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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Himachal Pradesh

Only foot bridge linking Solang village washed away
HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Manali, July 19, 2014
First Published: 20:04 IST(19/7/2014)
Last Updated: 20:05 IST(19/7/2014)

Thr remote Solang village, located opposite the Solang Nallah ski slopes 16 km from here, has become out of bounds after the swollen Solang River washed away the only bridge for the village.

"The bridge was washed away four days ago by the Solang river, a tributary of the Beas. Now we are marooned and there is no access for us, either to come to Solang Nallah or to Manali," said Tikam Ram Thakur, vice-president of the Palchan village panchayat.

He said local authorities had immediately been intimated about the bridge but no official had turned up so far to take stock of the situation.

The 500 inhabitants of the village are left with no option but to cover the five km distance on foot on a narrow and risky trail up to Palchan village located on the main road.

The students studying at the government college at Haripur and Kullu are the worst hit after the washing away of the bridge. Besides, it has also become difficult for the villagers to shift patients in a critical condition for treatment to the Manali hospitals. Another resident Devi Chand said while covering the distance on foot, villagers had to cross two swollen Nallahs, putting their lives at stake.

The irate voters of the Solang polling station had boycotted the last Lok Sabha polls and before that, had also avoided the by-election held for Mandi Lok Sabha constituency in protest against the government's inaction in expediting the construction of a link road and the RCC Bridge.

Local Tehsildar Padma Chhering said reports regarding the washing away of the Solang bridge had been sent to the deputy commissioner for necessary action. Sub divisional magistrate Viney Dhiman said a rope way would immediately be installed on the Solang river to facilitate the residents of the village. He added the public works department had sent a proposal Rs. 2.5 crore to the state  government for the construction of a motorable bridge on the river. Dhiman further informed that a sum of Rs. 11.94 lakhs had been sanctioned for widening the Kothi - Solang walking trail.  


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