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Newly opened floating sea bridge breaks part in Vizag, officials claim ‘mock drill’

Newly opened floating sea bridge breaks part in Vizag, officials claim ‘mock drill’

Visakhapatnam: With the images and video clips of Andhra Pradesh's first floating sea bridge disintegrating into three pieces turned viral on social media leading to spread panic among the people putting the officials on a sticky wicket.

Meanwhile, the presence of a floating structure at a crowded beach spot of the city has made it a popular venue for clicking selfies mainly among the youngsters and tourists visiting the city. The facility was developed at a cost of Rs.1.6 crore by Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) to fulfil the increasing demand from the hospitality industry for developing add-on facilities to attract more number of tourists to Visakhapatnam. It is replication of a similar project at Thrissur in Kerala.

However, the breaking away of the floating bridge a day after its inauguration paved the way for a clarification by VMRDA, which said as part of a 'mock drill' they had to disintegrate. The official said the floating bridge will be disconnected from the main link whenever the tidal waves are strong.

The issue turned political when local TDP leaders in postings made in microblogging sites blamed the YSRCP government for inaugurating the bridge on the beach road where the state of the sea is rough and turbulent most of the time. Their contention was strongly denied by Gudivada Amarnath, who alleged that the yellow brigade instead of lauding good efforts to promote brand Vizag are trying to dent the image of the City of Destiny. District Collector and VMRDA Commissioner A Mallikarjuna said the inauguration of the bridge was delayed due to currents and choppy sea. He said, "These claims circulating on social media with photos of the gap between the bridge and the viewpoint are completely false and founded." The T-Junction viewpoint was removed as part of routine maintenance drill. VMRDA officials said it will be open to the public whenever the conditions in the sea improve. All safety precautions are being taken when tourists are allowed to enjoy the scenic view of the sea. The sea bridge was first proposed near Tenneti Park where M.V. Maa, a Bangladeshi cargo ship ran aground during cycloning weather.

Santosh Patnaik
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