Tired of waiting, villagers construct bridge themselves

Tired of waiting, villagers construct bridge themselves

The footbridge constructed by the villagers. Credit: DH Photo

Fed up by the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities concerned towards constructing a bridge in a village near Bhagamandala, the people have themselves built a footbridge, in a gesture of community service.

During the rainy season, it is difficult to cross even the small streams in Kodagu. Many villages lose connectivity, owing to a lack of bridges.

The situation of villagers in Kopatti in Kundacheri Gram Panchayat limits near Bhagamandala was no different.

Families residing in the village have to cross the stream to go to the town for their works and for the purchase of essentials.

Even though it is manageable during the summer, crossing stream during the rainy season could prove fatal for the people.

The villagers had been requesting the elected members and officials to provide bridge connectivity across the stream. They have been providing memorandums to the Gram Panchayat for the past 15 years.

The people have to traverse a distance of 8 km to reach the main road through an alternative road. Crossing the stream is the nearest route.

Kopatti villagers complained that for the past several years, the Gram Panchayat has not been able to construct even a footbridge, even though crores of grants have been sanctioned by the government to the Gram Panchayat over the years.

Flood-hit

Kopatti region was flooded during heavy rain in Talacauvery last year.

The villagers said that they spent sleepless nights, anticipating untoward incidents.

There is no facility for emergency treatment. Crossing the stream is inevitable during all situations including when the ill persons have to be shifted to the hospital, they said.

Taking initiative

As a last resort, the members of Sometti, Dayana and Podanolana took up the work of constructing the footbridge through united efforts.

They started working towards the makeshift bridge during the onset of monsoon, amid downpour and gusty wind, using bamboo and tree logs.

Jumbo challenges

The villagers are also affected by various other issues, such as lack of good roads and telephone network connectivity.

Moreover, the region is known for the menace of wild elephants.

The agriculturists complain that the crops are destroyed by pachyderms every year.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox