They were simply tired as the government paid no heed to their repeated requests. Deciding enough was enough, residents of three villages in Sirsa district joined hands and pooled money to construct a 250-feet long and 40-feet wide bridge over Ghaghar river, which connects Alikan and Panihari villages.
After more than two years and spending Rs 1 crore, the bridge is almost complete now, and for more than 1.25 lakh people, distance to the district headquarters will soon be reduced by 30 km.
"We approached many ministers, MLAs, MPs and several bureaucrats, but all in vain," says Ramandeep, resident of village Panihari, one of the contributory villages.
On April 2014, the construction began. Gurdas Singh, a daily-wage laborer, donated Rs 500. Now, when the bridge is complete, he is on cloud nine. "This is the result of courage and dedication of all of us," he told HT.
Manjeet Kaur of Alikan, who donated her monthly pension of`1,000 for the construction of the bridge, says the bridge will become "a life-line for us".
Soon, after hearing about the project, villages like Bujhkaramgarh, Farwai Khurd, Dhani Kahan Singh, Sikanderpur Rasoolpur, Thedi, Theeral and Bheema joined the initiative.
"Everyone contributed for this initiative. The completion of the bridge is nearing and it will help commuters get easier access to markets in Punjab as well," said Satpal Singh, sarpanch of Alikan.
Apart from the villagers, the only official help of sorts came from Sirsa MP Charanjeet Singh Rori and Haryana Lokhit Party supremo and former MLA Gopal Kanda, who contributed Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5.51 lakh respectively from their personal funds.
Manjinder Singh, sarpanch Panihari, says a 25-member team of the villagers is supervising the construction.
For the inauguration, of course, they plan not to invite any politician or bureaucrat to throw the bridge open.