Sans bridge villagers hang on to a rope to cross river in Kandhamal

Kandhamal: Inhabitants of 10 villages under Gunjanbadi panchayat in the district undertake an arduous and risky job of crossing the swelling Kalipen river every day with the help of a rope tied to some trees. This is a regular sight in the villages as despite several demands, there has been no effort to construct a permanent bridge over the river.

According to sources, though the villagers apprised the matter repeatedly to the authorities concerned, nothing has come off as yet.

“Crossing the river with the help of a rope has turned a nightmare for us as it poses threat to our lives. Moreover, we carry agricultural and other sundry goods while crossing. Worse, it becomes herculean to carry a patient across the river to the nearest healthcare centre,” said Dhabaleswar Patra, samiti member of Gunjabadi panchayat.

“I am afraid of crossing the swelling river by holding on just to a single rope. Our children too cross the river in the same manner to reach their schools, colleges and exam centres,” said Rabidae Pradhan, a resident of Madiraha village of the panchayat.

However, BDO of Nuagan block Rajendraprasad Panda feigned ignorance about the matter.  “It has just been 3 to 4 days that I have assumed charge. I will take our staff and visit the site. If needed I will inform the higher officials regarding the problem for further action,” added Prasad.

A similar incident was reported few days earlier, when six women had hurt themselves while crossing a river with the help of ‘electric wires’ in Daringbadi block of the district.