Odisha government alert due to Morbi accident, Mahanadi Jhula bridge closed indefinitely

Many people were saddened by the Morbi accident. Taking a lesson from this Morbi accident, the Odisha government has become alert. In view of the upcoming festival, the Mahanadi river swing bridge has been closed indefinitely.

Odisha government alert due to Morbi accident, Mahanadi Jhula bridge closed indefinitely

The Odisha government has been alerted after the suspension bridge collapsed in Morbi, Gujarat. And explaining this seriousness, the Odisha government has closed the Mahanadi River Jhula bridge indefinitely. The Mahanadi river swing bridge connects the Dhableshwar Shiva temple with Athagarh in Cuttack district. Heavy traffic moves on this swing bridge. Section 144 has been imposed in the famous Dhabaleshwar temple ahead of the Bada Osha and Kartik Purnima festivals on the 7th and 8th of November. Prohibitory orders have been imposed as devotees come to the temple using the Jhula bridge and country boats, an official said. This can become a problem for the Orissa government.

Devotees from all over the state reach on the day of Kartik Purnima to have darshan of God in the ancient Shaivite temple on the island of Cuttack Mahanadi. There is a huge crowd on this day. Devotees come in large numbers to the famous Shiva temple using the Jhula bridge. For the last two years, devotees were not allowed to visit the temple in view of COVID-19. But this year more devotees are expected to visit the temple at festivals. Meanwhile, the Morbi incident took place, which raised alarm bells for the Odisha government.

The Mahanadi River Jhula Bridge was constructed in 2006. And now it has weakened. Firstly, the local administration has limited its maximum capacity from 600 persons to 200 persons at a time. Later, they decided to shut it down indefinitely.

Cuttack District Collector Bhabani Shankar said, "Keeping in view the safety of the devotees, we have imposed these restrictions in the Dhabaleshwar temple. We have installed a big LED TV near the Jhula bridge, through which the devotees can watch the rituals of Lord Dhabaleshwar in virtual mode. However, the temple priests and devotees are unhappy with the sudden decision of the local administration.

A devotee said, when the Morbi incident happened, the authority suddenly woke up and imposed Section 144, citing the weakening of the bridge. If the bridge has weakened, why didn't they repair it earlier or ensure an alternative way of communication to the temple?

Similarly, the Raigad district administration closed the bridge over the Nagbali river on September 25 this year as a precautionary measure after the bridge developed a crack. Apart from connecting several villages, the 151-metre-long suspension bridge over the Nagavali River was a tourist destination.