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Devbrat Patnaik

Puri: Over 40 students of Talada Padhiari School in Edabansa village of Astaranga block showed sheer perseverance when they took a boat ride on Friday to reach their exam centre for appearing the Annual Matric Examination. Reason, tardy progress of Talada bridge construction has forced them to take the risky ride.

Without any other option of connectivity, all the 40 odd students sailed to the other side of the Devi river, from where they walked a few kilometres to finally reach S.N Vidyapeeth, their exam centre at Sundar village in the block.

The distance between Edabansa and Sundar village is close to 10 kilometres but it’s their dream for a better future that has encouraged these children to embark on this boat journey.

Reportedly, five years back in 2014, CM Naveen Patnaik had laid a foundation stone for the construction of a bridge over the Devi River here. However, the construction of the same is still incomplete.

"It’s very risky travelling by boat and I was afraid. The problem we are facing is due to the half-built bridge at Talada,” said a girl student.

Another girl, when she was asked if she was afraid, said, “It’s a daily affair now and we are facing the hardships almost every day. We don’t have any other choice.”

While the locals claimed that the government has turned a blind eye, concerns have now been raised whether the administration is even aware or done anything to mitigate their problem.

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