one-way traffic on the bridge is allowed through a service road which is causing a lot of hardship to people. However, without giving much consideration to this issue, the bridge was inaugurated in a hurry and now MGP has organised entertainment programmes on it,” expressed another local from Opa.
During a spot visit to the bridge, this reporter noted a huge stage in the middle of the bridge and entertainment programmes were going on. As per the information, the stage set up and the illumination done for the bridge inauguration function are being used by the MGP for its Christmas programmes being held on the bridge.
When PWD’s principal chief engineer Uttam Parsekar was contacted, he said that he was unaware of any such programmes taking place on the bridge. PWD’s assistant engineer Dattaprasad Kamat said that he was unaware of any permission being given to organise programmes on the bridge.
People have taken to social media to criticise the political party. Some are questioning the purpose behind opening of the bridge while others have stated that they too wish to ‘book’ the bridge for some events.
Meanwhile, the Khandepar bridge, which was opened for one-way traffic on Saturday, has been closed for heavy vehicles, as they are encountering a problem while approaching the service road. Also, some accidents have been reported at the Opa Khandepar junction in the last two days. This has resulted in congestion on the old bridge.
It should be noted that though PWD has opened the new Khandepar bridge for the public, work on its approach road connecting the bridge to the Keriya Khandepar stretch of the road from Opa junction is yet to be completed. Due to some land acquisition problem, PWD has not completed the approach road for one end of the bridge and traffic is being diverted through service roads.