People of 5 panchayats in Rayagada left in lurch as temporary bridge snaps

Rayagada: It is now testing times for Puspalata Kaushalya, a resident of Kalyansinghpur block after the sole means of communication in her region was washed away in flash floods early this week.

The expectant mother is now worried as there seems to be no option for her family to rush her to hospital in case of any emergency. Not only Puspalata, the people in five panchayats are now starring at an uncertain future.

According to reports, over 20, 000 residents of five panchayats in Kalyansinghpur block of the tribal dominated Rayagada district have been cut off from rest of the world after a temporary bridge over Kalyani river was washed away by the flash flood on Thursday.

Earlier, the temporary arrangement was made after the main bridge got washed away by incessant rains last year.

In the absence of proper communication links, locals including women and children were forced to cross the river on a bamboo raft thus risking their lives regularly. A report was also telecast by OTV on the plight of people of the region.

However after the reports made headlines in media, the district administration constructed a temporary bridge over the river. But the temporary structure again got washed away during the heavy rains that lashed the area on Thursday.

As a result, people are now forced to rely on a makeshift bamboo structure to cross the river.

“A temporary bridge was constructed on the river with an expenditure of around Rs 5 to 7 lakhs which was functional for three-four months. But without a bridge now, we are facing the same trouble again,” informed a resident of Kalyansinghpur, Suban Kumar Garadia.

“The temporary bridge was made of up hume pipes. However, people constructed a bridge made of bamboo after the previous one got washed,” said Arjun Kadrika, a resident of Patabandha area.

“I will direct the panchayat officials to submit an estimate for a temporary bridge on the river so that at least two wheeler vehicles can ply on it. However, the tender process for the long-term bridge is over and the construction work will soon start,” informed Kalyansinghpur BDO, Anup Panda.