Dream of easy connection to nearby towns hangs for this hamlet

People at Kilinje depend on a ferry

The residents of this hamlet have been nurturing a dream forever of being provided the facility of a bridge.

Kilinje adjoins Herga near Parkala on one side – connected by the River Swarna – and Havanje Gram Panchayat near Brahmavar on the other side.

In the backdrop of the Zilla and Taluk Panchayat elections, the citizens are of the opinion that the assurances made by the different political parties is merely an illusion and that voters should realise that the pledges offered are very far from reality. Almost all political parties lure the people – especially during elections – with innumerable promises, but none of these turns out to be real, insist the citizens. The public also fear that the long pending matter of providing the area with a bridge – maybe at least a hanging bridge – will remain a distant dream.

There are two routes that connect the hamlet to main towns like Manipal and Udupi, but the people are forced to use the longer route and travel for 90 minutes – instead of reaching their destination in five to seven minutes.

Worker Shekhar Poojary, told the Deccan Herald correspondent that the fibre boat is the only way out for people travelling to Herga, on the other side of River Swarna, to reach Udupi or Manipal. “The venture is scary as the river is deep in the area. The water level rises considerably especially during rainy season, and the people have to risk their lives travelling on the ferry. Schoolchildren too are forced to use the boats,” he complained.

Bridging difficultyFarmer Sadhu Poojary says that, earlier, there was a country craft, the use of which was highly dangerous. “In recent times, however, the people got a fibre boat, which has made the transport slightly better and reduced the fear factor,” he said, adding that construction of a bridge was a necessity. “People travel in large numbers form Kilinje to Manipal and Udupi to fulfil all their needs. The travel by boat in the morning and return by evening has no alternative, so far,” he said.The 65-year-old ferryman Thimmanna says he is in the business the last 35-45 years and, everyday, he carries people who go to work, irrespective of the season. “I charge Rs 100 to Rs 150 a month for elders,” he added.

The local political leaders Sathish Poojary and Harish Shetty said there are nearly 92 houses in Kilinje. “It comes under Havanje Gram Panchayat, which has nearly 4462 people. People from both Kilinje and Havanje are badly in need of the bridge connecting them to Herga, through which they can reach Manipal and Udupi,” they said.

Poojary said that, earlier, Rs 35 lakh was released for the purpose. The estimated cost, however, was high and the amount was invested for some other project at Dasabettu.

Gowri said that they have to pay at least Rs 50 to 60 to reach Udupi via Kilinje, Kukkehalli, Havanje, Golikatte, Kambalabettu and Muggeri. “If the bridge is built, the expense will reduce drastically, to approximately Rs eight to Rs nine,” she adds.

MLA Pramodh Madhwaraj said that the bridge would be built, connecting Parari and Shimbra, for which Rs 10 crore is released. “Tender is called and February 26 is the last date for bidding. The construction work will begin in two months and will get over in two years,” he said.

“The demand by Kilinje people for the hanging bridge, however, would not be feasible. The distance from Kilinje to Parari is hardly two to two and a half kilometres,” he added. 

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