Due to callousness of officials, villagers forced to construct temporary bridge themselves over river Ramganga to enable their children to reach school
Pithoragarh, Nov 28
Due to callousness of the state government officials, residents of eight villages of Bageshwar district and a nearby cluster of villages in Nachni area of Pithoragarh district, are forced to construct a makeshift wooden bridge on river Ramganga themselves to enable their children to attend school situated across the river. The bridge over the river Ramganga in their area was washed away in the 2018 floods and the residents after pleadings and prayers with the state government officials for construction of a new bridge for the past four years, have now started constructing of a wooden bridge on River Ramagnga, with their own resources.
“Due to lack of school in our locality, our children have to teach Nachni Intermediate College in Pithoragarh district for studies, but due to washing away of the bridge on river Ramagnga, the students were dependent on a temporary trolley installed by Public Works Department (PWD). However, since the department did not employ anyone to pull the trolley it was not used unless villagers themselves pull it to ferry their children across,” said Ram Singh Koranga a villager of Bageshwar district involved in the construction a temporary bridge.
The concrete bridge built by PWD to cross the river from Bageshwar side, was swept away in 2018 floods of the river.” After the bridge was swept away, the PWD engineers have installed a trolley at the same place but that trolley needed permanent staff to pull the rope when someone wants to cross the river by trolley,” said Koranga.
According to Bageshwar district villagers, over 150 students from eight villages of Bageshwar district study in GIC, Nachni.”In the absence of permanent staff by PWD, the guardians of the students had to go to the river to pull trolley twice a day to help their children cross the river in trolley, “said Sher Singh another villager from Bageshwar.
According to villagers, death of two persons caused by fall from trolley in the last four years, has forced them to put up a wooden bridge with their means to enable to students to cross the river during winter months when the flow of river remains lowest in the year,since the trolley has become dangerous for students .”The temporary wooden bridge will wash away in the month of May next year when the river water increase due to melting of snow and rains. But still till then, the students will easily cross the river,” said Koranga.
Harish Bathyal, president of Traders Union of Nahin market said that despite the demand of villagers of both the districts for the reconstruction of the washed away bridge at the same place, the PWD officers from both the districts have not yet paid any heed to the problem.”In absence of a concrete bridge, the villagers from both the districts are constructing a wooden bridge on river for winter months to enable their wards reach the school,” said Bathyal.
The PWD engineers from Bageshwar and Didihat divisions of PWD have said that they have send the proposals of the bridge some four years ago to the state government but it has not yet been approved by the higher officers.” We have sent proposals for reconstruction of bridge at this place, we could be able to reconstruct the bridge only after the proposal gets approved by the state government, ” said Tara Singh, Sub-Divisional Officer(SDO) of PWD in Nachni.