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BALASORE: The long wait for a railway overbridge at Soro level-crossing in the district seems to be over. The PWD authorities have submitted an estimate regarding cost of construction of the overbridge for the final approval of the Railway authorities. Sources said the PWD officials have sent an estimate of ` 60.14 crore for the construction of an 800-metre long and 11.5- metre wide overbridge. Though earlier it had sent two estimates, which were at least 40 per cent in excess than the present estimate for an 1,100-metre long overbridge, the distance was reduced and estimation cut following suggestions of the Railway officials. Junior Engineer of Soro PWD Division Naresh Singh said the final estimate was sent to the South Eastern Railway (SER) headquarters on May 16 after the chief engineer approved it. ‘’Now the railway authorities will prepare a joint estimate which includes their part of construction above the... Read more...
railway lines and send it to the Railway Board for final approval. The work will start once we get the nod,’’ he said. A railway overbridge at Soro was a long-standing demand of local people as hundreds of vehicles get stranded on either side of the level-crossing when trains pass through the route. Business activities were also curtailed due to long queue of vehicles that transport materials during the peak hours. People living east of Soro market are often deprived of basic facilities like ambulance and fire brigade in time due to the traffic snarl-ups. The Soro Nagarika Manch, which has been leading a movement for various development works in and around Soro, was also demanding construction of an overbridge at the earliest. The manch staged a rail roko several times and even met SER authorities to press for the demand. ‘’It was delayed due to the negligence of the Railway officials,’’ said manch president Narahari Nayak. The manch has also demanded inclusion of the railway line from Laxmannath to Ranital under the East Coast Railway (ECoR) division, extension of platform-4, facelift to platforms 1, 2, 3, stoppage of Rajdhani Express, extension of Kharagpur-Balasore and Bhubaneswar-Bhadrak passenger trains till Soro and proper lighting, lavatory and drinking water facilities at the platforms here. Nayak said, ‘’The revenue earned at Soro station has considerably gone up over the years. But accordingly not a single pie is being spent on the development of the railway station.’’