Mussoorie, July 16, 2015
Schoolchildren and villagers risk their lives every day to cross the temporary wooden bridge over the Aglar rivulet at Bhimal ki Chaloti in Thatyur division of Tehri district as the authorities concerned have failed to reconstruct a pucca bridge.
Mamta (8), a resident Bhimal ki Chaloti basti, dreams of becoming a doctor and is anxious to go to school. However, her journey to school is not easy, as she has to cross the wooden bridge over the Aglar rivulet constructed by villagers themselves in place of the concrete bridge that washed away in flash floods in 2013.
The temporary bridge can fall any time or wash away in the swollen Aglar rivulet during the monsoon. Some students even take the bigger risk of wading through the rivulet that is notorious for sudden rise in its water level during the monsoon. A 21-year-old girl student was washed away while crossing the wooden bridge near Bhawaan village two years ago. She also wanted to become a doctor, according to her family members.
Villagers find it difficult to cross the bridge carrying ill persons to reach hospital in case of an emergency. The bridge with creaking planks makes it a horrifying travel. It is the lifeline of villagers who use it regularly to sell their local produce outside the village or buy essential commodities.
Villagers lament that they had apprised everyone from Zila Panchayat officials to the Chief Minster about their problems but no action had been taken so far. They are now thinking of not sending their children to school to save them from perennial danger.
Dhanaulti SDM Devendar Sharma said funds under the district plan had been allocated for the construction of the bridge. The work on the bridge would start as soon after the tendering process. However, he did not say how long the bridge would take to complete.
Asha Devi, resident of Bhimal ki Basti, says “We are always concerned about the wellbeing of our children, who risk their lives while crossing the temporary wooden bridge to go to school. Public representatives have ignored our problems despite repeated reminders for the construction of a concrete bridge”.
"The concrete bridge was washed away in flash floods of 2013 but it had not been reconstructed. Villagers find it difficult to ferry goods and ill persons as it is very risky to walk on wooden planks of the bridge that could sink any moment." Birendar Rana, concerned parent
"Twelve bridges over the Aglar rivulet were  washed away in the natural disaster of 2013. A concrete bridge  should be constructed urgently and if that is not possible the wooden bridge should be repaired so that it does not get washed away in rains." Sunil Sajwan, resident of chhanan gaon
Courtesy: The Tribune

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