Fed up with admin's 'laxity', Odisha villagers constructing bridge on their own

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A villager construction a bridge over nullah (Photo/ANI)
A villager construction a bridge over nullah (Photo/ANI)

Balangir (Odisha) [India], July 30 (ANI): The villagers of Kuturakend village in Titilagarh block of Balangir district have started constructing a wooden bridge over nullah to remain connected to other parts of the state, years after the government failed to pay heed to their demands.

They are constructing a strong wooden bridge over a nullah to facilitate communication as the Kuturakenda village is surrounded by three nullahs which have a flow of water for six months in a year. With the coming of the rainy season, the water level of the nullahs goes up to around 6 feet, rendering the villagers marooned for three months.

The children cannot go to their schools, people fail to get basic necessities, and access to hospitals remains cut off during these months, the villagers have been demanding construction of a bridge over at least one nullah for the last several years.

They have also drawn the attention of the concerned departments and local MLA in this regard but all their pleas have fallen flat.

"Every year govt promises to construct it, but to no avail. It's difficult to commute during rains. That's why villagers are constructing this bridge so that we can travel easily during the rainy season," said Tejraj Bhoi, Kuturakend villager.

Another villager said that they had requested the Sub collector and others for construction of a bridge several times, but no one took any step then they decided to construct a wooden bridge over one of the nullahs.

"Our village is situated in the dense forest in between three nallah and the road condition is very bad. We have to cross the nullahs to go outside the village. During the rainy season, it is impossible to cross the nullahs which flow with 4 to 5-ft water. We had requested the Sub collector and others for the construction of a bridge several times, but no one took any step. Then we decided to construct a wooden bridge over one of the nullahs," said Sheshdev Majhi Kuturakend villager.

The villagers collected bamboo and wood planks from their own sources and put in labour voluntarily to build the bridge.

They also claimed that it is strong enough for even school-going children to use during flooded nullah.

Principal Advisor to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chairman Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) Asit Kumar Tripathy appreciated the efforts of villagers and assured them that a permanent bridge over the nullah will be constructed soon.

"The villagers have given a good message and I really appreciate their effort. Besides labour, villagers have also contributed monetarily. The wooden bridge is temporary, a permanent bridge over the nullah will be constructed soon," said Tripathy. (ANI)

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