School children forced to cross river using coracle

School children cross River Bhadra using a coracle near Balehonnur.

After the hanging bridge connecting Khandya with Balegadde was washed away in the recent floods, schoolchildren are forced to commute in a coracle. Many are worried that schoolchildren are also forced to risk their lives.

There are 20 families residing in Balegadde, who were dependent on the hanging bridge to commute. There are more than 10 children from the village, attending a school at Sangameshwarapet.

Without the bridge, they are forced to cross a swollen river using a coracle and reach school.

When the district administration failed to provide the services of a coracle to help the schoolchildren, the local residents pooled in resources and purchased two coracles.

Some youth, however, are still risking their lives by crossing the river using the damaged hanging bridge.

It may be recalled that three persons had lost their lives when a coracle capsized while crossing River Bhadra from Khandya to Balegadde in 2010. Alarmed by the incident, the district administration and the Zilla Panchayat had sanctioned Rs 43.3 lakh under the Nabard project to construct a hanging bridge.

The heavy rain that lashed the region last week, however, has taken a toll on the bridge.

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