Sunday, July 10, 2011

Only promises, no bridge for village near Pakistan border

The 400-odd residents of Mohar Jamsher village under Fazilka municipal corporation, it seems, are too small an entity to matter to the political powers.

In a move that is repeated year after year, the only bridge connecting the village, which shares a border with Pakistan on one side and is locked by river Sutlej from three sides, was dismantled by the Army officials after the monsoon set in. The bridge would be reconstructed only after the monsoon is over. In the rainy season, the villagers are forced to use boats.

Deputy Commissioner Kamal Kishor Yadav, who visited the villages along the Sutlej river in Ferozepur District to take stock of flood like situation, said,"It does not seem possible to construct a bridge for a population of about 400. The temporary bridge here is demolished and reconstructed every year. As of now boats are the only way for the villagers to move for work in other villages. They have been commuting like this for the past many years."

Fearing flood, the villagers have started shifting their valuables to nearby villages.They feel cheated as once again the construction of a permanent bridge has been put on the back burner. Every year, the temporary bridge costing more than Rs 2 lakh, is demolished ahead of the monsoon and re-built after the rainy season.

Yadav expressed helplessness when he said the administration has no permanent solution for the problem faced by the villagers. "In case of rise in level of river water, our teams will evacuate the villagers."

Ironically, every time there are elections, the contestants promise to a get a bridge connect the village to the main road constructed. However, the promises have remained on paper only. In fact Sher Singh Ghubaya, who won the parliamentary elections from Ferozepur, had even mentioned the construction of the bridge in his election agenda. However, he failed to visit the village after winning the elections.

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