Residents of 17 villages in Mand area, surrounded by the Beas river, have been using boats for the past six decades to cross over to the nearby urban centre of Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjab's Kapurthala district, in the absence of direct access to the town.
However, after a wait of over 60 years, they will soon get a pontoon bridge which will enable them to easily cross over.
Punjab's Finance Minister Upinderjit Kaur, who is the sitting MLA from Sultanpur Lodhi, persuaded Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to build a bridge over Beas to mitigate the problems of the people living in the Mand areas.
The farmers of the area had to ferry their produce, tractor trolleys, motorcycles and other implements in big boats to markets in Sultanpur Lodhi, Baupur village Sarpanch Balwidner Singh said.
Earlier, people refused to marry their daughters to the men of Mand area due to lack of connectivity, but the pontoon bridge has shown a ray of hope for the prosperity of the area and a solution to social problems, he said.
Now, the drainage department has shifted all material to construct the pontoon bridge near the site and the work is going on on a war footing, official sources said.
Kaur on Monday said the bridge would be constructed at a cost of Rs 7 crore and was most likely to be completed in the next 15 days.
The pontoon bridge would solve major problems like better access to medical facilities and higher education of children, Balwidner Singh said.